There are three main topics which I cover in this essay, the first is explaining the current approaches to the post - Cold war international order, secondly I examine the role of the U.S.A in the international order, and finally, I discuss the future possibilities of the international order. I take each topic in turn, present both arguments and show the similarities and differences between Liberals and Marxists.
The end of the Cold War can be analysed as a significant development in world politics and as the defeat of Marxism and triumph of Liberalism. Fukuyama is quoted as saying that this is “the end of History” and explains in his thesis, “ [the end of the Cold war is] not to an “end of ideology” or a convergence between capitalism and socialism, but to an unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism” (1989 pp.39). The triumphant Liberals will claim that the post-Cold war world order has the U.S.A as the single world super-power, however, they have grasped this power through consent rather than through imperialist measures like past super-powers have done, for example, Great British Empire throughout the 19th century. This has been achieved through introduction of Free-trade agreements via the WTO, and, as a result of certain policies and economic development, other important liberal factors, such as democracy and freedom, have flourished, particularly in former Soviet Union satellite states such as Poland and the Ukraine. The traditional Liberal position on the international order is a “bottom-up approach” (p121) which means that the needs of the individuals is paramount so the states orientations reflect the peoples desires and not the other way around. This in turn is reflected onto the international scene where different states want different things and hence free-trade can be quite effective in this position.