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Power, Polarity and Stability in International Relations

            The purpose of this essay is to talk about balance of power in the international scene where polarity plays an important role. It is necessary first to understand what is balance of power, and what constitute a polarized international arena. In the article A Political Science Perspective on the Balance of Power and the Concert, the author Robert Jervis (1992:717) states, "The growth of a nation's power, if it becomes great enough to menace other strong states, will be at least partially self-defeating; the attempt to dominate the international system will call up a counter-balancing coalition that will restrain the state. According to balance of power theory, restraint and stability are not goals of national leaders but are by-products of the pursuit of narrow self-interest."1 Polarity is defined by how the power is distributed in the international scenario. There are three main ways in which one can classify the distribution of power in the international arena, a unipolar, a bipolar and a multipolar world. The intention of this paper is to analyze those three ideas of distribution of power and understand the consequence of each one for the global stability.
             A unipole world is a world where there is only one major source of power that faces no competition in the international landscape. It is when one state has most cultural, economic, and military influence. In a unipolar world there is no alliances for counter-balance the major power. However, the question is to be analyzed is: 'is a unipolar world safe and peaceful in an international scale?' Wohlforth maintain that a unipolar world can be peaceful. In his book The Stability of a Unipolar World, he wrote, "The existing distribution of capabilities generates incentives for cooperation."2 In this assumption, the author does not take in consideration that such cooperation can be a result of oppressed countries that are scared and/or does not have the military and economic power to confront the unipole.

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