The international system appears to be undergoing major change. This seminar explores these recent changes from a historical perspective. It looks at the events that have had a major impact on the actors, processes, and norms of international politics during the last four centuries. It also discusses how international relations research identifies major change in international politics, including the concept of ‘monster years’, a time-based criterion for identifying the most significant changes in international politics. A primary question concerns whether the year 2018 qualifies as a ‘monster year’, based on the recent actions and policies by the major players in international politics.