Kondratieff Waves, Warfare and World Security


Devezas, T.C.

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Considerable progress has been made in understanding the underlying mechanisms driving the long-wave behavior of the world socioeconomic development. In spite of this progress one recognizes that many aspects related with these underlying driving forces remained unsolved. One of these aspects endured, perhaps as the most controversial one: the close relationship between K-waves and the outbreak of major wars. Social scientists and politicians are well acquainted with the fact that chance events have been responsible for the outbreak of wars and their course and outcome. Two main trends are now acknowledged: the increasing recognition of the existence of some cyclical patterns of warfare involving the core of the world system, and a shift toward newly evolving patterns involving non-state actors and asymmetric warfare. We may tentatively agree that wars are not merely the result of blind social and political forces, but patterned according to long socioeconomic cycles and the result of deep and general laws underlying the co-evolutionary unfolding of the world system. In the first part of this book, the reader will find a mix of contributions dealing with new visions or revisions of the concept of long waves considered from very different perspectives related to their unfolding. Those contributions discussing the issue of K-waves and their relation with military conflicts objectively, following old and / or new conceptualizations of the phenomenon, were selected to form the book’s second part. Finally those contributions with strong emphasis on the analysis of future scenarios, related or not related with warfare and / or world security compose the body of the third part.