Uncertainty is the watchword of contemporary world politics. Monumental changes are occurring throughout the international system and statespeople are wrestling with peaceful solutions to the transformation in relative power of the USA, Soviet Union and China, Japan and in Europe. In this book, Charles Doran proposes a managed solution to peaceful change. He presents a bold, original and wide-ranging analysis of the present balance of power, of future prospects for the international system and of the problems involved in this transformation. Professor Doran demonstrates why such change has often been accompanied by world war, providing new insights into the causes of the First World War. But, he argues, systems change can be both peaceful and secure. Developing a theory of the power cycle, the author reveals the structural bounds on statecraft and shows how the tides of history can suddenly and unexpectedly shift against the state.