Throughout history, war and the possibility of war among the great powers has been the motor of international politics, not only strongly influencing the boundaries and distribution of values among them, but also deeply affecting their internal arrangements and shaping the fates of smaller states. Being seen as an ever-present possibility produced by deeply rooted factors such as human nature and the lack of world

government, this force was expected to continue indefinitely. But I would argue that war among the leading great powers-the most developed states of the United States, western Europe, and Japan-will not occur in the future, and indeed is no longer a source of concern for them.4 The absence of war among these states would itself be a development of enormous proportions, but the change goes even further because war is not even contemplated. During the Cold War peace was maintained, but this was due to the fear that if the superpowers did not take care, they would indeed fight.