Russia, China and the United States: From Strategic Triangularism to the Postmodern Triangle

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Series Details Number 32/47
Publication Date February 2010
ISBN 978-2-86592-664-0
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Over the past decade, there has been much talk about a new world order, in which American "unipolarity" would be superseded by more equal arrangements between the great powers.

One such idea is a return to the Russia-China-US triangle. In truth, however, the time for such geopolitical schemes has long passed. The contemporary international system is too complex and interdependent to be reduced to crude strategic balancing-a reality underlined by the global financial crisis.

The most likely successor to US global leadership is not a "multipolar world order" dominated by the great powers, but a rough Sino-American bipolarity.

This would bear little resemblance to the stark model of the cold war era, but instead foreshadow a new, post-modern triangle. The "third side" would not be Russia, but a mass of formal and informal networks involving nation-states, multilateral institutions, and non-state actors.

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