Analytical base and framework
National imperialistic heritage of great power (NIH-index) describes the spiritual heritage and collective mental status of a nation state based on its historical experience and knowledge of being empire and military might, in other words, the readiness, willingness and determination of a nation state to become and stay as a great power on the international scene.
Although this feature is of non-materialistic nature, it will “speed up or slow down” the process of a state to become a great power.
The present great powers and NIH-index:
- The United States 10 points: a robust base for being and staying as a great power
- Russia 10 points: a robust base for being and staying as a great power
- China 8 points: a good base for becoming/being and staying as a great power
The present three great powers, the US, China and Russia have all the sufficient resources, political will and capacity as well as military know-how, capacity and capability to proceed as a great power and keep that position also in the long-term future.
Academic question: where are we going?
According to present understanding in 2019, large number of researchers and scholars see that the present position of international system, the American unipolarity, appears to be in flux and the present liberal world order that was initially established after WWII and spectacularly confirmed after the Cold War seems to be in peril. Russian and particularly Chinese scholars see the US unipolarity in severe transformation and fading away.
Despite the compelling evidence that major change is taking place and further accelerates in speed, there is little agreement among scholars on what kind of international order is in the making or indeed how best to meet many emerging challenges.
The transformation of the existing international system has been debated for some time in the academic literature. There is a significant and growing literature on the crisis of liberal order, great power management and the role to be played by the current unipolar hegemon – the United States.
There is a great difference between spreading a world order in a unipolar, bipolar or multipolar international system, both with respect to political projects and the leadership dimension.
In the case of unipolarity, the world order holds or is closely holding a hegemonic position, although not unchallenged, as many states may have incentive to counter the influence of the sole superpower.
The cornerstones of the US political projects have been liberal democracy and the free market and on the other hand a superior military power.