“The New World Order”: An Outline of the Post-Cold War Era
Muzaffer Ercan YlLMAZ *
This article provides an analytical discussion on post-Cold War developments and the emerging world
order in that era. In this regard, some of the main characteristics of the international system, basic
trends, and new threats in international relations are addressed, in that order. It is argued that while
classical inter-state wars tend to decrease in the post-Cold War era, there are many other serious
threats to international peace beyond the full control of nation-states, most notably ethnic conflicts,
religious militancy, terrorism, North-South conflict, and unfair economic competition. The future of
the world is stressed to depend on whether major powers are able to, and willing to, work on these
threats in a cooperative manner.
Post-Cold War Era, International System, International Trends, International Threats,
The end of the Cold War in the early 1990s has had a dual impact on international relations.
On the one hand, the Soviet military withdrawal from Eastern Europe and the Third World
brought an end to the Cold War, allowed democratization to proceed in many states
previously ruled by Marxist dictatorships, and led to significant progress in resolving several
Third World conflicts that had become prolonged during the Cold War. The reduction in East-
West tension also resulted in a great decrease in inter-state conflicts, some of which occurred
due to the superpower ideological rivalry during the Cold War. Even it became fashionable to
argue that force, used here as military power, has run its course in international politics. And
it is true that defense budgets in many parts of the world radically decreased (See, for
example, United States, Government Accountability Office, 2008). This trend, despite very
few contrary examples (for instance China), appears to holding.
Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 7, No. 4, Winter 2008