Lecture on Multipolarity for LSE students

Video in English.

May 2012. Moscow State University. Sociological Faculty. 

From a purely scientific point of view, to date there still exists no full and complete theory of a multipolar world (TMW) . Nor can it be found among classical theories and paradigms of International Relations (IR). In vain will we try to go for it through latest post-positivist theories. Not to the end it is developed in the most flexible and synthetic aspect – in sphere of geopolitical research, that time and again openly comprehend those themes, which in international relations are left “behind the scenes” or are treated too biased.

Nevertheless, more and more works on foreign affairs, world politics, geopolitics and, actually, international relations, are dedicated to the theme of multipolarity. A growing number of authors try to understand and describe multipolarity as a model, as a phenomenon, a precedent or a possibility.

Topic of multipolarity, in one way or another, was touched in works of specialist in IR, David Kampf (in the article "The emergence of a multipolar world"), historian Paul Kennedy of Yale University (in his book "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers"), geopolitician Dale Walton (in the book "Geopolitics and the Great Powers in the XXI century. Multipolarity and the Revolution in strategic perspective"), american political scientist Dilip Hiro (in the book" After Empire. Birth of a multipolar world") and others. The closest, in our view, to understand the sense of multipolarity was British specialist in IR Fabio Petito, who tried to build a serious and substantiated alternative to the unipolar world on the basis of the legal and philosophical concepts of Carl Schmitt.  "Multipolar world order" is also repeatedly mentioned in speeches and texts of political figures and influential journalists. Thus, the Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, at first called the United States the "indispensable nation", stated on February 2, 2000 that the U.S. does not want to "establish and enforce a" unipolar world, and that economic integration has already created "a certain world that can be even called multipolar" . On January 26, 2007 in the editorial column of "New York Times" it was openly said of "emergence of the multipolar world", along with China, that "now takes place at the table in parallel with other power centers such as Brussels or Tokyo". On November 20, 2008 in the report "Global Trends 2025", of National Intelligence Council of the U.S. it was indicated, that the emergence of "global multipolar system" should be expected within two decades.