Chapter

The Evolving Structure of World Politics, 1991–2011

Stewart Patrick

in International Relations Since the End of the Cold War

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199666430
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745607 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199666430.003.0002
The Evolving Structure of World Politics, 1991–2011

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This chapter examines the transformation of world politics in the first two post-Cold War decades, as forces of globalization altered the security, political, economic, and normative contexts in which sovereign states operate. The most profound structural changes over these twenty years included the rise and decline of America’s “unipolar moment”, a dramatic shift of power to the developing world, the declining incidence of war (both intra- and interstate), the growing strategic salience of transnational threats, the emergence of failed states as a major security concern, the growing global influence of regional organizations, and a sharpening debate over norms of sovereignty and non-intervention. To cope with this daunting global agenda, states increasingly turned not only to formal treaty-based international organizations but to more flexible arrangements of collective action.

Keywords: world order; sovereignty; American hegemony; rising powers; terrorism; failed states; regionalism; transnational threats; multilateral cooperation

Chapter.  11249 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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