Define unipolarity, bipolarity, and multipolarity

Question: Define unipolarity, bipolarity, and multipolarity. What are the implications of the world order of the rise of China?




With the breakdown of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the USSR dissolution in 1991, bring the new era of international politics. These happenings rejoice the end of cold war, which will be categorized as the post-world war 2 stage in international politics. This new era leads to the problem for the analysts that how to understand the world order. Then a new thinking arises in this situation which saw the situation in terms of polarity. (Baylis,2017) Polarity is defined as the description of power distribution in the international system. In  the present paper, we have discussed the types of polarity , that how it will impact on the political relations of the country, by taking into implications of the world which have arisen due to the rise of China in the global world. There are three types of polarity named as Unipolarity, Bipolarity, and Multipolarity which will have the influence on the state nationally or internationally.


Unipolarity is the distribution of power in which one state exercises the cultural, economic and military influence on the international politics. Unipolarity is not an empire but it is an interstate system. (Roach,2014) The concept of unipolarity is anarchical, which results in the incomplete power, by exerting the positive control on the world, by providing weaker countries to pursue the policies, independently on the unipole. The system of unipolarity owns one big power, by facing low or no competition. In 1964, the United States is termed as the unipolar as it possesses only one pole in the global interests. 

Case for unipolarity

The believers of unipolarity believe that the United States is termed as the unchallenged superpower that is making coordination with the western allies. The military, political and the economic superiority of United States are termed as the undisputed fact. (Ripsman,2016) With the emergence of the new political environment , that will be marked with the rise of small states that are aggressively armed with weapons of mass destruction and possessing the delivery means, makes the coming ten years a high time, that will not be diminished by the war threat. The world after Cold War will be termed as multipolar with that of the countries like Japan and Germany that are in coordination with the USA. 


The term Bipolarity is defined as the system of world order, in which the majority of economic, cultural and military influence is held between two countries on the global level. The concept of Bipolarity has the important effects on the global order. Firstly the two rival powers cannot be in equilibrium, as one has to surpass the other, so the conflict is unavoidable in the bipolar world. So the concept of bipolarity is defined as the mechanism that contains the potentialities of good for the exceptional evil. In the words of (Miskimmon,2017) the opposition of two big powers are possible , but it hopes for regulating the opposition by maintaining the power symmetry in the era of competition. 

Case for bipolarity

The distinguished case of Bipolarity is the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union, in which both the poles dominate each other during the second half of the twentieth century. This leads to the development of two blocs and the countries are forced to choose between the two camps. (Hill,2017) The conflicts of interest between the two blocs arise and create the climate of fear among other countries of the world. The ultimate result is the long term of international tension which led to the cause of full-scale war between the United States and the USSR.


Multipolarity is defined as the distribution of power in which the involvement of more than two nation states are there in terms of military, economic and cultural influence. In the words of (Jackson,2016) he defined that multipolar systems are more stable in comparison to the bipolar systems. This system is more stable due to the reason that big powers can attain more power through associations. On the other side Knorr,2017 focus on the concept of security and states that in the multipolar system the countries will focus on the fears, and unnecessarily have to compromise with their security.

Case for multipolarity

The recent case of multipolarity is seen in the East Asia, which is characterized by the weak alliances, in which the rise of some players will represent the serious instability in the coming future. The decline in the power of the US and the rise of the power of China in terms of high range missiles will lead to the threatening for Japan. Japan is also having a rivalry in past with China. India is also seen as the third pole of the multipolarity world till 2050(Virmani) therefore the return of multipolarity will lead to the instability among the big powers of the world. But the power rivalry will be seen as the source for the future multipolar world.

Implication of the world order of the rise of China

The rise of China as the economic and political power of the world is seen as the most important development in the politics of the world. (Carranza,2016) This situation will create the power transition from the west to the east in terms of shifting of the landscape from the unipolar world to the bipolar world. The rise of China will lead to creating the conflictual situations in the International, regional and the local domains. In future, China will be acting as the bilateral and the multilateral player in the international field, by building the legacy of its nation. ( 2018) On an ongoing basis, China is creating authority, status and political power by actively participating in the liberal order. For example, the country is taking lead in the North Korea Nuclear debates and cooperating with the bilateral relationships with the country like Canada. The rapidly growing economy may be the alarming sign for the neighboring countries like the USA as the china is growing economically in terms of global producer, which is not necessarily threatening but also brings mutual benefits for China and the other countries. Multipolarity,2018. The exports of China is accounted for 56% which means that China is in the center of the global production. China is providing economic opportunities for the economic partners rather than providing threats. If China will become the global market like the USA at present, it would be more powerful for the China political and economic influence. The growth in the local demands will lead to the reduction of Chinese economic dependency on the foreign market. China is becoming the strong competitor in the technology and capital-intensive industries, which will increase the influence of China in the global economy. The move is made by the Chinese government, to move the US to the world’s hegemonic leader. China has also made interests in relation to the trade and oil with the Syrian government. China's relationship with Iran as close partners in trading is a future development prospect for the energy need in terms of sustainable development.(Towards a Multi-Polar International System: Which Prospects for Global Peace?. (2018).  The two countries are having a comparative advantage in industries, as they are having complementary relations with each other. The industrial structure of China is moving towards the capital and technology focused industries, which leads to the overall development of the country. At present China is challenging the US by the using of tactics like dishonoring US unilateralism and promoting the multilateral concept, by participating in the organizations in which the US involvement is not there, pursuing the soft power concept in the world of developing countries .Through these actions, the country is changing the existing era and set implications for the world economy.


To conclude the study, we will state that the concepts of unipolarity, bipolarity, and multipolarity are creating competition in the world economy and at the same time leads to conflictial situations. International politics is regarded as the main force of globalization .The countries are using these polarization concepts for increasing their power in the world economy. Like in the present time China is developing the multipolarization concept by dominating the US unipolarity in the market. China is creating dominating market for the countries by developing the strong production of technical goods and taking the market by 56% which make it a global producer.


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