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The Evolving Structure of World Politics, 1991-2011

Author: Stewart M. Patrick, Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program
March 16, 2013
Oxford University Press

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Two decades ago the abrupt end of the Cold War elicited a pervasive euphoria among the United States and its major allies. The collapse of the Soviet Union appeared to vindicate the Western model of democracy and free markets, and raised the prospect, at least in some US minds, of a more peace "new world order" under benevolent American hegemony. The ensuing twenty years would prove more turbulent—and global events less tractable to US influence—than US strategists had anticipated in the early, heady days of the "unipolar moment." By 2011, globalization and other forces had transformed the structure of world politics by altering the security, economic, normative, and institutional context in which sovereign states operated, and complicated the challenge of building a cooperative world order…

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