„In the post-Cold War world, for the first time in history, global politics has become multipolar and multicivilizational.“

—  Samuel P. Huntington, Context: In the post-Cold War world, for the first time in history, global politics has become multipolar and multicivilizational. During most of human existence, contacts between civilizations were intermittent or nonexistent. Then, with the beginning of the modern era, about A. D. 1500, global politics assumed two dimensions. For over four hundred years, the nation states of the West — Britain, France, Spain, Austria, Prussia, Germany, the United States, and others — constituted a multipolar international system within Western civilization and interacted, competed, and fought wars with each other. At the same time, Western nations also expanded, conquered, colonized, or decisively influenced every other civilization. During the Cold War global politics became bipolar and the world was divided into three parts. A group of mostly wealthy and democratic societies, led by the United States, was engaged in a pervasive ideological, political, economic, and, at times, military competition with a group of somewhat poorer communist societies associated with and led by the Soviet Union. Much of this conflict occurred in the Third World outside these two camps, composed of countries which often were poor, lacked political stability, were recently independent, and claimed to be nonaligned. In the late 1980s the communist world collapsed, and the Cold War international system became history. In the post-Cold War world, the most important distinctions among peoples are not ideological, political, or economic. They are cultural. Peoples and nations are attempting to answer the most basic question humans can face: Who are we? And they are answering that question in the traditional way human beings have answered it, by reference to the things that mean most to them. People define themselves in terms of ancestry, religion, language, history, values, customs, and institutions. They identify with cultural groups: tribes, ethnic groups, religious communities, nations, and, at the broadest level, civilizations. People use politics not just to advance their interests but also to define their identity. We know who we are only when we know who we are not and often only when we know whom we are against. Nation states remain the principal actors in world affairs. Their behavior is shaped as in the past by the pursuit of power and wealth, but it is also shaped by cultural preferences, commonalities, and differences. The most important groupings of states are no longer the three blocs of the Cold War but rather the world’s seven or eight major civilizations. Non-Western societies, particularly in East Asia, are developing their economic wealth and creating the basis for enhanced military power and political influence. As their power and self-confidence increase, non-Western societies increasingly assert their own cultural values and reject those “imposed” on them by the West. Ch. 1: The New Era in World Politics, § 2 : A Multipolar, Multicivilizational World
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—  Al Gore 45th Vice President of the United States 1948
Context: We are now in a new era. To label this time "the post-Cold War era" belies its uniqueness and its significance. We are now in a Global Age. Like it or not, we live in an age when our destinies and the destinies of billions of people around the globe are increasingly intertwined. When our grand domestic and international challenges are also intertwined. We should neither bemoan nor naively idealize this new reality. We should deal with it.

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„I have hope because the positive aspects of globalization are enabling nations and peoples to become politically, economically and socially interdependent, making war an increasingly unacceptable option.“

—  Mohamed ElBaradei Egyptian law scholar and diplomat, former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Nobel Peace... 1942
Context: The picture I have painted today may have seemed somewhat grim. Let me conclude by telling you why I have hope. I have hope because the positive aspects of globalization are enabling nations and peoples to become politically, economically and socially interdependent, making war an increasingly unacceptable option. Among the 25 members of the European Union, the degree of economic and socio-political dependencies has made the prospect of the use of force to resolve differences almost absurd. The same is emerging with regard to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, with some 55 member countries from Europe, Central Asia and North America. Could these models be expanded to a world model, through the same creative multilateral engagement and active international cooperation, where the strong are just and the weak secure?

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„We no longer have to search for a name for the post-Cold War era. It will henceforth be known as the age of terrorism.“

—  Charles Krauthammer American journalist 1950
Context: We no longer have to search for a name for the post-Cold War era. It will henceforth be known as the age of terrorism. Organized terror has shown what it can do; execute the single greatest massacre in American history, shut down the greatest power on the globe and send its leaders into underground shelters. All this, without even resorting to chemical, biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction. This is a formidable enemy. To dismiss it as a bunch of cowards perpetrating senseless acts of violence is complacent nonsense. People willing to kill thousands of innocents while they kill themselves are not cowards. They are deadly, vicious warriors and need to be treated as such. Nor are their acts of violence senseless. They have a very specific aim: to avenge alleged historical wrongs and to bring the great American satan to its knees. Chapter 14 : The Age of Holy Terror, "September 11, 2001" "To War, Not to Court" in The Washington Post (12 September 2001) https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/2001/09/12/to-war-not-to-court/86d5f7a6-b901-4a70-93be-01e718471169<!-- also "This is Not Crime, This is War" http://townhall.com/columnists/charleskrauthammer/2001/09/12/this_is_not_crime,_this_is_war -->

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„The idea of democratizing the entire world order has become a powerful socio-political force. At the same time, the scientific and technological revolution has turned many economic, food, energy, environmental, information and population problems, which only recently we treated as national or regional ones, into global problems.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 1931
Context: We are witnessing most profound social change. Whether in the East or the South, the West or the North, hundreds of millions of people, new nations and states, new public movements and ideologies have moved to the forefront of history. Broad-based and frequently turbulent popular movements have given expression, in a multidimensional and contradictory way, to a longing for independence, democracy and social justice. The idea of democratizing the entire world order has become a powerful socio-political force. At the same time, the scientific and technological revolution has turned many economic, food, energy, environmental, information and population problems, which only recently we treated as national or regional ones, into global problems. Thanks to the advances in mass media and means of transportation, the world seems to have become more visible and tangible. International communication has become easier than ever before. Speech to the UN General Assembly (7 December 1988)

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—  Gloria Steinem American feminist and journalist 1934
Context: I like to say that the last five-to-ten thousand years has been an experiment that failed and it’s now time to declare the first meeting of the post-patriarchal, post-racist, post-nationalist age. So let’s add “post-theological.” Why not?

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