Paperback / softback
November 11, 2009
tables, figures
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1 Pounds (US)
$30.00 USD
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
October 21, 2021
tables, figures
0.13 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$45.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

The Great Powers and Global Struggle, 1490-1990

In The Great Powers and Global Struggle, Karen A. Rasler and William R. Thompson focus on two themes: the rise and fall as well as the relative decline of major world powers over the past five hundred years, and the way in which these processes have set the stage for the outbreak of global war. Their interdisciplinary approach encompasses political science, economics, sociology, geography, and history.

The most significant wars occur when regional leaders—historically in Western Europe—challenge global leaders. By studying the wars of Napoleon, Louis XIV, Phillip II and the Italian/Indian Ocean wars of the sixteenth century through World Wars I and II to the present, the authors challenge the long-held idea that prosperity leads to over-consumption and underinvestment and thus decline—a theory, traceable to ancient times, that remains the principal explanation for global decline today. Arguments about global structural change and its implications abound, but rarely is the abstract translated into concrete historical terms with emphases on specific actors and empirical documentation.

Rasler and Thompson reinterpret the past five hundred years of major-power warfare and provide extensive tests of the eighteen generalizations critical to their argument. They conclude that those who argue that global war and repositioning are no longer a concern among the major powers lack critical understanding of the behavior that contributes to such conflict.

About the Authors

Karen A. Rasler is associate professor of political science at Indiana University.

William R. Thompson is professor of political science at Indiana University.


"Rasler and Thompson's analysis is unique among long cycle theorists because of their concentration on the role of rising regional leaders in the cycle of concentration-deconcentration-reconcentration in the distribution of power in the international system."—Choice
University Press of Kentucky


9780813184579 : the-great-powers-and-global-struggle-1490-1990-rasler-thompson
Electronic book text
296 Pages
$45.00 USD
9780813193045 : the-great-powers-and-global-struggle-1490-1990-rasler-thompson
Paperback / softback
296 Pages
$30.00 USD

Other Titles by William R. Thompson

Shocks and Rivalries in the Middle East and North Africa

Imad Mansour
Jun 2020 - Georgetown University Press
$134.95 USD - Hardback
$44.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$44.95 USD - Electronic book text

Leading Sectors and World Powers

George Modelski, edited by Charles W. Kegley, Jr., Donald J. Puchala
Feb 1996 - University of South Carolina Press
$49.99 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in HISTORY / Modern / General

A History of Britain, revised edition

Jeremy Black
Feb 2024 - Indiana University Press
$28.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Imperial Designs, Post-Imperial Extremes

edited by Andrei Cusco, Victor Taki
May 2023 - Central European University Press
$85.00 USD - Hardback

Words in Space and Time

Tomasz Kamusella
Apr 2022 - Central European University Press
$125.00 USD - Hardback