The beginning of the 21st century was a period in which the international order was still in the phase of transformation. The bipolar system, which fell into disintegration along with the end of the Cold War, did not trigger the end of history as some had expected. e international community faced new challenges which will probably require new, more effective instruments. The new conditions of the evolution of the international order pose difficult questions to be answered by analysts of international relations. The questions relate to the analysis of the present order as well as the directions of its short, middle – and long-term development. e international order, as with most of the elements in the theory of international relations, may be analysed from the perspective of various research schools. In Polish literature on the subject it has been viewed mainly from the angle of the classical paradigms: realistic, liberal or normative.