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Unipolar and multipolar world


A system in which there is one global dominant power in the world is considered a unipolar world model. This global power transfers the management of the world to its authority to a large extent. It forms the political, economic, military, ideological, and cultural system based on its structures.

Until the 19th century, there were 4 main global powers in the world:

1) England

2) France

3) Russia

4) Ottoman

As a result of scientific and technological backwardness and multi-frontal wars, the Ottoman Empire ceased to be a global power. Russia solidified militarily in its place as the 3rd power.

Revolutions, and scientific-technological development in England and France,  brought these two powers to global dominance when they entered the 19th century. At the expense of colonies, economic power in the global sphere increased.

Until the Congress of Vienna (1815), the two most important global poles in the world could be indicated:

England and France.

Of course, the borders of Russia expanded in the wars in which Napoleon was defeated. For example, our region fell under the influence of Russia during this period. But Russia's dominance was mainly in the military sphere. It was not a global equivalent to Britain as an economic, ideological, and cultural pole.


From the second half of the 19th century, with the weakening of France, Germany developed rapidly in Europe, and when the 20th century entered, the Germans had already formed a second pole against the British in all spheres.

After World War I, Germany was defeated by the Treaty of Versailles (1919). It wasn't just the German empire that fell, but also the Russian, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian empires.

Great Britain and the United States redistributed the world. At the very base, the map was again drawn by the British. But progress had created new competitors.

The US overtook everyone economically. The revolution that overthrew the Tsar in Russia created a stronger state than expected. Along with ideological power, with the industrialization carried out in the 1930s, the USSR became the closest competitor to the United States in terms of GDP production.

As a result of the economic crisis, the fascist system came to power in Germany, and the 3rd Reich became a new global pole in the world.

Thus, a new world war became inevitable. As a result, Germany was defeated again.

At the Yalta conference (1944), before the war was even over, the planet began to be politically redistributed. For traditional global powers, Europe lost its importance as an epicenter. In the world, 2 different global powers made the system dominant:


Britain also joined the United States in this new system and concentrated on the Anglo-Saxon pole. The USSR became a tool for the creation of a new great state and system in China. The balance of forces and systems became increasingly acute.

Military armament in the world reached fantastic proportions. The USA and the USSR had already acquired dangerous weapons that could destroy humanity. The bipolar world continued under the conditions of the Cold War.

Near the end of the 20th century, the USSR, which could not be destroyed militarily, suddenly collapsed from within. Russia fell into a state of disrepair.

As a result, the world moved to a unipolar system under the dominance of the United States. The economic and cultural system of the world was determined by US institutions, and the military system was determined by NATO.

The European Union under US control continued to be one of the main economic and cultural powers. This situation lasted for about 30 years.

From the second decade of the 21st century, China, which is already a new global power, began to show itself in an active form. Economically and technologically, China came close to the United States in many parameters for a short period. The economic-technological power also increased the weight of the military industry. The main global threat to the United States has already become China.

At the same time, this factor formed new ambitions and functions for Russia. The development of a country with great resources like India in the global environment has been becoming one of the important aspects.

The resulting situation pushed regional powers like Turkey to be more active.

Although many analysts predicted that the United States and China would go head-to-head in global interests, at one point Russia and the countries of the Western bloc clashed in Ukraine. Both sides declared Ukraine a "Red Line".

As a result, in February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, and a war between the west and Russia that led to a resource war began. Along with the Ukrainian people, the second party that suffered the most was the global economy.

The essence of the Ukrainian conflict was that the curtains of the 30-year-old unipolar world were torn. For the United States, this issue had become a matter of global dominance and prestige, not just in Ukraine. According to the principle of unipolarity, no one could do what they wanted in the world under the order of the United States. Blocked by the West, the large resource market of Russia was directed to the East, and changes took place in the global political and economic order.

Currently, the global crisis continues and there are alternatives to a multipolar world. China, which is already a candidate to become a bigger pole than Russia, has a political coldness with the United States. From the beginning, China entered into economic and political organizations with large countries such as Russia, Brazil, and Mexico. The fact that the issue of Taiwan is on the agenda always keeps the status open to new conflicts.

Currently, the global political, military and economic situation is murky and at the same time very dangerous. China's military attack on Taiwan will create a new Ukraine effect and the next curtain of the global unipolar world will be torn. In this case, they will either take military measures against China or, at the very least, apply economic sanctions. But one issue is also important both countries are economically dependent on each other. The volume of US imports from China is more than 400 billion dollars.

The deterioration of relations with China, which has the largest size of the world economy, will certainly create other new alliances. However, whether the world can get out of it economically is another question.

In conclusion, it stands to reason that the world is rapidly moving towards a new multipolar system.


Hasanov Ramil

He received his bachelor's degree in Political Science at Baku State University and his master's degree in MBA at the Jaen University of Spain within the Erasmus program.