General Question

wundayatta's avatar

Are international relations heading back to a bipolar situation?

Asked by wundayatta (58377 points ) August 11th, 2008

Back when the Soviet Union and the US were the superpowers in the world, the US understood international relations purely in that context. With Russia’s invasion of Ossetia and Georgia, are we heading back to a two superpower world? If so, or if not, why?

And isn’t the pun just so apt? Is this mania, or depression?

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9 Answers

boxing's avatar

I hear you.

But I don’t agree that bipolar situation is what’s now or ahead.

To a great extent the world no longer has one or two superpowers. The European Union and China, and possibly even India are strong enough now to stand on their own, against the influences of the US and Russia.

susanc's avatar

Multipolar, bipolar – who can deal? Unipolar
works better for John McCain, but that’s SO over.

pinky134's avatar

I don’t think so. Yes, the US basically has nothing to back up its “Please stop.” requests to Russia but that isn’t because the US and Russia are the only two superpowers remaining. With the European Union in the picture I doubt (barring all disaster..) that we’ll ever return to a bipolar system. The world is just too interconnected. If China, India, the EU, Russia, or the US cease to be international powers they’re going to take a LOT of countries down with them, possibly the whole global system.

The EU not doing anything about the Russia/Georgia mess is more to do with a pipeline than any awe of the Russian superpower.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t know. First, I get all hyped up thinking about it, and then I get really, really depressed.

wundayatta's avatar

Well, they say the Russians have stopped. But have they really?

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Yeah, I would say Russia still has a ways to go before becoming another super power again. And by the time russia gets there china will be powerful as well, Along with many of the main european countries. So I dont think we are heading back to a bipolar world, but the United States won’t be the only one who has a say about things anymore.

wundayatta's avatar

Hmmm. Well, it’s clear that Russia seeks it’s old empire. They have control over vast energy resources, and now they are centralizing their grain production system. Putin clearly plans to make it Russia, Inc.

So, a few issues. One, can they regain their old power? Two, if they do, will they be a superpower? Three, if they become a superpower, how many other superpowers will there be in the world at that time?

kfingerman's avatar

Russia is not a serious power anymore. They don’t have much economic might (beyond fossil energy), their military is rusty, and they don’t hold much political capital internationally. I think that in 30 years, we’ll be able to say something similar (though less dramatic and sans fossil energy) about the US. If we’re headed towards a bipolar world it will be Europe vs China – with US and India allied with Europe due to ideological ties, and a whole slew of sundry nations throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America allied with China because of economic ties. It’s a scary thought, and it’s a big if but I don’t think it’s enormously far-fetched.

boxing's avatar

“bipolar” with Europe? Not going to happen. China? maybe, a very good chance.

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