The Contemporary International System

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The Contemporary International System

The structure of the contemporary international system involves many different factors that influence how the world operates today. The international system is defined as the study of the interactions among the various actors that participate in international politics, including states, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, sub-national entities, and individuals. The study of international relations aims to evaluate how countries interact within the political and social international system. Factors such as, technological change, shifts of national power and various changes in the environment influence today’s system and how we live on a day-to-day basis. History is another factor that must be recognized in the shaping of the world system. Events that occurred in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have a great impact today, as we are able to make future projections based on historical trends. The operation and structure of the international system involves various social and political factors that shape the world we live in today.

The shaping of the contemporary system was achieved through the concept of globalization. This idea is often referred to as the “shrinkage of the world” and has been made possible through the advancement in modern technology. Globalization is the process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through an international network of political ideas. Today, a nation’s technological capability is the main indicator of its power. Technology directly affects a nation’s economic growth though innovation. This growth then allows that country to produce military weapons for protection and could potentially throw off the balance of power between states.

Technology and innovation can also determine a nation’s trade capacity, which can limit the amount a country can import and export. A nation with great trade capabilities will...
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