"Change is endemic to world politics, but one constant stands out: great-power rivalry for position in the hierarchy of nations."
-- Charles W. Kegley, Jr. and Eugene R. Wittkopf
"Even Asian governments critical of China's authoritarianism and human rights record, or fearful of its ambitions, see their future economic performance bound up with that of China and its 1.2 billion consumers."
-- Sandra Sugawara
"The military threat that brought China, Japan, and the United States into a strategic alignment against Moscow ended with the breakup of the Soviet Union. Now, East Asian stability depends on a more fickle and delicate relationship among Beijing, Tokyo and Washington."
-- Michael Richardson
"Great powers are like divas; they enter and exit the stage with great tumult."
-- Fareed Zakaria1
This volume tries only to cope with the most important trends in world politics and, then, to elaborate on the emerging power centers and their relations as well as on their overall impact on international security. I have tried to look at world politics primarily as a system with patterns of interaction among constituent parts (power centers). I have had a macroscopic perspective and tried to discuss general trends and patterns of behavior instead of particular events.