This volume is the second in a series concerning change in the international system. The first volume, After the Cold War: Europe's New Political Architecture, was published in 1991. It was drafted in New York in 1989 and finalized in Helsinki in 1990. When I began my work, strategic studies and military aspects dominated the research field. I quickly recognized that a broader, more "dynamic" approach was needed to cope with ongoing revolutionary changes in world politics. There was no longer any real threat of a hegemonic war, yet the bipolar system was collapsing. The question was, what did this phenomenon contain? Instead of answering this question at the time, I could only discuss the most immediate political repercussions of the end of the Cold War, focusing on Europe, where the Cold War once began and where it ended.
The present volume continues the analysis by widening the scope of the research project beyond Europe. It also discusses the nature of the emerging multipolar world system and its most immediate security-political repercussions. Change in the international system is finally becoming understood. The conceptual simplicity of the bipolar order has vanished, replaced by complexity. We are heading towards a multipolar system as well as towards a less stable peace.
I have drafted this book both in Bonn, Germany, and Helsinki, Finland. These two cities are the capitals of two countries which have greatly benefitted from the end of the Cold War. A totally new security environment is emerging in Europe, which is now more a part of a global and interdependent world system than before. The stability based on nuclear deterrence has gone, and no new global security system has yet emerged. I try to draw preliminary conclusions by discussing the ongoing change in geopolitical and geoeconomic terms. My primary assumption, which I believe is borne out on the following pages, is that the international system is heading toward new rivalry among a number of politico-economic power centers.
I am grateful to the editor of my books, Mr. Richard Levitt, whose analytical skills and vision have greatly contributed to the success of this