The unipolarity question

Foreign Affairs did one of its “ask a bunch of people” polls, asking respondents to evaluate the statement “The global distribution of power today is closer to being unipolar than it is to being bipolar or multipolar.”

I came down as a Disagree, Confidence 5. I’m not confident about any predictions or claims about the world above a certain level, but it seems hard to really see the contemporary international system as closer to unipolarity than to something else. I wrote:
“There is no doubt that the United States retains huge power advantages in the international system. But it’s also the case that countries like China and India have dramatically greater power in particular regions and issue areas than 20 or 30 years ago.”

My University of Chicago Political Science colleagues John Mearsheimer and Paul Poast also came in on the Disagree side of things, though in John’s case, perhaps unsurprisingly, with dramatically greater confidence and lack of waffling, for better and worse.

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