Post-Cold War Period Causes of Conflict Essay

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Post-Cold War Period Causes of Conflict

The end of the Cold War meant that the ideological conflict of
dominance between East (Soviet Union and Eastern Europe) and West (USA
and Western Europe) was over. Contrary to the expectations that world
would be much safer in the post-Cold War, United States and Soviet
Union were faced with new security issues that they did not know how
to deal with.

The objective of this essay is to show that with all these changes
that occurred with the end of the Cold War, causes of the conflict
indeed altered from the classic ones. First the end of the Cold War
and the changes in the world order that followed will be outlined.
Secondly, the increase in wars within
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Snow (1991, p.44) states that "[i]n 'simpler' days during
Cold War, possession of nuclear weapons was thought to provide the
possessors with the special power, that could be translated into
usable influence in the international system". This means that some
conflicts were kept under control because the world was ruled by
bipolar system (USA and Soviet Union). However, conflicts were not
absent during this period, but the parties in a conflict would often
seek assistance from one of the superpowers and hence strengthen the
conception of a bipolar world (e.g. the Vietnam War). With the end of
the Cold War this system transformed into a multipolar system where
new conflicts emerged. As Mearsheimer states, key elements in the Long
Peace was bipolarity, an equal balance of military power and nuclear
weapons. (Mearsheimer 1990,"Why We Will Soon Miss The Cold War"). This
factor was now no longer present, although some scholars argue that
this era is characterised by unipolarism (i.e. US hegemony), rather
than multipolarism.

From wars between states to wars withinstates

The vast majority of conflicts before and during the Cold War were
between states. In the post-Cold War period the number of interstate
wars decreased, and new threats occurred, such as ethnic conflicts,
rise of nationalism, global threats to the environment and terrorism.
These were dominant factors that…

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