International Relations

International Relations

Unipolar, bipolar or multipolar, what is the international system of today?

Polarity in international relations refers to the distribution of power within the international system. Therefore a nation with 'superpower' has most influence holding significant amounts of power militarily and politically and most importantly economically. The United States of America has been the most influential nation since 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, would this mean the international system of today is unipolar? Are there other nations in the world that can rival the might of the United States? As China emerges as an world power is it possible for two superpowers to establish a bipolar system, or will that result in a confrontation like the Cold War in 1980? Perhaps past, present and future powers will come together in cooperation to become a multipower system.

What does one nation need in order to become a super power? Geography and position, natural recourses and population are three important factors country needs in order to gain power. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 ended a bipolar international system led between the superpowers of the time, United States of America and USSR. Since that time the system has shifted into a unipolar world, therefore the US was left dominating the world alone. The US has all the factors listed above and furthermore with a population of 311 million and a GPD of $15.09 trillion, are there any powers that can match the US?

David Singer and Karl Deutsch ("Multipolar Systems and International Stability"), argue that the multipolar world is more stable as powers have the opportunity for cooperation and have more incentive.

In contrast, John Mearsheimer implies that a multipolar system would create more conflict as pairs would develop resulting in possibilities of war.

While Kenneth Waltz suggests a different opinion, arguing that in fact the bipolar system is the most stable as there is a clear difference in...

Similar Essays