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To what extent is the global system now multipolar?

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´╗┐AKASH GAJJAR To what extent is the global system now multipolar? As opposed to all the other polarities, a multipolar system is one that consists of more than two super or great powers. Middle and small powers group themselves alongside the large power or under its protection, which is usually for economic, military and ideological reasons. Multi-polarity was seen to exist up until the end of the Second World War but then it disintegrated during the Cold War period where there was a sense of real bi-polarity with the USA and the Soviet Union. However, with the rise of China and the strengthening of the EU, the global system at the present moment of time could be seen as multipolar. The global system could definitely be viewed as a multipolar system if the system is analysed from an economic perspective. With the world recession and credit crunch coming into effect in 2009 many of the traditional leading states have heavily been damaged but some have emerged with prosperity in such times and have minimally effected. The USA suffered a lot with their economy when they took a hit with their credit rating as Standard & Poor?s downgraded their credit rating from AAA to AA+. ...read more.


Therefore, some may see this as clear evidence that China has risen so far and so quickly that they have almost got the global system into one of uni-polarity, with other states such as USA now falling short of their power. On the other hand, the twenty first century has shown real signs of uni-polarity as opposed to multi-polarity. The reason for this is that the USA has really taken on the role of acting as the ?World?s Policeman?. A prime example of this was witnessed in 2003 with the US led invasion of Iraq when USA believed that Iraq possessed Mass Weapons of Destruction (WMDs) and therefore went and invaded Iraq whilst also using hard power to uproot Sadam Hussein. However this did consequently disrupt and tarnish the global image of USA and the war was later declared as illegal by Kofi Annan despite USA claiming that it was pre-emptive self-defence. The sense of the uni-polarity from the USA being the ?World?s Policeman? is also highlighted by the combination of carrying out this role as well as pursuing their global interests. The Middle East conflict between Israel and Palestine had the USA play a large role in the peace process and provided Israel with aid. ...read more.


Syria is a key state for them as China and Russia are actively involved in Syria?s oil industry due to the Al-Furat Petroleum Company and the China National Petroleum Corporation having a joint venture as well as the Russian company Tatneft. Therefore, if China and Russia were to support a resolution in Syria then this would be a major hit to both of their relations. In essence, this highlights that as there is strong interdependence between different nation states it almost acts as barrier for any state to be clearly the strongest and promote a feeling of uni or bipolarity instead of multipolarity. In conclusion, I believe that our global system looks to be more of multipolar one rather than a uni or even bipolar system. However, I do agree with Professor Fukuyama that there is a ?victory for capitalism? and we are seeing that come to fruition with the emerging states such as India, China and Brazil adopting that theory more and therefore creating a sense of multipolarity through the use of the economic power that hey posses. On the other hand, a report published by John Chipman indicated that the terms multipolarity, uni-polarity and bipolarity are now outdated and that we have moved into a period where relations are too complex to be described with such words. Consequently, Chipman describes the twenty first century global system as a ?non-polar? one. ...read more.

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