chapter  4
Hobbes’s dilemma and institutional change in world politics: sovereignty in international society 1995
ByROBERT O. KEOHANE
Pages 25

Any coherent attempt to understand contemporary international relations must include an analysis of the impact of two factors: long-term tendencies toward globalization – the intensification of transnational as well as interstate relations – and the more immediate effects of the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. For the United States, accustomed to being both relatively autonomous and a leader of a “free world” coalition, both of these changes have immediate impact. Indeed, the very concept of world leadership is up for grabs as it has not been since World War II. Like other contributors to this volume, I do not expect the end of the Cold War to lead to a new world order, which President George Bush sought to celebrate in 1991. Voltaire is reputed to have said that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire, and one could say about the new world order that it is neither new, nor global in scope, nor an order. A focus on the effects of the end of the Cold War, and of globalization, is more fruitful.