This is a piece I wrote for fun, that has no basis in reality, it is just something that I believe could potentially happen. I wrote it for my International Relations Theory class.
By: Alexandria Pendergast
“Today, a multipolar international system is reemerging. As a result, a future world war is very likely.” This war would probably end up being World War III, but would be considered closer to world war with more countries in play than the previous wars. This war could possibly be used with nuclear war heads, when nuclear deterrence stops working, and escalating tensions finally rise to the breaking point creating nuclear war.
In the multipolarity system there are classical realists like E. H. Carr and Hans Morgenthau who believe that the multipolar system is very stable. They think that the great powers will create alliances and since small scale wars cannot affect the power, the powers will stay in power without change. This will create an alliance system against the small powers and have very stable intergovernmental relations between the nations. Unfortunately, I disagree with this because of the historical and political tension between the eastern and western hemisphere.
I am following the nonrealist’s theory that focuses on the security and says the opposite of the classical realists. The multipolarity will cause the great powers to misjudge other states and create fears between the nations. The war would follow the historical, political, and militaristic tension between states. While in a bipolar system the two powers can have fear for each other and the worst thing that might happen is a miscalculation of the intentions of the other states, there might be mutually assured destruction. While in a multipolarity scenario the mutually assured destructions with nuclear weapons may be a little more stable because of shifting alliance between all the world powers. These alliances will continue to shift until either a balance of power is struck, and neither side wants to attack or there once alliance will attack the other, because of fear of a near alliance or confidence of defeat. In this system most international decisions are made to create a balance of power rather than ideological or historical reason. But I disagree because most people hold onto tension for hundreds of years after they happen, so I think the eastern and western hemisphere will continue to have tension even when the eastern hemisphere starts gaining its own powers.
The multipolar system is rising with the countries of China and India rising to power. One of the ramifications is a single international relation will exist and nation-states will dissolve. This would cause a dispersion of power and a change in regulations away from the Western traditional style. The only reason this would happen is the eastern powers may emulate the western style but really form a different style of government. Maybe create a dictatorship or the appearance of democracy with a dictatorship. This is when the war would emerge because of the fight with the western and eastern powers which are rising. Once these two styles of governmental powers have balance there will be an alliance system which would look similar to a bipolar system but would be a multipolar system with the powers.
The multipolarity system would start when the powers would rise with an economic boom in the Eastern Hemisphere. This would have a rapid growth in economy in the previous poor powers and start a rise to a world power. Then this economic boom would help form their government to a style that would fit the people. This is dependent on the belief style which is drastically different from the western style of belief. Eventually, there would be a creation of human rights in these countries that would be agreed upon by the international union, allowing them into the fold of great power. The military would not increase but there would be an increase in nuclear weapons for the countries now in power to be on the same level as the United States. Eventually this would lead to them creating an alliance with the smaller countries around them that would have a similar belief style. The small alliance would extend to the other big powers around the area where they would create a great trade relationship with. This would start to form the bipolar alliance system in a multipolarity world. This would be the start and base of the shifting alliance system before the war started.
I would surmise that Russia, China, and India would be the leading powers in the Eastern Hemisphere, and United States, Britain, and Germany would be the leading powers in the Western Hemisphere. The eastern powers would grow to the point of creating a power not just economically or militaristically but also with human rights. These would create a stable government and have an alliance after Putin has fallen from power. Putin would have to fall from power, because this scenario would have to have a different style of government to create an economic boom. Putin could be in power because he could be the tipping point between the powers to start World War III. This is unlikely because he would not want to be unfavorable to the people at his age because he would be in his 70s. Eventually tension would rise between the two powers because of the different styles of government, which while both democratic would be a different version of democracy. These would only happen if the alliance was created. Another reason a World War could break out is if the Arabic countries go into power and decide to create an alliance. Which I doubt would happen because of significant religious differences.
The problem with this scenario is that there would be a huge economic growth so no war would be wanted immediately and then there would be a significant drop in population. This rapid decline in populations that are in power would create an increase in the job market. This could create tension across the countries as the economy goes in to recession from the major powers. This would create international tension because of arguing and resentment from those in powers. This would either make immigration to other countries be stopped and/or the borders be opened for immigrants to help stimulate economic growth by increasing the population. This wouldn’t create a war, but would set the stage for a war to be instigated. It would create the tension between the major powers and would help set the stage for war, between the smaller powers.
An issue that could potentially cause war is how quickly the climate changes and the necessity for specific goods like a water scarcity. These rising issues with global warming could be a key cause for an international incident between multiple powers. The hoarding and lack of resources worldwide would create an anarchy effect. This would create alliance and increase the nuclear deterrent, with a similar situation with the United States and Russia with the Cold War. This would create a standoff in the nuclear deterrent, and the power would only be instigated if a smaller power (example is North Korea and South Korea) goes into war with another small power that would create an alliance shift and force the bigger powers to go to war. It would be a similar instigator to World War I but with a similar power play to World War II. This power play of alliance would be based on similar backgrounds and government types within the Eastern and Western Hemisphere. This would probably also be built on the dislike of the United States.
Overall this eventual multipolarity system would then form into an alliance system similar to World War II with two major alliances in play. The reason I feel that the War would start would be if two smaller countries went to war and brought all the major players into the game and force an alliance shift and the previous rising tensions would break out into a World War. This would be a similar instigator to World War I. This is how I feel the eventual multipolarity system in the neorealist perspective would break out into War, because I feel the United States has done too much for the rest of the world to not challenge their power. The only way the multipolarity system would be accepted by the United States would be through it being challenged through the military action of another country.