Unipolar is a system with only a single major actor, which is usually a single state that dominates all the other smaller states in the global political system. In other words to discuss the idea of Unipolar in the contemporary International system, I would briefly trace the advert of modern International system in the view of polarization. The advert of the modern international system could be traced back to the peace of Westphalia in 1648, which signify the end of the 30 years war in Europe.
This treaty established the state as the main actor in the global politics and declared that the sovereign leader of each nation – state could do as she/he wished within the border’s. During this period many great powers existed in Europe, this is a system refer to as Multipolar. Multipolar is a system, with multiple power centers. By the late 19th century. The system has changed for multi – polar to what some scholars refer to as a tight Bipolar system, in which the power in Europe allied in two rival groups before the 1st World War, which is the triple alliance and the triple entente.
By the end of the 1st World War, the tight Bi- polar system has weakened. Before the beginning of 2nd World War the world has become polarized again into another tight Bi –polar consisting of the allied and axis power. Immediately after the 2nd world war, a brief Unipolar system emerged, where United States of America was the only power in Europe with the Nuclear Power, and other European Power were very weak because of the devastation of the war. But this was short lived, because the system became Bipolar with US and USSR has the two superpower power with Nuclear weapons.
This period was refer to as the Cold War Era. With the fall of USSR and the end to the Cold War, clearly the Bipolar system is gone. What is not certain is how to characterized the current, still evolving system. Some scholars argued that we are in a Unipolar system because only one super power remain, while some scholars argued or labelled the new international system as Multipolar pointing out to the increasing economic power of some European and Asian States.
To some extent both terms are accurate, the US has the world’s powerful military, which supports the Unipolar view, but the US economy is not as powerful, relative to the rest of the world , lending credence to the Multipolar view. The new system is then referred to as Multipolar or Unipolar, depending on which side of the argument scholars favour. This is argument in the early post Cold War Era. To describe the contemporary system as a Unipolar or Multipolar system is a bit unreasonable because the contemporary international system is a bit of both.
The contemporary international system cannot appropriately be described a Unipolar, since that suggest the existence of one single dominant power and many small powers, and there are of course a number of “major power” in contemporary world politics such as Russia, China, Japan and the European Union, together with a number of smaller but no less important regional powers, such as India, Brazil and South Africa. Nor can the system be describe as Multipolar for the gap between the United States and the various major powers is simply too large. Unlike a true Mutipolar system, where there are a number of comparably sized powers.
The present system features a single power seeking hegemony over all other, and a number of major powers which have the desire to resist the hegemonic impulses of the United States, but neither the strength nor the desire to challenge the United States directly and a large number of small powers. While the US would clearly prefer a Unipolar system in which it would be the hegemony, major power on the other hand would prefer a multipolar system. With my research, and in relations with situation of events in the global system I would say we are far from being in a Unipolar system and what we have presently is a Multipolar system.
Thou we have US has the hegemony. The future configuration of world powers is difficult, beyond the safe bet prediction that US hegemony like that of every other great power in history, will end. In conclusion therefore, I would say that what we have presently in the international system is definitely not a Unipolar system. It could therefore be called a mulltipolar system, but a proper Multipolar system will evolve when the United States becomes an “ordinary major Power”.