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Wars in the World Orders Structure
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

Wars in the World Orders Structure

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2022-3-13-36
© Alexey V. FENENKO, 2022
Received 09.07.2022.
Revised 20.08.2022.
Accepted 20.10.2022.
Alexey V. FENENKO (, ORCID: 0000-0003-0493-2596,
School of World Politics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskiye Gory, 1-52, Moscow 119991, Russian Federation.
In modern political science, there is an increasing interest in studying a cyclic nature of global processes. The methodology of cyclism, popular in sociology in the first half of the 20th century but neglected due to the 1950s liberal tradition, is seeing a renaissance nowadays. One of the tendencies in political science and international relations has been research on a cyclic pattern in military history: militaristic ‘waves’ or ‘cycles’ of repetitive wars. In this study, the author makes an attempt to link the problem of war being a cycle with a theory of world orders.
As the basis of the article’s methodology, the author chooses a theory of a German military history classic Carl von Clausewitz about total and limited wars repeating. According to Clausewitz, these wars differ in political goals: a total war is aimed at destroying an enemy as a political entity, while a limited war aims at forcing an enemy to compromise. In the article an attempt is made to merge the theory of alternation of total wars and limited ones with the theory of world orders as a set of rules and norms of interstate cooperation in a certain historical period.
The author proves that total and limited wars play different roles in the history of international relations. Total wars mean the destruction of established world orders and the creation of new ones. These wars determine the new balance of power: new rules of cooperation and new legitimacy of world order. Limited wars serve as a mechanism of regulating world order: wars for adjustments in the balance of power. Thus, the cyclic mechanism of wars appears to be a result of world orders’ self-development logic.

For citation:

Fenenko A. Wars in the World Orders Structure. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2022, no 3, pp. 13-36.

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