For 21st-Century Problems, States Seek Partnerships, not Alliances

NATO defense ministers meet to discuss the Ukraine crisis, Brussels, Belgium, June 25, 2015 (NATO photo).
NATO defense ministers meet to discuss the Ukraine crisis, Brussels, Belgium, June 25, 2015 (NATO photo).
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Today’s international system is a confusing and hybrid mix of concepts about how states interact and manage their relations. Since the end of the Cold War, the absolute and relative importance of alliances is increasingly being questioned, and new forms of ad hoc cooperation that do not assume permanent shared interests have emerged. Above all, there’s no longer one rule book to govern interstate relations. Instead states in the 21st century work across a full spectrum of approaches, from insistence on absolute state sovereignty on one end of the spectrum to regional integration on the other, with a range of […]

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