GLOBALIZATION & THE POST COLD WAR ERA

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THE BUCHAREST UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS
FACULTY OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
MASTER OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

GEOPOLITICS AND BUSINESS

GLOBALIZATION & THE POST COLD WAR ERA

Professor: Prof. Univ. Dr. Claudia Popescu

Student: Cristiana Muceanu

BUCHAREST, 2013
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION

2. THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM AFTER THE COLD WAR

3. BASIC TRENDS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

4. NEW THREATS

5. CONCLUSIONS

6. BIBLIOGRAPHY
7.

1. INTRODUCTION

The end of the Cold War in the early 1990s has had a dual impact on international relations. On the one hand, the Soviet military withdrawal from Eastern Europe and the Third World brought an end to the Cold War, allowed democratization to proceed in many states previously ruled by Marxist dictatorships, and led to significant progress in resolving several Third World conflicts that had become prolonged during the Cold War. The reduction in East-West tension also resulted in a great decrease in inter-state conflicts, some of which occurred due to the superpower ideological rivalry during the Cold War. Even it became fashionable to argue that force, used here as military power, has run its course in international politics. Defense budgets in many parts of the world radically decreased. This trend, despite very few contrary examples (for instance China), appears to holding. On the other hand, however, it would be rather unwise to argue that the world is now at peace. The collapse of the “Soviet Empire” was followed by the emergence, or re-emergence, of many serious conflicts in several areas that had been relatively quiescent during the Cold War. Some of these new conflicts have been taking place within the former Soviet Union, such as the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, and the fighting in Chechnya. But some conflicts also erupted or intensified in several countries outside of it and many Third World conflicts in which the superpowers were not deeply involved during the Cold War have persisted after it, like the secessionist movements in India, Sri Lanka, and Sudan. Ethnopolitical conflicts aside, there have been other threats to international order that are, indeed, beyond the full control of major powers, even the United States, the victor of the Cold War. The most notable ones include religious militancy, terrorism, North-South conflict, and severe competition over scarce resources. Thus, the end of the Cold War can be said to have brought about both stability and instability to international relations.

2. THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM AFTER THE COLD WAR

With the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and disintegration of the Soviet Union, the bipolar international system dominating the Cold War period disappeared, leaving its place to basically a unipolar system under the leadership of the United States, speaking especially from a military/political point of view. The former rivals of the United States, especially the Soviet Union and China, have either collapsed or jettisoned the central features of their ideologies that were hostile to the United States. Other countries have turned to American military protection. The “American Empire” may best be seen operating in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and the Middle East, in general, where the armed forces of the United States have established a semi permanent foothold and thousands of soldiers deployed at bases keep a watch on Iran, Syria, and other “potential enemies”. Albeit widely criticized, American military power serves a number of critical functions. In some areas, in the Persian Gulf for example, it guarantees weak states against attacks by their stronger neighbors. In Asia, the presence of the United States stabilizes the region in which a number of states might otherwise feel compelled to develop much larger military forces than they currently have. American...
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