Multi-Polarity in History

In the discipline of international relations (IR), a great power is a state which excels in “size of population and territory, resource endowment, economic capability, military strength, political stability and competence” These characteristics, also referred as power capabilities, assure a great power the ability to exert its economic, military, political and social influence on a global scale. The distribution of power capabilities in the international system determines the number of the great powers and, consequently, the polarity of the international system. If the great powers are more than two, the system will be multi-polar; if they are two, it will be bipolar, while systems with only one great power are considered unipolar.

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