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Bipolarity -Global Politics

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    • Thread Starter

    Hi there
    I am ever so stuck on this question: What are the implications of bipolarity?

    So far, I have the following....

    Emerging after WW2, bipolarity is a term that has been referred to by Vasquez and Henham(1999), as two major power blocs which hold the majority of economic and military influence within a certain region . this can most commonly be associated with the cold war era which had two separate spheres of control, the USA and the USSR. However, despite the shift in power from a bipolar world to a unipolar world, there has been a long standing debate amongst new realists and liberals as to whether or not a bipolar world ensures safety, peace and stability. And some, such as Kenneth Waltz, believe that even though the Soviet Union has collapsed, the world still remains, bipolar.

    "Firstly, bipolarity allows for the ‘balance of powers’. Waltz believed that all states want to gain political dominance and thus must rely on internal balancing(both militarily and economically) in order to produce their own security and become a great power. This in turn allowed for stability and reduced competition as countries such as the USA became the world’s policeman and no longer had to worry about the threat of Germany or any other western country. However, bipolarity does not ensure world order at all, since permanent equilibrium is unattainable due to a difference in economies and resources such as the capacity of a country’s military. This means that war is inevitable and war also becomes the necessary solution for problems between superpowers. Yet, Waltz believes that such wars are not a product of ‘the balance of powers’, but rather are a product of miscalculation, i.e, states misjudging each other’s power.

    Bipolarity ensures stability. This is highlighted by China which was able to “reverse its alignment twice during the Cold War” (Gaddis 1986). However, due to the two tiered system both the US and the USSR were able to adapt to the change"

    BUT...I need a few more implications and some examples. Could I please have some help?
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