Author(s): Liudmyla Mykolaivna Herasina, Mikhail Petrovich Trebin
Subject(s): Security and defense, Military policy, Geopolitics, Peace and Conflict Studies
Published by: Національний юридичний університет імені Ярослава Мудрого
Keywords: international system; “centers of power”; global shifts; geopolitical shifts; international terrorism; hybrid challenges;

Summary/Abstract: Problem setting. The first decades of the XXI century demonstrate the unrestrained, turbulent, even explosive development of the world political process, which raised waves of “color” revolutions, began to distort the national sovereignty of some countries, led to a violation of the international principle of inviolability of postwar borders through military conflicts and “hybrid” wars. It is no longer possible to deny that under modern conditions there is not only a break in the bipolar and unipolar world order, but also a transition to a multipolar world with several centers of influence.Recent research and publications analysis. Empirical approach plays important role in the study of the international systems. It correlates with geopolitical specificity and mainly investigates contemporary interaction of people and states, geopolitical strategies and government tactics within certain geographical regions. Empirical research is characterized by: the desire to specifically explain certain international situation (political, economic, humanitarian), that developed in certain region of the planet, specificity of the systemic connections between global actors; to highlight the level of influence on behavior of the international subjects and decisions of national elites of following factors: socio-humanitarian and economic realities, national potential of the states, cross-regional competition, directions of actions and juridical boundaries regarding interventions of international organizations etc. Serious destructive influence on the contemporary system of international relations is exerted by new wars of the 21st century: wars with terror, cyberwar, “hybrid” wars and so on.Paper objective. The purpose of the article is to seek through systemic, phenomenological and factor-geopolitical analysis to identify the nature of the modern international system and the nature of real and hybrid “drivers” that stimulate its development and, at the same time, turbulence and global shifts. Hence, the research tasks are as follows: according to the ontological parameters to carry out the phenomenology of the “international system”; to systematize the typologies of various international systems; to identify key trends (challenges) of shifts and destructions of the current world order; to substantiate the most significant factors of global turbulence: macro-oscillations of the world system, “geopolitical shifts”, international terrorism, “hybrid” wars, humanitarian collapses (pandemic coronavirus), etc.Paper main body. Contemporary conceptualization of the international systems, in our opinion, demands more accurate phenomenological interpretation, since this is a phenomenon of a special type. First of all, international system is a mega-phenomenon of the social type, which organizes the existence of macro communities of planet in a special, relational way. Secondly, international systems are supercomplex in their content and structure, therefore they have to adapt to each other and to elements of the whole environment (this is characteristic of the whole planetary system and of its regional and sub-regional subsystems). Thirdly, according to Phillippe Braillard, informal and poorly organized nature of the international systems is obvious, because it is not always possible to delineate clearly and definitely between the complex that is being studied and its external environment. Fourth of all, international system has capacity of open formation, which explains the low level of integration, even some divergence of components inside of the wholeness.The international system of modernity began to experience radically modern changes under the influence of the powerful “geopolitical landslides” (factors of influence), which caused its turbulence and further transformation: 1) the completion of the collapse of colonial empires and the emergence of many post-colonial countries as independent international actors on the political map of the world, implementing their national-political projects; 2) the global collapse of the model of the “bipolar world” – of closed political systems, which embodied two superpowers of Soviet Union and the United States; the end of the “Cold War”; loss of meaning of the paradigm of the “Third World” for the underdeveloped countries; 3) entrance of new sovereign states into the world arena (after the collapse of the USSR, Yugoslavia, etc.), which are modernizing and introducing their new own geostrategies in international relations; 4) post-communist transformation of the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, Asia and Africa fundamentally changed the ideological balance and geopolitical design of the planet. As a result, the strategic shift of the Baltic-Mediterranean arc into a new geopolitical trajectory took place – into the Baltic-Black Sea arc, along the borders of Russia with the Baltic States, Ukraine, and Georgia; 5) the global economic jump of Southeast Asia as a sub-regional system, driven by the success of the quasi-superpowers of the region: Japan (economic strength and investments), China (demographic and industrial capacities), South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong (technology); India (leader of social democracy). According to Phillippe Braillard and Mohammad-Reza Djalili, this results from the existence of regional subsystems - a set of specific interactions based on general geographic affiliation; 6) the geopolitical “weight” of the South Asian sub-region grows because of the collapse of the North Korea’s “nuclear blackmail” militaristic strategy, thanks to the successes of diplomacy of the US President Donald Trump; 7) paradoxically, but currently the political-economic competition between strategic partners - the USA and the European Union - is intensifying. At the same time, military-political tensions between the Russian Federation and the United States and NATO, as global rivals in various geopolitical aspects – war in Syria, sanctions against the Russian Federation because of the annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine – are growing; global migration; Iranian, Iraqi and Venezuelan issues, etc.Turbulent character and macro fluctuations of transitional international system of “misbalance and mutual equilibriums”, additionally is determined by the competitive coexistence of states of stable and transitional democracy, autocratic states (that can be differentiated into traditional-conservative, military-totalitarian, authoritarian-modernized) and specific quasi-states. This combination of authoritarianism with liberal democracy is problematic, and leaves impact on the global politics – temporary restorations of the post-communist governments, lack of competent and responsible bureaucracy, corruption-related scandals in the international structures, ignoring of the demands of the global states in questions relating to survival of humankind. The most important factors in the destabilization of the world system are wars, international terrorism and global problems, in particular, the coronavirus pandemic.Conclusions. Contemporary international system is currently in a state of transitional from the unipolar world to the multipolar one, from the stability that prevailed after the collapse of the world socialist system to the qualitatively new international system with several fulcrums. But this process is very complex and prolonged; it will be constantly influenced by the new “geopolitical shifts”, as factors contributing to global turbulence and macro fluctuations of the transitional international system: the final collapse of the colonial system; the destruction of the model of the “bipolar world” and the emergence of sovereign states that implement their own geostrategies on a world arena; problems of coexistence of countries in stable and transitional democracy, autocracies and specific quasi-states; strategic shift of the Baltic-Black Sea arc to the borders of Russia with the Baltics, Ukraine, Georgia; the global economic jump of Southeast Asia as a sub-regional system; increase in economic competition of strategic partners – the USA and the European Union; an increase in military-political tension between the Russian Federation and the US with NATO, and so on.