CSS Special 2023 Solved Essays | Unipolar, Bipolar or Multipolar: New Direction of the World
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- Although the bipolar and then the unipolar systems ruled the world for decades, they are now deemed defunct and have been replaced by the multipolar system, which offers the world a new course in the political, economic, technological, and cultural spheres.
2- Debunking the terms unipolar, bipolar, and multipolar world order
3- A historical glance of the world orders
- ✓After WW2, the era of the Cold War, the world was bipolar from 1945 to 1991
- ✓ In 1991, the USSR dissolved; ultimately, the world turned to uni-polarity till 2013 (the US became the sole hegemony militarily, culturally, and economically and as per Fukuyama’s argument, the end of history happened, named a liberal world order according to the US)
- ✓ From 2014 till now, the world has been multipolar because US hegemony as a global superpower is being challenged by new sources of power like China, Russia, the EU, and India.
4- What features transformed the world to multipolarity?
- ✓ Politically, US excessive and unapproved invasions
- Case in point: According to the UN general secretary, America’s invasion of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan without the approval of the UN.
- ✓ Democratically, pursuing the independent foreign policy by different states.
- Case in point: China, Russia, EU and India make its independent foreign policy
- ✓ Economically, the global recession of 2008
- Case in point: According to Aljazeera, the Great Recession had an impact on all nations with high credit growth and significant account deficits, not just the United States. Global trade almost completely collapsed between 2008 and 2009, falling 15%.
- ✓ On a State Level, the rise of right-wing populism
- Case in point: In Europe, France, Germany, India, Austria, and especially in the US, the internal changes led to the demise of the Liberal World Order by Keeango Taylor.
5- What are the major turning points of the new world order, obsoleting uni-polar and bi-polar world orders?
- ✓ An assertive China, the new normal
- Case in point: China now reportedly has a freer hand abroad and is able to project its power into regions that the US has neglected since 9/11 (such as Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia). This is because the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have consumed so much US military and diplomatic energy.
- ✓ China-Russia friendship, a speed breaker to US sole hegemony
- Case in point: both countries jointly stated that they categorically rejected the Western principles of democracy, human rights, etc.
- ✓ Indian decision to abstain from the Ukraine conflict; a dent on uni-polarity
- Case in point: According to BBC, India has once more chosen not to participate in the UN General Assembly’s vote on a resolution denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began a year ago.
- ✓ Turkey ignored the US sanctions and moved towards the S400 system, a sign of the falling apart of US sole hegemony in Asia.
- Case in point: According to a UN report, Turkey accepted the first of four missile batteries in July 2019 despite objections from the US and other NATO countries. A week later, the US dropped Turkey, a manufacturing and financial partner, from the F-35 project.
6- How does the multipolar world order provide a new direction to the world?
- ✓ Political shifts
- The hegemonic conflicts, as in the bi-polar and uni-polar world regimes, were reduced.
- Regional stability was achieved by creating regional organizations
- Multipolarity helps in conflict resolution by diplomacy, as Iran-KSA resolution brokered by China
- ✓ Economical shifts
- Regional economic integration like BRI, B3W, and IMEEC
- Reduced economic coercion like JCPOA
- A helping hand during extreme economic meltdowns like IMF, WB, ADB
- ✓ Technological shifts
- Globally sprawl of technology without any limitations like AUKUS.
- Competition reaping benefits for consumers, like competition between Apple and Samsung companies
- Promotes joint ventures like ISS
- ✓ Cultural shifts
- Cultural exchange and global tourism
- Regional and global festivals promote globalization, like the FIFA World Cup and London Olympics
- Promotion cultural diplomacy
7- Critical analysis
World order represents the extent to which there are widely acknowledged rules governing how international relations should be conducted, as well as the degree to which there is a balance of power to support those rules. Nevertheless, multipolarity is viewed as a desirable form of world order because it promotes democracy around the globe through leadership that is conscientious, focused on regional economic development, and politically active. The world has regularly watched over the past two decades as the major global economic and political powers turned the unipolar and bipolar systems into a multipolar one. Thus, each system demonstrated both its benefits and disadvantages, but after carefully analyzing them all, the multipolar system is the one that gives the world a new path. However, several political, economic, and cultural factors have given rise to the multipolarity in the world. Nonetheless, many crucial steps were expressly taken by China, Turkey, and Russia to facilitate this shift, including the BRI and China’s new normal, the S400 deal of Turkey, and Russia and China’s rejection of the Western democratic system. Undoubtedly, that transition brought about various commendable modifications to the world. The historic Saudi-Iran conflict resolution shows how the multipolar system aids diplomatic conflict resolution in the political sphere. Furthermore, multipolarity is promoting regional economic integration on the economic front. On the technical top, multipolarity is also to blame for the spread of technology across the globe and the rise of investments in new technologies and academic research. In addition, multipolarity has led to cultural diplomacy, global tourism development, and cultural heritage site preservation on the cultural front. The essay contends that unipolar and bipolar systems are no longer applicable in the modern world and illustrates how multipolarity gives the world a new direction in the economic, political, technological, and cultural domains.
Unipolar refers to a single hegemon that controls all global policies and steers the world in the direction of its goals. The United States, following the conclusion of the Cold War and the collapse of the USSR in 1991, serves as its greatest illustration. Second, a bipolar system is one in which the world is divided into poles, each of which is backed by practically all of the nations. The cold war that began in earnest in the years following the end of World War 2 in 1945 serves as its best illustration. Third, a multipolar system is one in which different governments have the ability to influence international events. Power was split among numerous states around the world in the multipolar world that existed before and after World War 1.
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The pre and post-World War I eras are known historically as the multipolar era, when the power was divided among the European nations, the USA, the USSR, Japan, etc. But following the end of World War II, the multipolar system changed into a bipolar one, with the USA and USSR occupying the opposing poles. The ensuing 45 years are known as the Cold War era as a result of this development on a worldwide scale. The two global hegemons engaged in a number of proxy conflicts during these years, and after the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, they almost started a full-scale conflict. The Cold War era is also known as the bipolar world era. The bipolar system came to an end after the fall of the USSR in 1991, and as per Fukuyama’s argument, the end of history happened. Consequently, the US rose to become a lone hegemon and a unipolar power. Since then, the US has enjoyed the position as the only hegemon, and it has used its power to demonstrate aggression against a number of states, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and others. From 2014 till now, the world has been multipolar because US hegemony as a global superpower is being challenged by new sources of power like China, Russia, the EU, Japan and India.
Besides these, there were numerous other factors that caused the world to become multipolar. The US’s extensive and unauthorized invasions in numerous states are one of the main characteristics. According to the UN general secretariat, America’s invasions of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan without UN consent. Second, pursuing independent foreign policy by different states. For instance, China, Russia, the EU, and India all have independent foreign policies. Third, the Great Recession had an impact on all nations with high credit growth and significant account deficits, especially the United States. Global trade almost completely collapsed between 2008 and 2009, falling 15%. Last but not least, the Liberal World Order was toppled by internal developments in Europe, particularly in France, Germany, Austria, and India, according to Keeango Taylor.
However, the assertive China and China-Russian friendship serve as a speed bump against US sole hegemony. Both nations reportedly claimed that they totally reject the Western principles of democracy, human rights, etc., according to Aljazeera. Additionally, Turkey disregarded the US sanctions and went towards the S400 system, signalling the end of US hegemony over Asia. According to a UN report, despite opposition from the US and other NATO nations, Turkey reportedly accepted the first of four missile batteries in July 2019. A blow to uni-polarity was also dealt by India’s choice to withdraw from the Ukraine conflict. India has once again decided not to take part in the UN General Assembly’s voting on a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that started a year ago, according to the BBC. These events marked the transition of the world from unipolarity to multipolarity.
A multipolar globe lessens the possibility of hegemonic confrontations in the political sphere. It will reduce some states’ aggressive goals because there won’t be a single hegemon. This is clear from the bipolar era, during which the US and USSR were actively engaged in proxy conflicts with one another. Additionally, regional organizations like the EU, SAARC, GCC, etc., emerged out of multipolarity. These groups have the power to drastically alter the entire area. Moreover, the US emerged as the only hegemon following the end of the Cold War and launched the havoc invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries, demonstrating the unpredictability of world politics under a unipolar system. As a result, the multipolar system is the most stable of the three and lowers the likelihood of hegemonic wars.
Additionally, multipolarity allows states to promote economic cooperation among themselves on the economic front. This makes it possible for wealthy and developing nations to collaborate and address common economic problems. The best instances of economic integration are BRI, B3W, and the current IMEEC. Additionally, groups like BRICS have increased their economic connection by conducting business with one another in their home currencies, challenging the dominance of the dollar in global trade.
Additionally, multipolarity encourages the spread of technology across the globe, creates new markets, considerably enhances brand competition, and forces nations to welcome academics from around the world and engage in collaborative initiatives. To preserve their dominion over the world, unipolarity and bipolarity, however, limit the technology-sharing mechanism. The decision of the US to give numerous nuclear-powered submarines to Australia as a major technology transfer arrangement in the last 75 years by the US under the auspices of AUKUS is demonstrative of technology sharing. Multipolarity can, therefore, promote tech education and its application in the modern environment.
The multipolar world encourages more spending on research and development of new technologies. The demand for technology is increasing as everything in the modern world is becoming increasingly dependent on it, especially cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G internet technology. Therefore, in a multipolar world, each nation will work to improve its technological condition in order to remain relevant in the more globalized globe.
A multipolar world also encourages the preservation of culturally significant locations all around the world in the field of culture. The world is not unipolar or bipolar. Additionally, multipolarity encourages international travel and exchange programs. In 2018, there were 1.4 billion international visitors, with Spain serving as the world’s cultural epicentre and hosting more than 80 million of them, according to UNWTO. Global events also present the host’s culture and customs to the world as a result of multipolarity. The London Olympics in 2012, which highlighted British culture; the FIFA World Cup in 2022, which highlighted Qatar’s culture and traditions; and the upcoming Cricket World Cup in 2023, which will highlight India’s culture, all serve as examples. Thus, multipolarity gives cultures all around the world a fresh orientation.
Last but not least, The global hegemony of a few states is waning due to the emergence of regional powers and organizations like the European Union, ASEAN, SAARC, and BRICS, as most regional conflicts are being resolved at the regional level through these organizations. Additionally, these groups are bringing about economic as well as political unity across the areas. Consequently, the unipolar and bipolar systems are no longer relevant in the modern world.
Critically, a thorough analysis has revealed that the only system that gives the planet a new direction is multipolarity. The globe would experience major gains in practically all areas once the shift from a unipolar to a multipolar system was complete. However, a multipolar world will present challenges that the globe should be prepared to tackle. Furthermore, since the two World Wars broke out under a multipolar system, all parties involved should pay attention to doing positive work in the areas of the economy and world politics to prevent the outbreak of another one or any other global conflict.
In conclusion, the world is currently shifting towards a multipolar dimension, which gives the world a chance to modify it from political, economic, technological, and cultural perspectives. Undoubtedly, whether in political, economic, technological, or cultural spheres, the multipolar system dominates the unipolar and the bipolar systems. Therefore, with each day that goes by, the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world becomes closer to completion. In order to get the most from this opportunity in all ways, the key players in the development of global policy should seize it. The world can experience long-lasting multipolar stability by paying attention to such unavoidable global concerns with haste.
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