chapter  4
International Theory and Cyclical History
Pages 22

The century’s last decade was indeed a time of transitional disintegration. Transition continues in our time, disintegration perhaps as well.

Somewhat contrary to Sorokin’s generalization, and with Francis Fukuyama’s provocative efforts notwithstanding, the waning years of the twentieth century did not invite extensive philosophizing about history.3

Nor did the end of one millennium and the beginning of another provoke much macrohistorical reflection, this despite the fact that “intelligible interpretations of historical events” are these days much in demand. The primary aim of this essay, therefore, is to speak to our understandable hankering to know where we are in history, or, more specifically, where we are in the history of international relations. A further objective here is to use the literatures of philosophical history and international relations theory prognostically to address the problem of conflict and cooperation in the post-Cold War world.