Culturally, the 1990s are characterized by the rise of
alternative media, which continued into the 2000s. Movements such as
rave scene and
hip hop spread around the world to young people during that decade, aided by then-new technology such as
cable television and the
World Wide Web.
In the absence of
world communism which collapsed in the first two years of the decade the 1990s was politically defined by a movement towards the
right-wing, including increase in support for
far-right parties in Europe
 as well as the advent of the
Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party
cuts in social spending in the United States,
 New Zealand,
 and the UK.
 The United States also saw a massive revival in the use of the
death penalty in the 1990s, which reversed in the early 21st century.
 During the 1990s the character of the
European Union and
Euro were formed and codified in
A combination of factors, including the continued mass mobilization of
capital markets through
neo-liberalism, the thawing of the decades-long
Cold War, the beginning of the widespread proliferation of
new media such as the Internet from the middle of the decade onwards, increasing skepticism towards
government, and the
dissolution of the Soviet Union led to a realignment and reconsolidation of economic and political power across the world and within countries. The
dot-com bubble of 1997–2000 brought wealth to some
entrepreneurs before its crash between 2000 and 2001.
The 1990s saw extreme advances in technology, with the
World Wide Web, the first
gene therapy trial, and the first
 all emerging in 1990 and being improved and built upon throughout the decade.
New ethnic conflicts emerged in Africa, the
Balkans, and the
Caucasus, the former two which led to the
Bosnian genocides, respectively. Signs of any resolution of tensions between
Israel and the
Arab world remained elusive despite the progress of the
Oslo Accords, though
The Troubles in Northern Ireland came to a standstill in 1998 with the
Good Friday Agreement after 30 years of violence.