Reinhold Niebuhr, Nations and Empires: Recurring Patterns in the
Political Order ( London: Faber and Faber), 1960. p. 1; Henry A. Kissinger, Diplomacy ( New York: Simon & Schuster), 1994, pp. 23-24; Riccardo Petrella, "A Global Agora vs. Gated City-Republics", New Perspectives Quarterly,
Winter 1995, pp. 21-22.
See, for example, Deepak Lal, "Trade Blocs and Multipolar Free Trade", Journal of Common Market Studies, Number 3, 1993, pp. 349-358. Lal makes
the argument that there is the current prospect "of a strengthening of regional
trading blocs at the expense of the multilateral trading system."
Joseph Nye, "American Strategy After Bipolarity", International Affairs,
Number 3, 1990, p. 513.
Alvin Toffler and
Heidi Toffler, "Mapping out a Trisected World", International Herald Tribune, November 5, 1993.
For the opening statement of this debate, see Francis Fukuyama, "The End
of History", The National Interest, Summer 1989. Fukuyama argued that democratic values and market economy have become universal, which meant that the
era of ideological struggle dating back to the French Revolution had ended.
This kind of idealistic euphoria was attacked most conspicuously by John J. Mearsheimer
in "Back to the Future: Instability in Europe After the Cold War", International Security, Summer 1990.
The argument of the transition of trading blocs into political powers was
put by The Economist ( January 8, 1994) in a very simplistic but visionary manner: "A strong America, an advancing China, a struggling Russia and an uncertain Europe make up the new quartet of big powers. The interplay of their interests and the threat of proliferation will fix the rudiments of the next world
See Christopher Layne, "The Unipolar Illusion", International Security,
Vol. 17, 1993. My book stresses that the idea of the international system remains always to a certain extent abstract, descriptive and theoretical. The system
has among its subsystems a set of actors (states, like Russia, China and the United States, or communities of states, like the European Union). A major work
about the international system is by Morton Kaplan, System and Process in International Politics ( New York: John Wiley & Sons), 1957. Kaplan's analysis
has been subject to strong criticism by a number of scholars. The term "world
order," as the author of this book uses it, signifies an analytical structure that
makes possible understanding and prediction, hence policy and diplomacy. The
current transitory order (or the new "disorder") is based primarily on the system