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Post-Cold War International Order - Essay Example

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Post-Cold War International Order

The end of the Cold War can be analyzed 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 the 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 are paramount so the states orientations reflect the people's desires and not the other way around. This, in turn, is reflected in the international scene where different states want different things and hence free-trade can be quite effective in this position.
From the Liberal perspective, the expansion of free-market capitalism has many advantages to it, in particular, constantly growing markets tend to preserve social peace and make the international order more secure, especially in times of prosperity (Bromley et al, 2004 p263). When countries have trade agreements with each other, this also tends to strengthen relations and peace between the countries involved since it would not be good for business or the economy if the two countries started to fight each other (Audio Programme 2A). Other advantages that free-trade agreements have is that relatively poor countries can increase their international profile if they manage to make an agreement with a country or countries who have a stronger economy (Bromley et al. 2004, pp228-232). The important feature of the current world liberal world order is that it is a stable enough environment for free trade to thrive and this stems from co-operation between the trading nations which will, hopefully, lead to a lasting peace.

In contrast, the Marxist view surprisingly, given the conflict between the two ideologies, has some similar views as Liberals in their view of the international order. One similarity that seems to unite the two theories is that the international order is not in a state of anarchy as realists would have you believe, rather, it is based upon interdependence between states and these interdependencies ...Show more


In this essay "Post-Cold War International OrderI" the author intends to highlight both where the Liberals and the Marxists agree with each other whilst also showing the fundamental disagreements between the two…
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Post-Cold War International Order essay example
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