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The Rise and Fall of Regimes

Toward Grand Theory of Politics


Terrence E. Cook

A contribution toward grand theory of political change, The Rise and Fall of Regimes describes three kinds of rule systems: (1) pragmatic, or opportunistic, Machiavellian; (2) informal normative, or moral; and (3) formal normative, such as laws and treaties. Changing relative ascendencies of these rule systems define six ideal-typical stages in the development and decline of both states and international regimes. As implicit in Martin Wight, these stages of distinctive rules climates may in development move «Machiavellian», to «Grotian», to «Kantian», and then reverse these in the three stages of decline. In describing each stage, the author explores the dynamic mechanisms, which accent shifting kinds of problems as these relate to coalitions that form or fall apart behind political communities, regimes, or specific leaders. The last chapter suggests relevance to understanding systems of power and the practical goal of predicting and preventing wars.