chaos within the South through a series of agreements on ad hoc spheres of influence suggests a certain equitable division of labor if U.S. capability for long-range projection of force could be considered a complement to Soviet continental power. However, this employment of force could be interpreted as international consensus on preserving values important to the system rather than enforcing a balance of power.
Stubborn adherence to theories of power politics obviates examination of change that could provide richer insights into unifying values and norms, or sources of international conflict within states, in the international arena, and supra- internationally. Retention of overarching military capabilities in the North, the delinkage of the South, and the international perception that competition for economic power is a zero sum game have elicited Hobbesian views of the future of international relations that may not be warranted. Without a nonauthoritarian world view, such dismal theorizing overlooks the learning capacity of humankind in a world of instant communications and possibilities for constraints on state power. Trends toward national democratization and widespread acceptance within societies of ideals of human rights and democracy, in addition to the renaissance of the United Nations, indicate the possibility of a continuation of non-power restraints on states. Combined with negative national economic conditions, these non-power constraints indicate sources of hierarchical authority extending from below to above the international level.
Conversely, axial realignments and delinkages demonstrate that states can maintain nonauthoritarian relations with each other while simultaneously acknowledging the higher authority of the international system as a whole. The mature behavior of immature, chaotic states in international relations, and the inability or unwillingness of strong states to exercise their capabilities, indicate that there are factors other than power that influence the behavior of states. This suggests that both powerful and weak nation-states acknowledge an authority of rules and norms rooted in the hierarchical structure of the international system itself. Whether this international structural authority represents the institutionalization of sovereignty, international law, or societal beliefs is a question for further study.
This section has reviewed contemporary changes and trends from the theoretical point diametrically opposed to the power politics position that the world system is--particularly when not balanced--anarchic. The view from a nonauthoritarian perspective demonstrates that intra-national changes below the level of the international arena and the authority of rules and norms for state behavior that are embedded in the international structure extend their influence vertically into the international system, thus demanding that a hierarchical framework be considered as a basis for future analyses of international relations.
(Comment: If we are indeed moving to a world environment that is nonauthoritarian--a world beyond containment--then we may need to develop alternative