Challenges and Hopes
Edited By Viktor Stepanenko and Yaroslav Pylynskyi
The Beginning of Ukraine and the End of the Post-bipolar World
When dealing with the “post-bipolar” period of international relations (IR) during my classes, from time to time I have been faced with the conceptually correct question from my students: “When will this “post-bipolar” period of IR come to an end?” If we take into consideration this widely accepted concept of the current period of international relations as one whose initiation was basically connected to the break-up of the USSR, which, in turn, inevitably led to the collapse of the bipolar model of international relations in 1991, the “post-bipolar era” could come to an end only with another fundamental global structural shift. It could be caused by several possible global scenarios, but what is certain is that such a shift would have to have to be of great magnitude if it were to destroy the current system of IR in favor of a new one, whatever that might be. Before March 2014 I had not seen any appropriate critical factor to compare with the dramatic events of 1991. Even 9/11, with all its pain and global solidarity, was not sufficient to open the door to a new international epoch; it appeared to be only the tragic cost of the post-bipolar period in times of temporal mono-polarity to meet new global risks of international terrorism on the way to multi-polarity. Today, I may state uniquely: the post-bipolar period of IR – 1991–2014 – came to an end in March 2014. What are the reasons for this conclusion and what could be...
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