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AftershocksGreat Powers and Domestic Reforms in the Twentieth Century$
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Seva Gunitsky

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691172330

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691172330.001.0001

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Beyond the Great Plateau

(p.231) 7 Conclusion

Seva Gunitsky

Princeton University Press

This book argued that the evolution of domestic regimes in the twentieth century was shaped by cross-border institutional waves—sudden bursts of domestic reforms, most prominently of democracy but also of fascism and communism. The major source of institutional waves was a specific type of systemic volatility in the form of hegemonic shocks. This chapter examines the argument's consequences for today's global order. Since the mid-1990s, democratization seems to have reached a Great Plateau. For some observers, democratic capitalism is in the process of being supplanted by state capitalism—a rival regime embodied by China and characterized by a capitalist system of production combined with state ownership and guidance. The chapter examines China's potential rise from the historical perspective of shocks and waves, and ends by discussing the argument's broader implications for democracy and the global order.

Keywords:   domestic reform, democracy, fascism, communism, hegemonic shocks, democratization, institutional waves, state capitalism, China

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