Issues, Trends and Challenges in an Emerging Global Power Structure

Aituaje Irene Pogoson


The reality of the early 21st century is that the world is in the grip of the transformation of the power structure. China has risen into global reckoning; Russia began to rise from its inertia; North Korea has evolved to a global threat. All have begun to lay claims to a greater role in the international political system. The unipolarism of the post-Soviet era seems to be dissolving before our eyes. These emerging trends raise questions as to; what sort of multipolarism are we talking about? How will the coming multipolar order operate? Will great power be able to work together to uphold order? Will they descend into self centred and destabilizing military and economic competitions? Can the world support multiple world orders, co-existent yet separate? There are no iron-clad answers to these questions. However, current geopolitics does, perhaps, allow for a glimpse into the future.
This article aims to contribute to that discourse by making three claims. First, there is a dramatic increase in the number of global actors. Second, the diversity among actors has created opportunities for the emergence of new systems and new partnerships and for old ones to be strengthened and transformed. Lastly, the future multi-polar world will be potentially more unstable than all the other multi-polar periods history has experienced: for the first time in history, the world could become both multi-polar and nuclear.


Polarity; Multipolarity; Power-shifts

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