Although much remains the same in world politics despite claims that a new global order has emerged out of the rubble of the Cold War, there is a level at which the emergence of a new order can be discerned. If one probes beneath the outcomes of international affairs and focuses on their underpinnings, it is possible to trace the utlines of new foundations of global politics. This new world order is depicted in terms of three basic parameters that bind the global System, each of which is posited as undergoing profound and enduring transformation. At the micro level the analytic skills of individuals everywhere are conceived to have undergone extensive expansion. At the macro level of systemic structure the transformation involves the bifurcation of world politics into a state-centric world and a multi-centric world, neither of which is predominant and both of which are responsive to the other. At the macro-micro level, which links individuals to their macro collectivities, transformation is seen to have occurred in authority relations, with the dynamics of change having moved authority structures from being in place to being in crisis. While these fundamental transformations are seen as fostering endless tensions between the centralizing and decentralizing forces at work in the world, the resulting turbulence is not viewed as amounting to disorder. Rather, the emergent global order is viewed as encouraging the institutionalization of the tensions, the outcome of which is readily discernible in present day relations among the states analyzed in this symposium.
By moving rather belatedly towards a controlled democratization of Eastern Europe's political regimes, Gorbachev and his team sought to carry out a vast and ambitious plan to transform the international order in Europe, a plan which was to yield considerable benefits for the USSR. The process having got out of hand, the USSR did not step in to preserve the objectives of its European policy which, at the same time, was seriously compromised. It attempted to adjust to Eastern Europe's new political situation by making, over more than a year, great efforts to preserve the existence of a transformed and renewed Warsaw Pact, seeing in it an indispensable transitory instrument for its new European policy. The collapse of Eastern Europe's regimes and the progressive disintegration of the Warsaw Pact largely contributed to Gorbachev's losing control of the political situation in the USSR and greatly accelerated its breakup.
The end of the Cold War has freed Eastern Europe from the Soviet Union and Western Europe from the United States. This article explores how the Americans have attempted to adapt to these new uncertainties by redefining the threat and by seeking a new political and military identity for NATO. The individual, societal, and external variables that may explain how strategies of adaptation are chosen are then identified. The turbulence of the System, by concentrating decision-making, by giving more weight to budgetary variables, by encouraging neo-isolationist trends, and by favouring local political priorities accentuates an approach of reacting to events and preserving the status quo, an approach which leaves NATO at the mercy of German objectives in Europe without resolving the issue of European security.
German unification is both a cause and an effect of the restructuring of alliances now taking place with the end of the long postwar era. An enlarged Germany finds itself in a new geostrategic position at the centre of a henceforth unified continent and its vocation is pan-European. The underpinnings of its external policy and its security have been modified. In this context, the German government has opted not only for keeping a renewed NATO but also for deepening and widening Europe's economic and political institutions. It does not want to disappoint either the Americans or its European Community partners and those wishing to join the EC. Nor does it want to disappoint the East Europeans, including those-of the former Soviet Union. Nevertheless, the traditional policy of seeking non-isolation, at times not without ambivalence, is destined to change and could become more assertive. Two items testify to this change in direction : the "debate over normalization', which has brought down taboos in Germany, and the leadership role that Bonn has openly taken, for the first time since 1945, on the issue of recognition without further delay of Slovenia and Croatia by the European Community as of January 15 1992.
The disintegration of the Soviet Union and the Gulf War have forced Japan to question its defence policy. In the past this policy has been firmly based on a purely defensive posture which relied totally on Japan's alliance with the United States. Because the Cold War dragged on in East Asia for much longer than in Europe, Japan could carry on the same defence policy as before. Japanese defence planners found it convenient to emphasize the « Soviet threat » as a way to maintain annual increases in the military budget, and refusing to normalize their relations with the Soviets, until the question of the Northern Territories had been settled.
They can no longer ignore the various signs of détente in East Asia. Yet they have had limited effects on Japan's defence policy. The Americans have called on Japan to play a role more commensurate with its economic power but want to avoid any hint of an autonomous Japanese defence policy. They pressured Japan into playing a more active part in the Gulf crisis and the ensuing war, but the government failed to muster sufficient support, at home and amongst the other countries of East Asia, for any role for its military outside Japan, even in a non combat capacity.
So Japan has sought other regional and global security policies to compensate for this handicap and has met with mixed success. The recent failure to pass legislation allowing its Self-defence Forces to participate in UN peacekeeping operations has seriously jeopardized Japan 's search for a more active role in regional affairs. But will the Japanese continue for much longer to play a second role in the United States' System of bilateral alliances in the Asia-Pacific region which that country can afford less and less ? This is the real dilemma of Japanese defence policy : it can neither remain as it is nor can it easily change direction.
Canada's international commitments and notably its participation in NATO were essentially dictated by its attitude vis-à-vis the USSR. During the Cold War, Canada's attitude to the USSR was more flexible and conciliatory than that of most of its allies. Gorbachev's initiatives, however, left Ottawa skeptical at first. It was necessary to wait until May 1989 for the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for External Affairs to declare their support for the reforms undertaken by Gorbachev. From 1990 on, Canada drew nearer to the USSR and even showed haste in recognizing the Baltic states and Ukraine. The large-scale pullout of Canadian troops form Europe does not call into question Canada's participation in NATO, cooperation among members of the Atlantic alliance being of cardinal importance to this country.
Chronique des relations extérieures du Canada et du Québec