International politics structures being changed New and old powers

Heinz Brill


Ten years after the millennium celebrations the world has finally arrived in the new millennium. Like every “change of paradigm” in international politics, the present geopolitical power shifts are challenging the international strategic elite to make predictions as well. In their studies the experts attach adjectives such as American, Pacific, Asian, unipolar (American), bipolar (democracies/autocracies), multipolar, European or “Chimerican” (USA/China) to the 21st century. Thus, as far as the discussion of their ideas of order is concerned, international politics is at the beginning of a new era. Due to the permanent shifts in global and regional relative strengths (in politics, economy, military, culture etc.) the analysis in hand is supposed to work out the evolving basic structures of the new international politics and to give some guidance in a time of changes. The strategic discussion on the matter of unipolarity or multipolarity has been conducted since the end of the Cold War. History, however, has taken care of this matter long ago. Multipolarity has become reality, and thus the necessity of global cooperation is an inescapable consequence, because the further rise of the new powers is apparently only a matter of time. More than one decade ago already Samuel P. Huntington realized the advantages of such a development for the USA. In his essay „The Lonely Superpower“ he expressed his opinion that with the forming of a multipolar system „community policing“ could become an adequate replacement for the USA, and the great regional powers would take over the “prime responsibility” for maintaining order in their particular regions. Accordingly, the superpowers will inevitably compete with each other in various groupings with interchangeable and varying structures, they will clash, and they will finally form alliances. According to Huntingdon the USA need not be afraid, however, because in such a world no tensions and controversies would exist, which are typical for the present unipolar system, and the function as a superpower would be less challenging for the USA in a multipolar world. Henry Kissinger compared the multipolar world with the global projection of the European system of states of the 19th century. Thus, nothing „new“ will happen, but something „greater“. According to this point of view it is not impossible that new alliances will emerge in the circle of powers consisting of Russia, China, India, Brazil, Japan and Europe. In this case the new multipolar system could gain more stability and have indirect or direct effects on international institutions and alliances, and the UN Security Council is one of them.