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The Future World System - Essay Example

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A system, according to Arreguin-Toft & Mingst is “a group of units or parts unified by some form of regular interaction, in which a change in one unit causes change in the others; these interactions occur in regularized ways” (A25). As a study of the behavior of different…
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Download file to see previous pages According to realists, anarchy and polarity are the two types of systems dominant on the globe today.
Anarchy refers to a situation in which the state holds the ultimate power and authority. Polarity is concerned with the number of sates that exercise power over other states in the international arena states (Haas 235). The liberals are of the thought that the international system is anarchical in which individual states act out of self-interest in an effort to preserve their sovereignty (Haas 55). On their part, radicals view the international system as being characterized by stratifications pitting the haves and the have-nots against one another (Haas 251). This stratification is brought about by the availability of resources in individual states, whereby the states with a lot of resource exercise power over those with limited resources. Constructivists differ with the other theorist by asserting that international relations are not characterized by material resources, but rather by social norms (Haas 235).
Polarity is a type of international relations system that is advanced by realists who argue that international politics are controlled by a certain number of states where power is concentrated, allowing these states to exert power over inferior states (Arreguin-Toft & Mingst 243). As such, there exist three forms of polarity that exist in international relations. A unipolar system is characterized by a situation in which a single state has absolute power over international politics. Currently, the United States is considered the most powerful state in the world, meaning that the international arena is unipolar.
When two rival states are fairly equal and exercise the same level of influence over international affairs, then the international system is considered as bipolar. A perfect example of a bipolar system is the state of affairs after World War II which set the United States against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. In a multipolar ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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