“The New World Order”: An Outline of the Post-Cold War Era Muzaffer Ercan YlLMAZ * Abstract 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. Key words:Post-Cold War Era, International System, International Trends, International Threats, World Order. INTRODUCTION 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 44
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