A Multipolar World Order

Emergence & Challenges



As the world inevitably moves toward multipolarity, countries should prepare for future challenges to benefit most from this long-awaited gift from globalization, to give balance to the globe, limit the abuses of some powers and empower those they abuse.


1. Development

A multipolar world order is like that of a decentralized or polycentric country, where cities and provinces share power and resources, differently but fairly, like in many developed countries, as opposed to the undeveloped ones suffering centralization of service, governance, etc. in one city only, usually the capital. Examples of advanced polycentric countries are Switzerland, Germany, and "the US" with its states' relative diversity and equality—something its leaders apply at home but resist worldwide, to remain the only "center of the world's" power, politics, technology, media, etc.

A bipolar world is good, a multipolar world is better, and a non-polar world is best only with a proper UN/world government fairly managing it, without favoring any power. There are many scenarios of how multipolarity develops:

The best scenario is if the UN develops several world centers simultaneously, which requires a strong, independent UN, unavailable at present.

  1. The worst multipolarity type is when a single superpower leads the world instead, not without bias, while it constantly EXPANDS by attracting satellite states to its orbit, allying and eventually merging with it, like the US with its trans-Atlantic trans-Pacific global hegemony and allies—Canada, EU, Japan, S. Korea, etc.—who become eventually poles within it just like any US state: Hawaii, California, Texas, etc. This takes the longest time and causes the most damage as such Superpower only allows and benefits countries serving its self-interest and ever-expanding ego, while excluding or antagonizing the rest.
  2. A better scenario is to have an "immediate" balance by another superpower forming another world camp including other countries, to focus and coordinate their efforts, which inevitably but temporarily leads to a bipolar world, e.g. US-EU vs. Russia-China, or, more broadly, US-EU vs. BRICS, or, even more broadly, the West vs. the Rest. World bipolarity is like the "two-party" majority system in some countries, which is a sign of political immaturity yet needed for faster decision-making than being paralyzed, failing to have a majority party or a coherent coalition to form a government. It's common when the need is urgent for "more unity than diversity," e.g. to face an external insecurity or/and pursue external ambitions (which usually causes insecurity too).
  3. Then, as other powers emerge (India, Brazil, Asia-Pacific, or any other country/bloc), it's better if each forms its own new "third, fourth, fifth ..." camp, than join the two other already-strong camps, to add more value and diversity to the world as a whole, which is the objective of any fair world-order planning.

One can compare examples of world unipolarity, bipolarity and multipolarity, present and past, although multipolarity has never fully materialized due to insufficient world connectivity (there were world multiple powers, but not a multipolar world). Thanks to present communication technologies, world governance and cooperation are becoming more possible, for nations to "voluntarily" choose their path, rather than follow the path of history or circumstance. Examples:

  • Unipolar: Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, UK, US ...
  • Bipolar: Rome & Persia, England & France, US & USSR.
  • Multipolar, in progress: US, EU, Russia, China, East Asia, India, Brazil, and many world blocs, rather than single countries, still forming: Latin America, Middle East, Central Asia, African Bloc, etc.


2. Regress

A multipolar world can yet face a setback, equally by the decline of useful powers or rise of harmful ones.

  • A superpower may suffer weakness/division, leaving world stage empty for fewer powers, or worse one power. An alliance may face the same fate, by unexpected mishaps facing its member states (financial, political, or natural), where some suffer more and even lose the support of other members (unless stated otherwise in their agreement together). Thus it faces internal division, if not external aggression, and becomes internationally ineffective. For this, a multipolar world needs to grow harmoniously, in a healthy rate, not too fast/slow. A country may quickly join an alliance/superpower it doesn't belong to or can't coexist with. Another may be too slow to join or even lead others when it should (for being engrossed in home problems, fearing competitors, or ignorance about possible allies and alliance's methods and benefits).
  • Meanwhile, a harmful or false power can be fast risen to power, assuming a leadership role it abuses, after discovering/rediscovering a new fortune, replacing a falling/weakening power, inheriting a newly-divided power it was part of, etc. It may assume a mediating/arbitrating role between opposing states, while self-interested or incompetent for the job. A true power must be powerful inside and outside, with real credentials (geographic, economic, technological, and cultural), that usually grows gradually not suddenly.
  • In a multipolar world, whenever a superpower surpasses others, even slightly, as all superpowers can never be completely equal, it will always push its boundaries and seek extra power. It may initially use its soft power for deception (media/intelligence/diplomacy/etc.) to justify its own "truth." Then, if it succeeds, it takes ideology into action, using its hard power to gradually control others. The world can thus regress to an unbalanced state of unipolarity. That single "hyper-power" will assert its new status by soft powers again, spreading typical "unipolar fallacies" that all "dictator-countries" use, appealing to stability and harping on doomsday scenarios (world war, nuclear winter, etc.) it alone can prevent.

Disillusioned after world wars, many sought better solutions to world endless conflicts and discordance. Morgenthau's pragmatism was intended for the benefit of ALL world countries, not of one country and allies turning in its orbit, while others annihilated and kicked out of existence. Greed is an instinct in all humans and "countries" (that consist of humans too), requiring refinement by law and order. Gradually it grows self-annihilative too, e.g. the fall of the Roman Empire by its own decadence and divisiveness, and the US decline (of world popularity, civil rights achievements, demography balance, and scientific progress rate), after its golden age in the second half of the 20th century, when there was more competitiveness in world politics.

Any old superpower must accept the new realities and step back to allow space for others to share power with, which is useful for all sides, seeking alliance together rather than monopoly of world power and control over others. The latter is already difficult and dangerous in a multipolar world, where others are now powerful enough to respond/retaliate. True leadership is not the choice of oneself or even others; it's circumstance's choice, which is constantly changing. Leadership is unjust by nature, and relative, as anyone is forced to the top sometimes. The only stable leadership is that of law, where man-made laws try to match nature's laws.


3. Governance

As countries grow stronger and closer, more diplomacy and arbitration are needed, to avoid clashes between superpowers, as well as spare them any resource-consuming arm race and cold war, and the constant insecurity about possible world wars and other tragic scenarios.

As more countries share power, a more meaningful lasting harmony will slowly, but surely, replace the false transient harmony forced by former manipulative powers. This will however "slow down" some vital activities (decisions, actions, agreements, etc.), to which the inevitable solution is to accept "compromises, diplomacy, cooperation, understanding others' interests/differences, and more data-gathering and future-planning" to know the benefits all parties eventually get.

The United Nations' role is more vital in a multipolar world, requiring its reform/overhaul to be more effective. As emerging superpowers become influential in world politics, economy and technology, their representation in the UN and other international bodies should reflect their role, to protect their interests and those of their respective alliance members, against the monopoly of external powers.

Within international organizations, emerging powers can have more influence by their mere alliances therein: suggesting subjects, dictating terms, blocking agreements, negotiating with opposing parties, etc.

If UN organizations are still stagnant, ineffective and biased, there must be temporary, but immediate alternatives. More just and effective equivalent organizations must be founded by the countries biased against, until "one" in each pair/group of similar organizations eventually survives, accepted by all sides, and merging into/replacing the rest. Such can be governmental/non-governmental, regional/international organizations regulating all aspects of life, e.g. alternative world/regional banks, IMF, trade organization ... and, above all, military and intelligence alliance, until the abusive or corrupt ones are treated or removed, which is only achievable by other superpower camps.

Many world unified systems are biased toward a single superpower only, which must be changed to fit the new world order and reality. The need is growing for NEUTRAL/MULTIPLE world currency, technology hubs, multinational forces and military installations, and even lingua franca which is largely responsible for world cultural unipolarity. English must be "universalized" to absorb more from world languages, and "revolutionized" for more simplicity, accuracy and convenience (things that are not part of a language natural "arbitrariness" of its origin).

After all, most such systems (language, culture, economy, borders, etc.) were forced/spread by colonialism. Universality is the fate of every breakthrough by every civilization since the beginning of history, that many people barely remember which country presented what: electricity, satellite, internet ... wheel, lever, etc.


4. Responsibility

• Global issues previously ignored, for the lack of international coordination or powers' evasion and procrastination, will receive more world attention. Nuclear threats, climate change, deforestation, illegal migration, economic monopoly, or interfering into others' sovereignty are no more a single country's business. Fewer states can no longer act on their own on critical issues affecting the entire planet or certain regions that now have more power to stop home/foreign violations.

On the other hand, many home-only issues will be not so: dictatorship, right abuses, corruption, illiteracy, extremism, poor planning, etc. A group of countries can pressure a single country adopting wrong home policies harming itself and foreign countries alike. However, many neo-colonial powers frequently use this as a "pretext" to control and disrupt other countries, rather than reform them. To limit this, only countries within multinational alliances can be subject to external pressure, not small/unprotected/unaligned countries. Also, any sanctions should not harm the livelihood and statehood of a country. This is almost contrary to most examples of international sanctions/intervention, even those by the ill-founded ill-controlled UN: to topple unwanted leaders, disrupt/divide countries, control their resources, etc. for the benefit of the superpowers controlling the UN.

No international cooperation is possible without reconciliation first, and old crimes only die when their effects die. The abuses committed by certain superpowers against other countries with STILL damaging effects must be acknowledged and compensated for (the damage they inflicted while acting under no power balance/checking by other equal powers and well-enforced international laws).

Countries that do not belong to any world bloc or ally with any superpower can be subject to the abuses of others, until a proper world government is formed. Superpowers can cooperate together, but also ignore/collude against weaker states. Globalization made the strong grow stronger and the weak weaker, where rapid premature technology put countries randomly together, before arranging their positions first.

Some states are more harmed than others by superpowers' actions, economically, naturally, culturally, and politically. Examples: the detrimental effects of superpowers' policies and industries on water sources, food ingredients, climate change, small businesses and consumer rights, cultural diversity and heritage, etc. Thus, poor/small/remote/non-aligned countries need more protection and positive discrimination by receiving more advantages and incentives than other countries to make up for their susceptible position.

Superpowers can help smaller states protect national policies (their autonomy, economy, culture, etc.) in the sea of globalization, e.g. by banning importing harmful/useless/locally available products. Meanwhile, abusive states should be penalized till they change their internationally detrimental manipulative policies. If no action is taken, nationally and internationally, in economy for example, home-made products become swiped away in the flood of world products, and home services pale in comparison with those presented by the big countries controlling world economy, esp. with the sophisticated media campaigns and seductive techniques accompanying such "invasion." Its national currency will plummet, foreign reserves shrink, prices hike, and salaries decrease, while many employees are laid off, corporations go bankrupt, factories close, and public services, living conditions and security worsen.


The US Unipolar World     |     A Multipolar World Benefits     |     UN Reform

Foreign Alliances     |     Understanding Patriotism     |     Regional Planning