• Oluwaseun Tella School of Social Sciences, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa.
Keywords: Polarity, Uni-interpolarity, United States, BRIC, MINT, Interdependence


The structure of power in the international system has generated interest amongst scholars around the globe. Some argue that the international system is unipolar. This is premised on the notion that the United States is the only state with preponderance in all components of power – military, economic, technological and cultural. Other scholars view global politics through a multipolar lens. Unlike the ‘primacists’ (proponents of unipolarity), they posit that the United States has lost its primacy in the global arena and that new players have emerged that compete with it. Furthermore, many scholars posit that the structure of power in today’s international system has become so sophisticated and complex that traditional models such as unipolarity, bipolarity and multipolarity are insufficient to explain the reality in contemporary international realpolitik. It is in this context that Huntington’s uni-multipolarity, Grevi’s interpolarity and Haass’ nonpolarity can be located. Using both primary and secondary data, this article explores the structure of power in contemporary international politics. It seeks to determine whether or not existing models are adequate to explain the dynamics of such politics. It concludes that uni-interpolarity (a hybrid of uni-multipolarity and interpolarity) best explains the features of today’s global politics.

Author Biography

Oluwaseun Tella, School of Social Sciences, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa.
Postdoctoral fellow


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How to Cite
Tella, Oluwaseun. 2015. “POLARITY IN CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL POLITICS: A UNI-INTERPOLAR ORDER?”. Politeia 34 (2), 4-23. https://doi.org/10.25159/0256-8845/659.