Polarization means the union of like- minded countries into a single homogeneous unit in order to safeguard their national interests. Polarization thus, naturally means that various countries with similar ideas on various problems confronting the world unite around a super power with a view to giving united front. Polarization has been facilitated by the scientific and technological advances under which the world has shrunk in area and distance. In this way, when two centers of power, i.e. two poles appear round which the other countries of the world revolve, the system is known as Bipolar.
I would prefer living in a bipolar world order because it tends to reduce international violence. The advantages of bipolar system are:
•Reduction in Tension With only two world powers, their areas of influence are clearly demarcated. This leads to reduction in tension. In Cold War era, both the Soviet Union and America were concerned with happen¬ings in different areas of the world. The USA was mostly concerned with America continent and West Europe, whereas the USSR’s sphere of interest was Asia and East Europe. This has led to a solid and determinate balance. Expansion was not so easy, aggrandizement was not a simple work.
•Leads to balance resulting in peace In a bipolar system, there are only two rival blocs; competition in every field is relative which keeps the balance, usually resulting in peace. Both the power blocs are equally -or at least similarly- engaged in space race, economic growth, military preparedness, propaganda struggle and domestic issues.
“Policy proceeds by limitation of the other power, with occasional attempts to outflank.” A super power never escapes calculation in terms of international balance and always evaluates the other power’s reaction. By asserting the interests of the two great powers in even minor matters, the balance is sought to be achieved in everything. Neither of the parts can act in a careless manner and this is in favor of stability.
•Equality of Power Thirdly, the most important stabilizing factor is the nearly constant presence of pressure and the recurrence of crises. I mean crises are natural and even desirable in a condition of conflict. If crises do not occur, it means that one side or the other is neglecting its own interests. Maintenance of balance will then mean large or small wars. As long as there are only two major powers, the power of both will be almost equal.
There will be equal and opposite reaction in crisis instants. (i.e. Cuba Crisis) This will check any one of the two powers to embark on a policy of aggression.
•Any change anywhere in the world The changes in some parts of the world do not affect the basic position of two powers. Finally, the preponderant power of the two super states means that minor shifts in the balance are not of any great importance.
For example, the U.S. lost China due to the Chinese Communist Revolution in 1949 and the Soviet Union lost China after Sino-Soviet border conflict in 1962, but neither change dras¬tically altered the Russian-American balance.
The two states were so strong that they could accommodate change easily. The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. confronted each other on almost every issue but none of the issues was of decisive importance and none led to war.
To sum up, in addition to advantages, there are also disadvantages of bipolar system, like continuous pressure in international system. Yet, the balance of power always hinders the crises getting more serious. The world witnessed two world wars in thirty years in a multipolar order, but a third world war never happened in almost fifty tense years between 1945 and 1991, the bipolar Cold War era.