It is the contention of this book that the post-1945 world saw its major moment of change in the years 1967-73, a moment in which there was a conjuncture of three major turning-points, each leading to a downturn.
These comprise, in the short-term, the end of the world economic expansion in the current 50-year Kondratieff cycle; in the medium-term, the beginning of a decline in the dominant role of the USA; and in the long-term, intimations of a possible systemic disintegration of the 500-year-old capitalist world-economy.
The period 1945-90 is analysed in terms of six main vectors: the interstate system, world production, the world labour force, world human welfare, the social cohesion of the states, and the structures of knowledge. The book concludes with two global overviews: one for 1945-1990, and one assessing global possibilities, 1990-2025. It paints a picture of dark days ahead, but one in which there are real historical choices.