Each Age Gets the Great Powers It Needs: 20,000 years of international relations

Hosted by the LSE IDEAS

Old Theatre,


Professor Ian Morris


Professor Michael Cox

20,000 years ago, ‘international relations’ meant interactions between tiny foraging bands; now it means a global system. Philippe Roman Chair Ian Morris explains how the growth of the international system and the shifts of power within it are linked to geography and energy extraction. In tracing this story, Professor Morris asks: Why were the world’s greatest powers concentrated in western Eurasia until about AD 500? Why did they shift to East Asia until AD 1750? Why did they return to the shores of the North Atlantic? And where will they go next?

Ian Morris is Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at LSE IDEAS for 2015-16.

Michael Cox is Director of LSE IDEAS.

LSE IDEAS (@LSEIDEAS) is a foreign policy think-tank within LSE's Institute for Global Affairs.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEMorris


A podcast of this event is available to download from Each Age Gets the Great Powers It Needs: 20,000 years of international relations

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.


A copy of Professor Ian Morris' PowerPoint can be downloaded (pdf):

Each Age Gets the Great Powers It Needs: 20,000 years of international relations

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