Now, 25 years after the end of the Cold War, the global peace order is going through renewed geopolitical changes that are less dramatic than those in 1989 but probably equally important. The post-Cold War Western dominance of global affairs and the singular US superpower status are eroding, making room for a more diffuse multi-polar world with many different global and regional players. Post-Cold War hopes that the winning political system of liberal democracy would spread around the world and bring global peace have turned out an illusion. To the contrary, Western efforts and military interventions to promote liberal democracy have increasingly resulted in the destabilization of countries and whole regions. At the same time, intra-state armed conflicts have, probably for the first time in human history, replaced inter-state wars as the main threats to global peace and security. This has created a completely new global threat scenario. Now, weak and corrupt governments are challenged by powerful belligerent non-state actors, be they Islamic extremist groups, other ideologically-motivated groups, separatist movements, or even transnational crime syndicates. Globalization has turned these local intra-state armed conflicts into international security concerns.
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