In this bold new perspective on the United States-China power transition, Paul K. MacDonald and Joseph M. Parent examine all great power transitions since 1870. They find that declining and rising powers have strong incentives to moderate their behavior at moments when the hierarchy of great powers is shifting.
Twilight of the Titans challenges claims that policymakers for great powers will be pushed to extreme measures. Tough talk, intimidation, provocation, and preventive war, the authors write, are not the only alternatives to defeat. MacDonald and Parent show how declining states tend to behave, what policy options they have to choose from, how rising states respond to decline, and what conditions reward which strategies.
Twilight of the Titans is a comprehensive rethinking of power transition and hegemonic war theories and a different approach to the policy problems that declining states face. What matters most, the authors write, is the strategic choices made by the great powers.