Which kind of international system did emerge after the end of the Cold War? Is it a multipolar one, as someone argues, or we would rather describe it as a unipolar system, a definition over which scholars often agree? A second, but strictly related question concerns its nature: is the new system a stable or unstable one? In this article we provide a cursory review of the literature on these two subjects. The main conclusions reached can be summarized as follows. First, scholars usually agree that the system can be best defined as unipolar. Second, two definitions of stability exist: stability as peace, and, on the other side, stability as durability. Third, with reference to the latter definition, we argue that the current international system is a stable one (i.e. it has a great expected durability within the next decades). With reference to the former definition (stability as peace) there is a lack of both empirical and theoretical studies, and it would be premature to affirm a clear-cut conclusion. Even so, in the last part of the article some insights are drawn which suggest that the current system may be peaceful as long as the major powers are concerned. On the contrary, there is no evidence at the moment that such a pacific attitude would involve secondary states.

La stabilità internazionale dopo la fine del bipolarismo

FIAMMENGHI, DAVIDE
2010

Abstract

Which kind of international system did emerge after the end of the Cold War? Is it a multipolar one, as someone argues, or we would rather describe it as a unipolar system, a definition over which scholars often agree? A second, but strictly related question concerns its nature: is the new system a stable or unstable one? In this article we provide a cursory review of the literature on these two subjects. The main conclusions reached can be summarized as follows. First, scholars usually agree that the system can be best defined as unipolar. Second, two definitions of stability exist: stability as peace, and, on the other side, stability as durability. Third, with reference to the latter definition, we argue that the current international system is a stable one (i.e. it has a great expected durability within the next decades). With reference to the former definition (stability as peace) there is a lack of both empirical and theoretical studies, and it would be premature to affirm a clear-cut conclusion. Even so, in the last part of the article some insights are drawn which suggest that the current system may be peaceful as long as the major powers are concerned. On the contrary, there is no evidence at the moment that such a pacific attitude would involve secondary states.
D. Fiammenghi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/103673
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