A persistent concern that has gripped
analysts of the post-Cold War era is
that the dangerous but orderly state
of world affairs that followed World
War II, thanks to the hierarchical
hegemonic character of the world
system, would collapse and lead to a
new era of uncertainty and increased
conflict. It is highly debatable whether
the Cold War era was orderly, as one
can immediately point to the limited
but costly proxy conflicts in Southeast
Asia, Afghanistan, and a stream of
wars in the Middle East. Yet, in some
circles, there was a nostalgia that the
Cold War system provided a certain
level of stability, and that uncertainty
loomed ahead.1 While the tragedy of
a great power confrontation seems to
have been avoided so far, apprehension
about uncertainty and low-level conflicts
with new asymmetrical nontraditional
security threats acquiring a global character
seem to have been realized.