The character and consequences of the interconnectedness and interaction between international political and economic processes in the post-cold war era has changed in many respects, as compared to the previous decades. During the cold war years, economic factors played of course important roles in shaping the global power structure, and influencing international politics but in many respects, the political agenda of the two global powers dominated the global system. In the post-cold war world, the influence of the economic factors became much stronger in shaping global changes. Capital flows, technology and international entrepreneurship are the key components of the globalization process. The relative economic power of countries, international economic competitiveness and competition has a much greater impact on interstate relations than in the past. The pressure of the domestic socio-economic problems influences at a greater strength national politics also in international relations. These general trends however have many specificities in the different regions of the world. In Europe, for example, ethnic conflicts, civil wars - parallel and contrasting processes of integration and fragmentation - have created problems unprecedented since World War II.