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Evolution and Transformation of the International System during Globalization Period

Author: XiaLiPing
Tutor: YuWeiMin
School: East China Normal University
Course: World History
Keywords: international system trend of globalization strategic relations between major powers
CLC: D815
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 1043
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Abstract


International system is one of the important issues that should be analyzed in world history studies. Making a thorough study on the evolution of international systems is beneficial for correct understanding of the current transformation of the international system.Ancient regional international systems had different features of their own. From the Western Han Dynasty of China to the late Qing Dynasty, ancient regional international system in East Asia was the biggest in covering area and in population, and relatively stable in the structure. Because China has been the largest country in East Asia and the enormous influence of her politics and economy and long-term, splendid national culture, there was the relatively independent international system of tribune with China as its core in East Asia in the ancient times.In the second half of the 1600s, in Europe modern international system was established, including the Westphalia System from the second half of the 1600s to the end of the 1700s and the Vienna System from 1815 to 1914. Because the colonial expansion of the European powers to Asia, Africa and Latin America and the global impacts of Capitalist commodity economy, European regional international system has in fact developed into the international system in the whole world since 1840sThe author has compared the modern European international systems with the ancient East Asian international systems, arguing that the two have very different features:■ the modern European international systems had existed with the background of the initial stage of the Capitalism, while the ancient East Asian international systems had existed with the background of feudal society;■ the modern European international systems had the balance of power and concert of major powers as its major features, while the ancient East Asian international systems had the asymmetrical family style as its major features;■ the modern European international systems had been based on the equality of sovereign states within the systems, while the ancient East Asian international systems had been based on dominant power not taking initiative to interfere in the internal issues of other countries;■ the modern European international systems had readjusted their internal relations between countries according to the international law, while the ancient East Asian international systems had bound and readjusted their internal relations between countries according to the propriety; ■ powers in the modern European international systems had invaded and colonized the outside-system countries, while China in the ancient East Asian international systems had basically pursued the policy of friendliness and defense.The contemporary world systems which human being have experienced included the Versailles-Washington System after the First World War and the Yalta System after the Second World War. Since the end of the Cold War, with the rapid development of economic globalization, the world has entered the period of globalization, which theme is peace and development. The trend of globalization has important impacts on the international system, spurring it currently in deep transformation. The current transformation of the international system will experience long-term transit.Based on the analyzing of the four major parts of the current international system, the author argues that there are some features of transformation of the international system, including the pluralism of international actors; the diversification of international power structures; the co-existence of the models of international interactions; and the development of the international mechanisms when gaming between parties.The international power structures are the foundation of the international system, and one of the most important factors in the international power structures is the strategic relations between major powers. The author analyzes some of the most important trilateral relations and one of the most important bilateral relations — Sino-U.S. relations - in the international power structures and the strategic relations between major powers, and their impacts on the transformation of the international system, arguing that at present the strategic relations between major powers have been in deep and unprecedented changes, and they have both mutual cooperation and mutual competition, and both mutual coordination and being on guard to each other. In order to establish the new global framework of security with mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and mutual respects, it is necessary to build up the mechanism of strategic stability between major powers.The current transformation of the international system towards one with mutual interdependence as its major features has provided China with the important strategic opportunity. From the long-time views, the international system with mutual interdependence as its major feature will further develop into the one with integration between countries as its major feature, which will become the foundation to further establish the harmonious world.

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