A bimonthly magazine on international affairs, edited in Germany's capital

The Return of Great Power Politics

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As the balance of power shifts away from the United States, favoring China and others, the European Union must adapt to a new world order – and try to be a major player.

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© REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Despite what you may have heard, the world is not on the verge of a second Cold War. The annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in the Donbass are not characteristic of the strategic immobility of the Cold War era – they are dynamic events, and they are manifestations of a regional crisis, one which will not in itself reshape the global system.

What we are witnessing is instead a return to Great Power politics, a corollary of the emerging multipolar world. The major players here are a United States defending its primacy, an increasingly powerful China considering its options, a Russia desperate to remain influential, and a disparate and confused European Union. These powers coexist with India, Brazil, Japan, Indonesia, and Nigeria – nations not yet able to play a full-spectrum global role but important regionally, whose policies can enhance or curtail the capabilities of the greater powers.

Read the complete article in the Berlin Policy Journal App – July/August 2015 issue.

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