When technologies change, it changes trade, resources and the distribution of wealth inside nations globally. These new rich that take their places among the world elites, then cause changes within the relationships of the worlds community of nations inevitably. The only question really is what kind of new world order is derived from the changes? Prior to Columbus the worlds order was hardly even a concept, but it had the mid East playing the primary role of middleman in the trade of amber, silk, spices, salt, gold etc. After Columbus, the Western nations of Europe found themselves in a controling position with the best access to the worlds oceans and resources that gave them solid advantage in a new economy based on coal and mass produced iron. The First World War demonstrated the need for a more formal means of international communication, and a forum for nations to express their grievances and interests to one another on a continual basis. The development of nuclear weapons made this forum a necessity in order to avoid miscommunications contributing to global conflagration. The US and the UK have been the primary arbitrator of world peace for two centuries now, but our clear advantages in economic and military power are receding and a multipolar world of nuclear hegemons and Super-powers is emerging. But what will this new world order look like? Here are the models I have found with my limited Google Fu abilities (browsing through Wikipedia): 1. Hegemonic Superpower Theory: Hegemonic stability theory (HST) is a theory of international relations, rooted in research from the fields of political science, economics, and history. HST indicates that the international system is more likely to remain stable when a single nation-state is the dominant world power, or hegemon. Thus, the fall of an existing hegemon or the state of no hegemon diminishes the stability of the international system. When a hegemon exercises leadership, either through diplomacy, coercion, or persuasion, it is actually deploying its "preponderance of power." This is called hegemony, which refers to a state's ability to "single-handedly dominate the rules and arrangements ...[of] international political and economic relations." HST can help analyze the rise of great powers to the role of world leader or hegemon, which have been ongoing since the 15th century. Also, it can be used to understand and to calculate the future of international politics through the discussion of the symbiotic relation between the declining hegemon and its rising successor. This model above explains much of the thinking about the USA relationship with China, the US being the declining hegemon and China the new rising power. But people used to say the same sort of thing about a reviving Germany, Japan and India also. Didnt happen. 2. One World Government: World government or global government is the notion of a common political authority for all of humanity, yielding a global government and a single state that exercises authority over the entire Earth. Such a government could come into existence either through violent and compulsory world domination or through peaceful and voluntary supranational union. There has never been a worldwide executive, legislature, judiciary, military, or constitution with global jurisdiction. The United Nations is limited to a mostly advisory role, and its stated purpose is to foster co-operation between existing national governments rather than exert authority over them.... A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) is a proposed addition to the United Nations System that would allow for participation of member nations' legislators and, eventually, direct election of United Nations (UN) parliament members by citizens worldwide. The idea was raised at the founding of the League of Nations in the 1920s and again following the end of World War II in 1945, but remained dormant throughout the Cold War. In the 1990s and 2000s, the rise of global trade and the power of world organizations that govern it led to calls for a parliamentary assembly to scrutinize their activity. The Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly was formed in 2007 to coordinate pro-UNPA efforts, which as of July 2013 has received the support of over 850 Members of Parliament from over 90 countries worldwide, in addition to over 350 non-governmental organizations and 21 Nobel and Right Livelihood laureates and 16 Heads or former heads of state or government and foreign ministers. This is the most popular concept among international relations types, but is the most unworkable. Most voluntary unions form in response to an external threat, such as Germany in response to revived French Bonapartism or the Italians in response to France and Austrias meddling. No such external threat exists to our planet. We have met our enemy and it is us. 3. NeoRealistic System AKA Anarchy: Structural realism holds that the nature of the international structure is defined by its ordering principle, anarchy, and by the distribution of capabilities (measured by the number of great powers within the international system). The anarchic ordering principle of the international structure is decentralized, meaning there is no formal central authority; every sovereign state is formally equal in this system. These states act according to the logic of self-help, meaning states seek their own interest and will not subordinate their interest to the interests of other states. States are assumed at a minimum to want to ensure their own survival as this is a prerequisite to pursue other goals. This driving force of survival is the primary factor influencing their behavior and in turn ensures states develop offensive military capabilities for foreign interventionism and as a means to increase their relative power. Because states can never be certain of other states' future intentions, there is a lack of trust between states which requires them to be on guard against relative losses of power which could enable other states to threaten their survival. This lack of trust, based on uncertainty, is called the security dilemma. States are deemed similar in terms of needs but not in capabilities for achieving them. The positional placement of states in terms of abilities determines the distribution of capabilities. The structural distribution of capabilities then limits cooperation among states through fears of relative gains made by other states, and the possibility of dependence on other states. The desire and relative abilities of each state to maximize relative power constrain each other, resulting in a 'balance of power', which shapes international relations. It also gives rise to the 'security dilemma' that all nations face. There are two ways in which states balance power: internal balancing and external balancing. Internal balancing occurs as states grow their own capabilities by increasing economic growth and/or increasing military spending. External balancing occurs as states enter into alliances to check the power of more powerful states or alliances. This is what we have now, though what I have cut-pasted above describes more of a system of analysis of world relations, still, it does give the most concise description of the current on-going international behavior model as best I can find. 4.World Federal Government: Federalists had hoped that the anticipated UN review conference (under Article 109 of the UN Charter) in 1955 would move the UN further in the direction of a world federal system. Unfortunately, the lack of political will dissipated any interest in such a conference. Around 1965 however, the Movement had established offices near the United Nations, with American federalist Marion McVitty as the Movement's UN observer and advocate. Federalists in this period focused on amendments to the United Nations Charter as a way forward. Most involved reforms to institutions such as a more representative Security Council, a World Court with compulsory jurisdiction and judicial review authority and a democratically elected General Assembly (or a world parliament). Federalists proposed a number of new institutions such as a commission on sustainable development, an international development authority, a standing peacekeeping corps and an international criminal court. The Institute for Global Policy (IGP), founded in 1983 by the World Federalist Movement, is a research and policy institute dedicated to the promotion of human security, international justice, the prevention of armed conflict and the protection of civilians. The Institute emphasizes the democratization of international and regional organizations and the development and global application of international law. Most recently, WFM-IGP has been at the forefront of advocating for NGO access to international conferences and meetings. You could describe these folks as the Lisbon Treaty Stealth Union advocates. But we still end up with some form of international government, though it is in theory voluntary. Still it calls for the rejection of nations as the underlying model for their end goal of a Global government, and of course the dissolution of the differences that make us Americans, English, Scotish, French, Chinese, Russian, etc. In other words it will never happen. 5. Competing World Systems of Nations: A world-system is a socioeconomic system, under systems theory, that encompasses part or all of the globe, detailing the aggregate structural result of the sum of the interactions between polities. World-systems are usually larger than single states, but do not have to be global. The Westphalian System is the preeminent world-system operating in the contemporary world, denoting the system of sovereign states and nation-states produced by the Westphalian Treaties in 1648. Several world-systems can coexist, provided that they have little or no interaction with one another. Where such interactions becomes significant, separate world-systems merge into a new, larger world-system. Through the process of globalization, the modern world has reached the state of one dominant world-system, but in human history there have been periods where separate world-systems existed simultaneously, according to Janet Abu-Lughod. The most well-known version of the world-system approach has been developed by Immanuel Wallerstein. A world-system is a crucial element of the world-system theory, a multidisciplinary, macro-scale approach to world history and social change.... World-systems are defined by the existence of a division of labor. The modern world-system has a multi-state political structure (the interstate system) and therefore its division of labor is international division of labor. In the modern world-system, the division of labor consists of three zones according to the prevalence of profitable industries or activities: core, semiperiphery, and periphery. Countries tend to fall into one or another of these interdependent zones core countries, semi-periphery countries and the periphery countries. Resources are redistributed from the underdeveloped, typically raw materials-exporting, poor part of the world (the periphery) to developed, industrialized core. World-systems, past world-systems and the modern world-system, have temporal features. Cyclical rhythms represent the short-term fluctuation of economy, while secular trends mean deeper long run tendencies, such as general economic growth or decline. The term contradiction means a general controversy in the system, usually concerning some short term vs. long term trade-offs. For example, the problem of underconsumption, wherein the drive-down of wages increases the profit for the capitalists on the short-run, but considering the long run, the decreasing of wages may have a crucially harmful effect by reducing the demand for the product. The last temporal feature is the crisis: a crisis occurs, if a constellation of circumstances brings about the end of the system. The world-systems theory stresses that world-systems (and not nation states) should be the basic unit of social analysis. Thus we should focus not on individual states, but on the relations between their groupings (core, semi-periphery, and periphery). This is a good model of approximately what we have now, though a single global system is not a necessary end goal at all. Each nation is censored/assisted within its own economic system of nations primarily, though each nation is still entirely autonomous formally. As long as nation states have purely voluntary membership and can exit as soon as they no longer consider further involvement to be in their national interest, I think this is a perfect system for sovereign nations. A competition of such economic systems of nations makes each such system a petri dish of experimentation and the better evolution of human international relations.