HEGEMONISM AND THE DIMINISHING ROLE OF STATES IN THE EMERGING WORLD ORDER
A CRITICAL ANALYSIS
Keywords:world politics, Hegemon, world order, superpowers
The scenario of world politics has been the pre-eminence and preponderance character of the states in the pursuant of their basic interests over economic and political resources. The inception and delimitation of the states took root in the Westphalia consensus of 1648; its universal character spread across the globe, making the states the principal actors in the international system. The period between 1945 and the demise of the former Soviet Union was characterised by two dominant and superpowers namely USSR and USA. Following the end of cold war, the unipolarity exemplified by the USA has been challenged by the emergence of multipolar powers coupled with emergence of non-state actors that tend to influence the structure of power equations in the world politics. In spite of the trend of prevailing hegemons currently dominating the realm of international relations, it appears that non-state actors tend to diminish the preponderant roles of the states in the world politics. The polemic follows that certain cultural and social forces currently at play in the international realm may erode the pre-eminence of states in the near future. While the realist perspective acknowledges the pre-eminence of state system in the international system, the current scenario evolves certain non-state actors, cultural and social forces that participate and influence the operations and mode of international relations. The level of states’ participation in the international system arises from the strength of their domestic agential powers, which invariably determine and explain the quality of states’ fungibility and international agential capability to deal and handle issues of national interest in the international politics. But these forces are bent to undermine the domestic and international powers and roles of the states in the international system as it presently constituted. The paper adopted a qualitative method in its investigation and anchored its theoretical analysis on balance of power theory. Findings showed that in spite of the avalanche presence of non-state actors in the international system, it is obvious that presently the states still play significant roles in world politics.