Size and Stability in the Modern Great Power System

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10 Scopus citations


The theoretical question under consideration is the relationship between the size of the international system and its stability. After several alternative conceptualizations are examined, size is defined as the number of individual Great Powers and stability is conceptualized as relatively infrequent and limited wars. Hypotheses linking stability to size are then tested for the last five centuries of the modern Great Power system using the author's compilation of war data. Neither the frequency, magnitude, nor severity of war indicators show any increasing, decreasing, or curvilinear relationship with the number of Powers, demonstrating that the stability of the modern Great Power system has been independent of the size of the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-358
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Interactions
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Apr 1984
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations


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