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Large-scale war is a world-system phenomenon of the rivalry phase. Such conflicts have once again become a concern, and nuclear weapons make these prospects especially dangerous. This is particularly problematic since several world-systems perspectives suggest the chances for war will be greatest in the period from 2030 to 2050. I review the logic of rivalry, the reasons for the endurance of nuclear weapons, old and new nuclear strategies, and the processes that may pose the greatest existential dangers.
During the 1980s, the United States initiated an explicit policy of democracy promotion throughout the world. William Robinson (1996) more accurately described this initiative as “promoting polyarchy,” whereby the United States supported moderate elite actors that promoted neoliberal economic policies to displace both right-wing and communist despots, such as General Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Soviet rulers in Eastern Europe.