Current problems of Europe

Clash of fragments? The influence of fragmentation of world order on the revival of rivalry between blocks

Скриба А.С.

Skriba Andrei Sergeevich – Ph.D. in Political Sciences, Head of the Research and Training Laboratory for Political Geography and Contemporary Geopolitics, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, National Research University «Higher School of Economics».


Fragmentation of the world is a phenomenon that can hardly be questioned. After the end of the Cold War, there were several options for the evolution of the international system, including its movement towards greater universality and increasing the importance of global institutions. However, the diversity of international problems and the specifics of their solution (or non-solution) in different regions of the world, as well as the lack of a unified and universal approach to crisis prevention – all this indicates the fragmentation of the world community into regions, associations and «clubs». Past experience, including that gained during the Cold War, makes one think that the fragmentation of the world will lead to its new division into military-political blocs, which will become a logical continuation of economic integration, and to the resumption of geopolitical competition between the blocs and their leaders. Yet such an assumption has two serious drawbacks. Firstly, such an approach is Western-centric: it extrapolates the Euro-Atlantic experience to other regions, where relations between countries historically have developed according to their own rules, not necessarily in line with aggressive competition. Secondly, this assumption is historically dependent: it is determined by the situation of the Cold War, that is, a specific and very unique period of international relations. Given the aforementioned limitations, as well as the continued high popularity of such assumptions about the ways of further evolution of the international system, the article aims to study the relationship between the processes of regionalism and fragmentation of the world order that have occurred in recent decades, the phenomenon of division into blocs and the existence of regional blocs in their conventional understanding.


regionalism, blocs, competition, BRICS, CSTO, integration, NATO, CIS.

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