Transforming of Political Spaces: Toward Polycentric World Order

Transforming of Political Spaces:
Toward Polycentric World Order

Pantin V.I.,

Head of Department, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences,

elibrary_id: 74145 | ORCID: |

Lapkin V.V.,

Leading Researcher, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences,

elibrary_id: 43429 | ORCID: 0000-0002-0775-2630 | RESEARCHER_ID: AAB-9386-2021

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2018.06.04

For citation:

Pantin V.I., Lapkin V.V. Transforming of Political Spaces: Toward Polycentric World Order. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No. 6. P. 47-66. (In Russ.).


The article analyzes the key factors, trends and prospects for the transformation of political spaces in the context of transition to a polycentric world order. In this, transformation of political spaces is understood primarily as a change in the structure of relations of political actors operating in the politico-institutional, socio-political, and the sphere of identity policy, resulting in a change in their geopolitical significance and status in the world politics. The authors emphasize the following factors due to their significant impact on the transformation and reconfiguration of political spaces: 1) increasing role in the world politics and economy of non-Western countries; 2) migration crisis and the cleavage among the EU and U.S. elites; 3) phenomenon of secession, separatism and “new nationalism” in the EUcountries; 4) aggravation of U.S. relations with Russia, China and the EU; 5) contradictory consequences of technological, social and political innovations. The authors focus on the analytical and forecasting potential of the institutional, world-system and systemevolutionary approaches to the study of the reshuffling of political spaces – both that already take place and that are likely to happen in the coming 25 years. The authors show that in the modern era, the reformatting of political spaces (including rising separatism, regional conflicts and geopolitical shifts) relates primarily with the competitive dynamics of world or regional centers of political, economic and military power that shape various regional alliances and associations around them. Based on the analysis of this trend in the selected temporal perspective, the authors outline and describe the most probable scenarios of large-scale reshaping of political spaces and geopolitical shifts towards the polycentric world-order.

political spaces; transformation of political spaces; world order; polycentrism; spatial identity; separatism; political institutions; the world power center; regional unions; geopolitical and geo-economic revolution; European Union; U.S.; Russia; China.


Acharya A. The end of American World Order. Cambridge: Polity Press. 2014. 150 p.

Aivazov A.E., Pantin V.I. From the Clash of Civilizations to their Partnership: The New World Order and the Problem of the UN Reforming. – Istoriya i sovremennost’. 2018. No. 1-2. P. 88-108. (In Russ.)

Akaev A., Pantin V. Technological Innovations and Future Shifts in International Politics. – International Studies Quarterly. 2014. Vol. 58. No. 4. P. 867-872.

Akimov A.V., Yakovlev A.I. Tsivilizatsii v XXI veke: problemy i perspektivy razvitiya [Civilizations in the 21st Century: Problems and Prospects for Development]. Moscow: Moscow University Press. 2012. 248 p. (In Russ.)

Arbatova N. Future of European Integration in the Context of Internal and External Crises. – Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2017. Vol. 61. No. 10. P. 57-65. (In Russ.)

Arrighi G. The Long Twentieth Century. Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times. New York: Verso. 1994. 400 p.

Arrighi G. Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twentyfirst Century. London, New York: Verso. 2007. 418 p.

Bahramian B. Transition to a New World Order: What We Leave Behind for the Next Generation. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse. 2012. 308 p.

Brooks S.G., Wohlforth W.C. World Out of Balance: International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2008. 248 p.

Colgan J.D., Keohane R.O. The Liberal Order is Rigged: Fix It Now or Watch It Wither. – Foreign Affairs. 2017. Vol. 96. No. 3. P. 36-44. URL: (accessed 07.08.2018).

Duncombe C., Dunne T. After Liberal World Order. – International Affairs. 2018. Vol. 94. No. 1. P. 25-42.

Etzioni A. The Devolution of American Power. – The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs. 2012. Vol. 37. No. 1. P. 13-34. URL: (accessed 07.08.2018).

Ferguson N.C. The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die. (Russ. ed.: Ferguson N. Velikoe vyrozhdenie. Kak razrushayutsya instituty i gibnut gosudarstva. Moscow: AST Publishers; Corpus. 2016. 192 p.)

Frank A.G. ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age. Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press. 1998. 416 p.

Gordon R.J. The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2016. 784 p.

Grinin L.E. The Tiger and Dragon. Development Models and Perspectives of India and China. – Journal of Globalization Studies. 2013. Vol. 4. No. 1. P. 5-31. URL: (accessed 07.08.2018).

Grinin L.E., Korotayev A.V. Social Macroevolution: Growth of the World System Integrity and a System of Phase Transitions. – World Futures. 2009. Vol. 65. No. 7. P. 477-506.

Grinin L.E., Korotaev A.V. Blizhnii Vostok, Indiya i Kitai v globalizatsionnykh protsessakh [The Middle East, India and China in globalization processes]. Moscow: Uchitel Publishing House. 2016. 496 p. (In Russ.)

Erasov B.S. Tsivilizatsii: Universalii i samobytnost’ [Civilizations: Universals and Identity]. Moscow: Nauka Publishers. 2002. 522 p. (In Russ.)

Huntington S.P. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1996. 368 p.

Ikenberry G.J. Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2011. 392 p.

Ikenberry G.J. The End of Liberal International Order? – International Affairs. 2018a. Vol. 94. No. 1. P. 7-23.

Ikenberry G.J. Reflections on After Victory. – The British Journal of Politics and International Relations. 2018b. Article first published online: August 10, 2018. URL: (accessed 12.08.2018).

Ikenberry G.J., Mastanduno M., Wohlforth W.C. Introduction: Unipolarity, State Behavior, and Systemic Consequences. – World Politics. 2009. Vol. 61. No. 1. P. 1-27.

Ikenberry G.J., Parmar I., Stokes D. Introduction: Ordering the World? Liberal Internationalism in Theory and Practice. – International Affairs. 2018. Vol. 94. No. 1. P. 1-5.

Jervis R. Unipolarity: A Structural Perspective. – World Politics. 2009. Vol. 61. No. 1. P. 188-213.

Kai He. Undermining Adversaries: Unipolarity, Threat Perception, and Negative Balancing Strategies after the Cold War. – Security Studies. 2012. Vol. 21. No. 2. P. 154-191.

Kholodkovskii K.G. Pretsedent Breksita: problemy vykhoda Velikobritanii iz Evropeiskogo soyuza [Precedent Brexit: the Problem of Britain’s Withdrawal from the European Union]. – Prognozirovanie sotsial’nopoliticheskikh protsessov i konfliktov v stranakh Zapada i v Rossii. Ed. by V.I. Pantin, I.S. Semenenko [Forecasting Social and Political Processes and Conflicts in the West and in Russia. Ed. by V.I. Pantin, I.S. Semenenko, V.V. Lapkin, K.G. Kholodkovsky]. Moscow: IMEMO RAN. 2016. 183 р. (In Russ.)

Klaus V. The Future of International Development Institutions: Can Their Failures Be Even Greater? – Mir peremen. 2016. No. 1. P. 8-10. (In Russ.)

Lapkin V.V., Pantin V.I. Geoekonomicheskaya politika i global’naya politicheskaya istoriya [Geoeconomic Policy and Global Political History]. Moscow: Olita Publishers. 2014. 280 p. (In Russ.)

Layne Ch. The Unipolar Illusion Revisited: The Coming End of the United States’ Unipolar Moment. – International Security. 2006. Vol. 31. No. 2. P. 7-41.

Layne Ch. This Time It’s Real: The End of Unipolarity and the Pax Americana. – International Studies Quarterly. 2012. Vol. 56. No. 1. P. 203-213.

Mann J. The Obamians. The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power. New York: Penguin Books. 2012. 416 p.

Mearsheimer J.J. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 2001. 592 p.

Mir 2035. Global’nyi prognoz (pod red. A.A. Dynkina) [World 2035. Global Forecast. Ed. by A.A. Dynkin]. Moscow: Magistr; Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences. 2017. 352 p. (In Russ.)

Modelski G. Long Cycles in World Politics. London: Macmillan. 1987. 244 p.

Modelski G. The Evolution of Global Politics (I). – Polis. Political Studies. 2005. No. 3. P. 62-82. (In Russ.)

Modelski G. The Evolution of Global Politics (II). – Polis. Political Studies. 2005. No. 4. P. 124-142. (In Russ.)

Modelski G., Thompson W.R. Leading Sectors and World Powers: The Coevolution of Global Economics and Politics. Columbia, SC.: University of South Carolina Press. 1996. 263 p.

Monteiro N.P. Unrest Assured: Why Unipolarity Is Not Peaceful. – International Security. 2011/2012. Vol. 36. No. 3. P. 9-40.

Monteiro N.P. Theory of Unipolar Politics (Cambridge Studies in International Relations). New York. Cambridge University Press. 2014. 286 p.

Multipolarity in the 21st Century: A New World Order. Ed. by D. Murray, D. Brown. New York. Routledge. 2012. 224 p.

Okunev I.Yu. Territorial and Spatial Identity: New Approach to the Basic Concepts. – Comparative Politics Russia. 2018. Vol. 9. No. 1. P. 18-25. (In Russ.)

Pantin V.I. Period 2017-2025: A Turning Point in the World Development. – Istoriya i sovremennost’. 2017. No. 1. P. 3-27. (In Russ.)

Pantin V.I., Lapkin V.V. Istoricheskoe prognozirovanie v XXI veke: Tsikly Kondrat’eva, evolyutsionnye tsikly i perspektivy mirovogo razvitiya [Historical Forecasting in the 21st century: Kondratieff’s Cycles, Evolutionary Cycles and Prospects for World Development]. Dubna: Phoenix-plus. 2014. 456 p. (In Russ.)

Prokhorenko I.L. Prostranstvennyi podkhod v issledovanii mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenii [Spatial Approach in International Relations Studies]. Moscow: IMEMO. 2015. 111 p. (In Russ.)

Pushkaryova G.V. Ideas and Values as a Method of Constructing Symbolic Space of the National Identity. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No. 5. P. 156-173. (In Russ.)

Regulirovanie etnopoliticheskoi konfliktnosti i podderzhanie grazhdanskogo soglasiya v usloviyakh kul’turnogo raznoobraziya: modeli, podkhody, praktiki. Analiticheskii doklad (otv. red. I.S. Semenenko) [Regulating Interethnic Conflicts and Building Civic Concord in a World of Cultural Diversity: Models, Approaches, and Practices. Analytical report. Ed. by I. Semenenko]. Moscow: IMEMO. 2017. 229 p.

Reich S., Lebow R.N. Good-Bye Hegemony! Power and Influence in the Global System. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2014. 208 p.

Schweller R.L., Pu X. After Unipolarity, China’s Vision of International Order in an Era of US Decline. – International Security. 2011. Vol. 36. No. 1. P. 41-72.

Semenenko I.S. Identity Politics and Identities in Politics: Interethnic Perspectives in a European Context. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No. 4. P. 8-28 (In Russ.)

Shakleina T. Leadership and Contemporary World Order. – International Trends. 2015. Vol. 13. No. 4 (43). P. 6-19.

Steff R., Khoo N. Hard Balancing in the Age of American Unipolarity: The Russian Response to US Ballistic Missile Defense during the Bush Administration (2001-2008). – Journal of Strategic Studies. 2014. Vol. 37. No. 2. P. 222-258.

Stokes D. Trump, American Hegemony and the Future of the Liberal International Order. – International Affairs. 2018. Vol. 94. No. 1. P. 133-150.

Tizzard D.A. American Unipolarity: The Uneven Distribution of Power. – Global Politics Review. 2017. Vol. 3. No. 2. P. 10-25. URL: (accessed 10.08.2018).

Todd S.S. Goliath’s Curse: Coercive Threats and Asymmetric Power. – International Organization. 2010. Vol. 64. No. 4. P. 627-660.

Toohey L., Picker C.B. China in the International Economic Order: New Directions and Changing Paradigms. – China in the International Economic Order: New Directions and Changing Paradigms. Ed. by L. Toohey, C.B. Picker, J. Greenacre. New York; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2015. P. 1-8.

Vainshtein G. Euroscepticism: New Factor of European Politics. – Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya. 2015. Vol. 59. No. 8. P. 40-48. (In Russ.)

Vainshtein G. European Populism in the Late 2010s. – Mirovaya ekonomika I mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya. 2018. Vol. 62. No. 3. P. 29-38. (In Russ.)

Wallerstein I. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. Durham: Duke University Press. 2004. 128 p.

Walt S.M. Taming American Power: The Global Response to US Primacy. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 2005. 320 p.

Waltz K.N. The Emerging Structure of International Politics. – International Security. 1993. Vol. 18. No. 2. P. 44-79.

Zagladin N. Transition Periods in World Politics. – Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya. 2016. Vol. 60. No. 12. P. 27-39. (In Russ.)

Zakaria F. The Post-American World. New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company. 2008. 304 p.

Zin’kina Yu.V., Korotaev A.V. Sotsial’no-demograficheskoe razvitie stran Tropicheskoi Afriki: Klyuchevye faktory riska, modifitsiruemye upravlyayushchie parametry, rekomendatsi [Socio-Demographic Development Countries of Tropical Africa: Key Risk Factors, Modifiable Control Parameters]. Moscow: LENAND Publishers. 2017. 272 p. (In Russ.) 

Content No. 6, 2018

See also:

Simonia N.A., Torkunov A.V.,
New World Order: from Bipolarity to Multipolarity. – Polis. Political Studies. 2015. No3

Lapkin V.V., Pantin V.I.,
Global Dynamics of Political Institutions in the Context of the Destabilizing World Order (cases of the EU and Russia). – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No4

Chebankova E.A.,
New world order: restoration or moral revolution?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No3

Suvakovic U.,
Political parties as traditional mechanisms of representation in modern societies. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No2

Lukin A.V.,
Russia and China in Greater Eurasia. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No5



   2024      2023      2022      2021   
   2020      2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991