Polarity in the International System: International Relations
The term polarity in international relations refers to the number of centers of power (typically states, but might also include alliance blocs, IGOs, or other non-state actors) in the international system at any given time. For instance, the Cold War is often characterized as a period of bipolarity due to the dominance of the United States and Soviet Union (although some now claim it was a period of unipolarity), and the first half of the 19th century is often viewed as a period of multipolarity due to the presence of several powerful European states. Your task in this paper is to describe the current and future polarity of the international system. First and foremost, are we currently in a situation of unipolarity, bipolarity, tripolarity, multipolarity, or some other type of arrangement? In addition, you also should discuss what you expect the polarity of the international system will be twenty years from now, based on any recent trends or patterns you observe. There is no right or wrong answer, but you must support your position with clear argumentation as well as data and evidence
You may want to begin your research by reviewing discussions of power, polarity, and other relevant terms from the assigned readings, which also will cite other related scholarship. You then should formulate your primary argument(s) and conduct additional research to help you justify your argument(s) and to support your argument(s) with facts and evidence. You are particularly encouraged to find additional academic scholarship (from periodicals, academic journals, or books) that speaks to this issue, as well as data on the power of various actors as well as power distributions in the international system.
You should use footnotes or parenthetical citations (it’s your choice) to cite any ideas, quotations, data, or other unique information that you include in your paper. In addition, you should list in a bibliography all of the sources you consulted in researching and writing your paper (the bibliography does not count as part of the page limit). The text of your paper should be no more than 5 pages long, double spaced, with one-inch margins and 12-point font (the bibliography, and any tables, title page, endnotes, etc. do not count toward the 5-page limit).