Statesmen chaos, revolutions against dictatorships, ever-changing alliances, and the

Statesmen
of the 20th century seem to have taken one of Machiavelli’s dictum a
bit too seriously; ‘there is no avoiding war: it can only be postponed to the
advantage of others’. With the world having witnessed two World Wars, and the
ensuing Cold War in the second half of the century, many were confident about
the prospects of peace prevailing in the 21st century. 17 years into
this century, with the benefit of the hindsight, one can easily defy the notion
of perpetual peace; rather the world has merely changed the nature of conflict
to engage in. Upsurge of terrorism, undecided states plunging into chaos,
revolutions against dictatorships, ever-changing alliances, and the rising
inequalities between the nations of global north and south are pretty
convincing arguments to accentuate the threat our world faces today. However,
this time the threat does not stick its head in the form of direct engagements
or invasions; rather in the form of proxies. The most important stimulus for
this change in nature of conflict is the technological advancement in terms of
weaponry. With the nuclear proliferation on the rise, even the most developed
nations seldom resort to direct confrontation with third-world rogue states.
One can obviously not ignore the rise in nationalistic sentiments in Europe
where right-wing parties are gaining more popularity than ever witnessed since
the Second World War. Common interests and challenges faced by nations,
nevertheless, might add weight to the arguments of liberalists who see a world
moving towards peace with growing interdependence and engagements through IGOs
and NGOs. Climate Change, for example, staring in the face of this world is a
challenge to all the nations alike. But still, these challenges and
opportunities are seldom exploited to mitigate the tensions arising out of
state interests. One can only hope against hope for this century to be unlike
the previous one where millions perished and several million others were deeply
affected, directly or indirectly, by war, destruction, partisanship, and catastrophes
like famine.