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Polarity in contemporary international politics : a uni-interpolar order?.

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Reference to the structural impact of the emergence and resurgence of new and old great powers in international politics is common in the literature on international politics. This study has attempted to explore this subject matter by investigating the hard and soft power currencies of the great powers. The study relied on both primary and secondary sources of data to solicit dependable data on the subject matter. The researcher relied on content and historical analysis to for meaningful assessment of the research themes. The study is explored through the lenses of the balance of power and multilateralism. The study found that the emerging powers, most especially the BRIC countries (in particular China) are making conscious attempts to invest both in their soft and hard power resources to narrow the gap between them and the United States in terms of power resources and influence. The study also found out that the model appropriate to describe today’s polarity must take into cognisance the major features of contemporary international politics which include the United States’ relative decline, the emergence and resurgence of new and old players and the comprehensive interdependence that characterises international politics in the 21st century. Thus, the study concludes by proffering that uni-interpolarity (a hybrid of Huntington’s uni-multipolarity and Grevi’s interpolarity) is the model that adequately captures the major features of contemporary international politics.


Ph. D. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 2014.


International relations., World politics., Theses--Political science.