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Morrow’s Terms: “Long-Term Lock-In” and “Short-Term Accident”

“Long-term lock-in”

“Long-term lock-in” is a theory that is forward by Jared Diamond in an attempt to explain the West control and rule for centuries over other continents. In his explanation; the West would rule today and will continue to rule into the future. He advanced this hypothesis by analyzing the fact that; the industrial revolution will happen to the West foremost and hopefully push it ahead of the East and other countries around the globe. In an attempt to understand the world dominance, Morrow undertook the historical, geographical and social aspects of human nature. Ian Morris says that this West dominance is best studied and they understood in some aspects of passages of human history and social development (pg 32).

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The existing beliefs by experts indicated that somewhere around 21st century. The belief gives an idea about the East bypassing the West in terms of socio-economic and political Development. There are a number of factors considered by experts that can help explain why some regions may prefer to gain dominance at certain times. The factors for the advancement in domination by fresh continents are in the Long-Term Lock-In’ theories advanced by scholars explaining this take over. This theory focuses on some ideal long term characteristics of the West. For instance, climate, demographics, culture and governance are being considered to have prompted West for control.

The distribution of these competitive advantage factors i.e. geographical elements such as natural resources, oceans, mountains-determine why West have so socially, economically and politically developed. According to Long-Term Lock-In’ theory, these are the most indispensable ingredient in the recipe for Success. In this case, those who believe in this thesis are confident that power will continue to center in the West over times. Aaron Halpern says that The possibility of China and other countries from the East moving closer to the world economic climax by 21st century does not pose any threat to the West. According to ancient history, such a rapid development can in one way or the other affect the society. In this case, the society can achieve a sticking point for further development is difficult and such a system will crumble (pg 201).

“Short-term accident’’

‘Short-Term Accident’ is being advanced to explain the West dominance is temporary and will disappear in the near future. It brings reference in the past where the East had ruled before he West took over. This take over theory explains that; the East, having ruled between 5000 and 1600 and will soon return to their right-full position.

Unlike Long-term lock-in theory, Short-term catastrophe theory views West domination or rising to power by 1800 as something accidental. The proponents of this theory are therefore, convinced that the global dominance will move to East by 21st century. Based on the fact that the period between 500 and 1600, East was leading West, the short -term theorist are confidence that East will soon by-pass West. a motivating factor for the East is that; Japan, china and the some Eastern countries are hastily moving to the world economic centre (Graves).

Short-term accident theorist as well agrees that there are some sociological, biological, geographical factors that the West has over them. The proponents argue that, geography is not a long-term factor to determine global power since it is affected by these other two factors. They take; for instance; the case of Western Europe five thousand years ago, where the Atlantic Ocean turned out to be geographically negative. They had to walk all the way to Southern Asia to access the domestic animals and plants market.

Works cited

Morris, Ian. Why the West Rules–for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future. California: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010.

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Graves, Joseph. The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium. New York: Rutgers University Press, 2003.

Halpern, Aaron. The proceedings of the Ninth West Coast Conference. New York: Stanford, 1991.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 14). Morrow’s Terms: “Long-Term Lock-In” and “Short-Term Accident”.

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"Morrow’s Terms: “Long-Term Lock-In” and “Short-Term Accident”." StudyCorgi, 14 Jan. 2022,

1. StudyCorgi. "Morrow’s Terms: “Long-Term Lock-In” and “Short-Term Accident”." January 14, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "Morrow’s Terms: “Long-Term Lock-In” and “Short-Term Accident”." January 14, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "Morrow’s Terms: “Long-Term Lock-In” and “Short-Term Accident”." January 14, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Morrow’s Terms: “Long-Term Lock-In” and “Short-Term Accident”'. 14 January.

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