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7-10-2015, 02:38

The restructuring of the international system after the Cold War

There are a variety of literatures that illuminate the logic and character of the post-Cold War transformation of the global system. One literature explores the rise and decline of great powers and the international orders that they establish and dominate. Robert Gilpin's War and Change in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981) provides a seminal statement of the theory and history of these grand shifts in the rules and governance of the global system. Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (New York: Random House, 1987) provides a sweeping survey of these classic international dynamics, focusing on leading states in various historical eras and the political, strategic, and economic foundations of their preeminence and trajectory of rise and decline. These books are part of a larger literature that provides theoretical and historical accounts of long-term change in power dynamics and the character of the system. For statements that focus primarily on the realist foundations of the global system, see the standard texts, A. F. K. Organski, World Politics (New York: Knopf, 1958), Hans Morgenthau, Politics among Nations (New York: Knopf, various editions), as well as John Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (New York: Norton, 2001). For more liberal-oriented statements of the logic of global change, focusing on industrialization and modernization, see Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press, 1992), Clark Kerr, The Future of Industrial Societies (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), and Richard Rosecrance, The Rise of the Trading State (New York: Basic Books, 1986). For a classic treatise on the interconnections between geopolitical and international economic change, see Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1944).

Another literature on state power and international change focuses on so-called power transitions. The arguments here attempt to trace the ways in which shifting power balances between rising and falling states generate insecurity, competition, and war. The classic formulations of this macrotheoretical field of study include Organski's World Politics and Ronald L. Tammen, et al., Power Transitions: Strategies for the 21st Century (New York: Seven Bridges Press, 2000). For a useful survey of the theory and history of power transitions, see Randall Schweller, "Managing the Rise of Great Powers: History and Theory," in Alastair Iain Johnston and Robert Ross (eds.), Engaging China: The Management of an Emerging Power (New York, 1999), 1-31.

Another literature looks at the changing character of the orders themselves - looking at the ways in which powerful states have used their advantages after war or other upheavals in the international system to shape the rules and institutions of order. G. John Ikenberry, After Victory (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001) examines the great postwar-order building moments - 1815, 1919, 1945, and after the Cold War. See also the accounts by Kalevi J. Holsti, Peace and War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), and Andreas Osiander, The States System of Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994). Regarding American policy in building the postwar liberal international order, see Ikenberry, After Victory. Elizabeth Borgwardt's A New Deal for the World (Cambridge,

MA: Harvard University Press, 2005) traces the transfer of American interwar ideas about politics and economics to the postwar system.

Scholars have only recently been examining American foreign policy in the 1990s in the context of the end of the Cold War. A general overview is provided by John Dumbrell, Clinton’s Foreign Policy:. Between the Bushes, 1992-2000 (New York: Routledge, 2009). In Power and Purpose: US Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2003), James Goldgeier and Michael McFaul examine American policy toward Russia after the Cold War. Strobe Talbott places the Clinton years and order building after the Cold War in the context of the long historical struggle to develop systems of global governance in The Great Experiment (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008). For a scholarly and policy assessment of post-Cold War foreign policy during the 1990s, see Derek Chollet and James Goldgeier, America between the Wars (New York: Public Affairs, 2008).

Recently, scholars have also explored the ways in which the rise of American unipolar power after the Cold War has shaped and reshaped patterns of great power relations. See Ethan Kapstein and Michael Mastanduno's Unipolar Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990) and G. John Ikenberry, America Unrivaled (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002). On the transformation of sovereignty and human rights in the postwar international system, see Jack Donnelly, Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice (Boulder, CO: Westview, 2nd ed. 2002). The complexities of globalization are explored in Anthony G. McGrew and David Held, Globalization Theory: Approaches and Controversies (Cambridge: Polity, 2007). On the changing interests and involvements of the United States in the developing world since the end of the Cold War, see Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).