In decision making in international relations, the concept of International Conjuncture, together with freedom of action and equality are important elements. Decision makers must take into account the set of international conditions in taking initiatives that would create different types of responses.
Systemic level concepts
International relations is often viewed in terms of levels of analysis, the systemic level concepts are those broad concepts that define and shape an international milieu, characterised by Anarchy.
Power (super powers)
Darkest blue countries most often considered to be superpowers, dark blue countries most often considered to be great powers, pale blue countries most often considered to be middle powers, and palest blue countries also sometimes considered to be middle powers.
The concept of power in international relations can be described as the degree of resources, capabilities, and influence in international affairs. It is often divided up into the concepts of hard power and soft power, hard power relating primarily to coercive power, such as the use of force, and soft power commonly covering economics, diplomacy and cultural influence. However, there is no clear dividing line between the two forms of power.
Polarity (international political structure)
Polarity in International Relations refers to the arrangement of power within the international system. The concept arose from bipolarity during the Cold War, with the international system dominated by the conflict between two superpowers, and has been applied retrospectively by theorists. However, the term bipolar was notably used by Stalin who said he saw the international system as a bipolar one with two opposing powerbases and ideologies. Consequently, the international system prior to 1945 can be described as multi-polar, with power being shared among Great powers.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 had led to what... [continues]
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