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Have the causes of conflict altered in the post-Cold War period?

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International Relations 1 Have the causes of conflict altered in the post-Cold War period? The end of the Cold War meant that the ideological conflict of dominance between East (Soviet Union and Eastern Europe) and West (USA and Western Europe) was over. Contrary to the expectations that world would be much safer in the post-Cold War, United States and Soviet Union were faced with new security issues that they did not know how to deal with. The objective of this essay is to show that with all these changes that occurred with the end of the Cold War, causes of the conflict indeed altered from the classic ones. First the end of the Cold War and the changes in the world order that followed will be outlined. Secondly, the increase in wars within states and the question of whether today's conflicts are, in fact, new, will be discussed. Finally this essay will argue that there is a new type of threat: worldwide terrorism, and it will look at what measures are being taken to tackle this problem. The end of bipolarism The democratic countries (USA and Western Europe), enjoyed 50 years of peace and economic development, because of the measures they took after the World War II, not to repeat the same mistakes that initiated the previous wars. ...read more.


Many observers have argued that most of the ethnic conflicts did not result from the end of the Cold War but deep religious and ethnic disputes that had been going on for centuries. "Many historians claim that these conflicts had been put on ice during the East-West conflict or even since World War I and resurfaced when the authoritarian communist lid was lifted." (Pfetch and Rohloff 2001, " Global Change, Conflicts and Conflict Research - New Data on Armed Conflict ") All the former communist states experienced - and is still experiencing - difficulties during the transition to democracy, but only in former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia did obstacles translate into wars. Within these states ethnical groups that were dissatisfied with their position in society and wanted to participate to political decisions to a larger degree, to have more rights, and in some cases even independence, started voicing their concerns and demands. Sens argues that multiple causal factors were behind the outbreak of conflicts, such as those in these former communist federations. Among other examples, he mentions "confrontation between state nationalism and ethnic nationalism; and the inability of the state to maintain order and prevent domestic anarchy". ...read more.


Most western governments, with the US as the main leader, have proclaimed that they are willing to use military power to tackle this ever-growing threat, but they do not always agree (especially Germany and France) to support US foreign policy, to use military power every time they want to achieve their aims. This is one of the examples showing problem that exist between US and its allies on different issues in the post- Cold War period. But even though this disagreement exists, this would not stop USA to act alone. Conclusion In conclusion this essay has shown that causes of conflict have largely altered in post-Cold War period. The fall of the Berlin Wall was one of the significant signs that an era of changes is beginning not only for the Communist East, but also for the for democratic West. With a new balance of power the nature of conflicts have changed due to the shift away from the bipolar world that was dominant during the Cold War. Many new states have emerged, and new conflicts as well as revival of old feuds, have characterised the past decade. Because of the new changes that occurred since the fall of Communist bloc, UN has adapted to deal with the new challenges. USA is considered the only superpower but even so it has experienced major threats to its security. ...read more.

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