Potential Additional Cases

The Case File is open for Phase II of the Thucydides’s Trap Project. In this next phase, we are seeking suggestions of additional cases that may illuminate the Thucydidean dynamic. These could include cases of hegemonic challenges in regional competitions or among less-than-major powers (e.g., the rise of South Korea to surpass North Korea in the decades after the Korean War), as well as competitions in a decisive domain (e.g., sea, air, or space).

Below is a list of cases currently under review for Phase II, some of which have been suggested by visitors to the Thucydides's Trap Project website. Inclusion on this list does not indicate a final judgement of a specific case. For the purposes of this inquiry, however, the more cases the better—since additional cases can provide additional insights into the fundamental dynamics of rising vs. ruling powers. Therefore, we encourage reader comments regarding other cases that should be taken under consideration.

 PeriodRuling PowerRising PowerResult
1Mid 16th centuryDenmarkSwedenWar
2Early 17th centurySpainDutch RepublicWar
3Mid 17th centuryPolish-Lithuanian CommonwealthRussiaWar
4Early 18th centurySwedenRussiaWar
5Early 18th centuryGreat BritainRussiaNo war
6Mid 18th centuryAustriaPrussiaWar
7Mid-to-late 19th centuryUnited KingdomFranceNo war
8Late 19th centurySpainUnited StatesWar
9Late 19th and early 20th centuryUnited KingdomRussiaNo war
10Mid-to-late 20th centurySoviet UnionChinaNo war
11Mid-to-late 20th centurySoviet UnionJapanNo war
12Late 20th centuryIranIraqWar
13Late 20th centuryNorth KoreaSouth KoreaNo war
14Late 20th century to present dayJapanChinaNo war