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

The Return of Great Power Politics


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.


© 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.