The dramatic television pictures of the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, that powerful symbol of the Cold War, may already have faded from memory, but the hopes and expectations generated by the set of events between 1989 and 1991 known collectively as the end of the Cold War, have not. Accounts of world politics written in the 1990s have all highlighted the idea that we are living in an exciting new world in which political leaders struggle to come to terms with distinctively new problems. But, commentators also suggest, this new world holds out the promise at least of solving other problems hitherto regarded as intractable. This book introduces the reader to world politics by providing an understanding of issues that are at the heart of the agenda of contemporary world politics. Our assumption is that the identity of those issues, the general problems that they represent, and the reasons for their location on the international agenda will tell us much about the nature of world politics at the end of the twentieth century.
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