Not a warm homecoming: Can Trump restrain himself?

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The security dilemma at display.

President Trump of the United States has caused enormous damage to American interests: Trump has systematically undermined his (domestic) political reputation and the already fragile international order. His positive achievements are meagre; a fact his bragging cannot disguise.

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What is the impact of the Cold War on the next systemic war?

The intense rivalries between the United Kingdom and France during the period 1657-1763 impacted on the severity and life-span of the second war cycle (1648-1815) and the development of the System. The question is if – and how – the intense rivalries between the United States and the Soviet Union during the period 1953-1991 – the Cold War – will impact on the next systemic war.

nuclear war

Because of ‘Mutual Assured Destruction‘ and the fact that rational state-actors controlled nuclear capabilities, war was not a rational instrument of policy during the Cold War (1953-1991). The Cold War ‘froze’ the System (photo).

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Historians extensively studied the scientific revolution, but why could they not apply these insights to their own discipline?

Isaac's Apple

Isaac Newton (1642-1727) studied the force of gravity. Understanding the law of gravity allows us to build spectaculair architectural structures and fly to the moon (and back). It is about time historians and international relations theorist also adopt a more scientific method, and new (and spectaculair) possibilities will present themselves.

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The status quo – including the United Nations – always has a limited life-span.

In my research, I showed that during the period 1495-1945, Europe – the core of the System – produced four accelerating war cycles; each cycle consisting of a relatively stable period – when the status quo could be maintained – followed by a critical period – a systemic war – when the order (the status quo) was upgraded (again).

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This figure shows the remarkably regular non-systemic war dynamics of the System that were instrumental in maintaining the status quo during the first relatively stable period (1495-1618). War dynamics obey physical laws. The dynamics qualify as a damped oscillator; the war dynamics decreased once the network effect ‘kicked’ in. This effect then pushed the System into criticality and the first systemic war (the Thirty Years’ War, 1618-1648) became unavoidable.

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Adoption by the UN and EU of the state as the only legitimate organizational representative of societies causes ever greater problems

government-goliath-cartoon

It is essential to make a distinction between societies and states. A society can be defined as “a group of people involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social groupsharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by patterns of relationships (social relations) between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent of members. In the social sciences, a larger society often evinces stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups”.

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The EU’s ignorance of Catalonia’s plight is a fundamental error, that will further undermine the EU’s legitimacy and future.

States represent – serve – societies, at least that is what they are supposed to do.

EU self-inflicted

An inadequate response to Catalonia’s plight for more autonomy from Spain, further undermines the European Union.

States are organisational structures that are supposed to (especially) ensure the security of the societies they represent. The characteristics of states in Europe (centralisation of government, monopoly on violence, etc.) and the specific territories they control, are the outcome of a process of social integration and expansion that unfolds in Europe, and started in earnest in 1495.

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