"In fall 1996, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) and the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) held a series of conferences at National Defense University to identify key global trends and their impact on major regions and countries of the globe. The exercise was designed to help describe and assess major features of the political world as they will appear in the year 2010. [...] The structure of international relations has been based primarily on relations between states, not developments within them. This was true whether under balance of power politics of the 19th century, superpower diplomacy of the last fifty years, or efforts at collective security as embodied in the United Nations. In all three variations, order rested fundamentally on a stable arrangement of power among states. States, in turn, were masters within their borders. This has been the hallmark of the international system that emerged at the end of World War II and the environment within which the United States has become the global superpower. That system is drawing to an end."
Office of the Director of National Intelligence: http://www.dni.gov/