In exploring the consequences of changes in Eastern Europe for Western Europe, the Third World and the global economic order, this article examines the need for economic management which is more solidly based on the new theory of international trade, and which extends beyond the national level. The rapidly deteriorating situation in Eastern Europe and the Gulf crisis both form valuable examples of the problems and opportunities ahead. There is a clear move towards the formation of regional blocs such as the European Community, the intention of which is to strengthen the industrial countries against the uncertainties and risks involved in the current reshaping of the world order by multipolarity, as well as in the growing nationalist tensions and movements for national independence. This article will argue that bloc formation is bound to either further marginalize the majority of developing countries, or increase their dependence on the few regional centres that are emerging.