This war changed the concept of sovereignty, concept of national interests, nature of international conflicts and means of achieving an end to conflicts.
The first major change in international relations was changes in politico-geographic settings. The global politico-geographical environments have changed from the settings of the 1900s. Powerful countries such as England, Germany and France were involved in the division of continents in order to advance their interests (Griffiths and O’Callaghan 45). After the first and second world wars, these countries were faced with a challenge of managing their colonies. As the colonizers left their colonies, the emerging countries began to assert their influence. In addition, the political-geographic settings have changed because of exponential growth in global population.
Before the First World War, Europe decided on the issues of global peace and war. European countries such as Germany, England, France, Portugal and Italy had the influential powers to determine the future of the world. International was dominated and centered in Europe. The Second World War led to a change in political dynamics after Italy, Germany and Japan were defeated. The international centers of political power shifted from their European base to the U.S and Russia. The European powerhouses were weakened and could no longer maintain and manage their overseas colonies. Because of decolonization, several states emerged in Africa and Asia. This also introduced a new dynamic in international relations because the number of member states to the United Nations increased from 51 to 155 (Griffiths and O’Callaghan 162). The character of current international relations was influenced by these changes. Currently, all states insist on active participation in international relations.
The second major change in international relations is the democratization of