The post-Cold War world is marked by several characteristics, including the new division with the multipolar question, neoliberalism , globalization and the economic blocs .
World Order of Cold War
To understand the current world order, it is necessary to remember the old world order from 1945 to 1989, marked by the Cold War between Soviet socialism and American capitalism, the world being bipolar or dualistic. In this order, the division of the world was:
Countries First World or developed: marked by classical industrialization (First and Second Industrial Revolutions) and high standard of living, low birth rates and mortality. Examples: USA, Japan, West Germany, …
Countries Second World or socialist planned: marked by state control in the economy and authoritarian regimes. Examples: Soviet Union, Cuba, Poland, China, East Germany …
Third World Countries or underdeveloped countries: marked by the colonization of exploitation at the beginning of capitalism, with high birth rates and mortality rates predominating. Examples: Brazil, Paraguay, South Africa, India, Saudi Arabia …
Post-Cold War world order
To understand the modern world and predict economic trends, it is important to deepen knowledge about the main features of this new order.
The new world order was established as a result of the crisis of real socialism (Second World), which culminated in the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany under the capitalist market economy and the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics USSR) in fifteen new countries that then went through a process of transition to capitalism.
These events crucial to the Second World represented the moment of transition from real socialism(represented by the totalitarian state and planned economy) to the capitalist economy in almost all socialist countries. The bipolar structure of the Cold War order disappears, and a new order begins under the hegemony of capitalism .
In this post-Cold War world, a famous polemic emerges: a monopolar or multipolar world. Watching the cartoon, Uncle Sam, symbol of the American way of life , reinforces the controversy:
The post-Cold War order is monopolar for those who believe in military supremacy, ie the United States as a single, and therefore hegemonic, military superpower. The argument was reinforced after the September 11, 2001 attacks, when the United States attacked Afghanistan (2001/2002) and Iraq (2003), claiming an offensive against global terrorism ( “axis of evil” ).
For most intellectuals, the post-Cold War order is multipolar , taking the economic factor as a reference, emphasizing three major centers of power: the US, Japan, and the European Union. The argument is reinforced by the increase in China’s share of world trade.
It is observed, by the map below, the new division of the world into rich North and poor South.
The map shows a proposal to divide the world according to the New World Order : the North , formed by rich or developed countries, and the South , composed of poor or underdeveloped nations.
This proposal does not obey a criterion of geographical position, because, cartographically, the division in hemispheres, made by the line of the Equator, is not taken into account.
The North bloc is characterized by the predominance of industrialized countries, with high urbanization, high gross domestic product and good living conditions of the population.
The Southern bloc would be made up of poorer nations, mostly non-industrialized, with low urbanization and an agro-mining economic base. Within this group, we can highlight some subdivisions, that is, industrialized countries, agro-mining countries and marginalized or excluded countries.