THE BALKANS IN A MULTIPOLAR WORLD - PERSPECTIVES AND CHALLENGES
The international relations of the 20th century were largely characterized by the balance of power, and it could be said, a balance of fear, of two opposing alliances. Precisely these two centers of power ,the USA and the USSR led to division within the system of the entire international community. However, the breakup of the USSR, the emergence of new states, the end of the Cold War also led to the end of bipolarity and the emergence of unipolar world. The only remaining hegemon the USA ,using all its available resources as well as the resources of their “followers” disrupted the system of power balance in their favor. That disruption of the power balance system was most bloodily manifested in the Balkans as part of the European continent and a kind of connection between worlds. Regardless of the large resources available, both the “ hard” and the “soft” powers, the USA could not completely bring the Balkans under their control. Changes in the international relations we live in, question the current order based on globalization and one hegemon. However, this very hegemon, using all resources selflessly, is trying to preserve its order by enabling itself and its followers to play the role of “ the master of the world” and assigning itself eternal world policeman role. Throughout the globe, questions are being raised about the value of global order and the USA’s power as the sole global power. By shifting the economic flows to the East, e.i. to the Asia-Pacific part of the world, Western hegemons are slowly becoming naked in their imperialistic interests. Re-questioning the power of the “world policeman” is reflected on those parts of the world that are at the junction of “different worlds”. One such part of the world is certainly the Balkans. Therefore, the theme and the aim of this paper is to point out the importance of the Balkans in terms of power projection of key global and regional factors of international relations at the begin- ning of the new millennium. By analyzing influences of global and regional factors of international relations, it can be stated that peoples on the Balkans already live in a multipolar world, which is characterized by great instability due to undefined zones of influence of global and regional players. Defining those areas of interest becomes an imperative for the human civilization survival.