Russia, China and the United States: From Strategic Triangularism to the Postmodern Triangle Russie.Nei.Visions, No. 47, February 2010 / Proliferation Papers, No. 32, Winter 2010
Over the past decade, there has been much talk about a new world order, in which American "unipolarity" would be superseded by more equal arrangements between the great powers. One such idea is a return to the Russia-China-US triangle.
In truth, however, the time for such geopolitical schemes has long passed. The contemporary international system is too complex and interdependent to be reduced to crude strategic balancing-a reality underlined by the global financial crisis. The most likely successor to US global leadership is not a "multipolar world order" dominated by the great powers, but a rough Sino-American bipolarity. This would bear little resemblance to the stark model of the cold war era, but instead foreshadow a new, post-modern triangle. The "third side" would not be Russia, but a mass of formal and informal networks involving nation-states, multilateral institutions, and non-state actors.