Definition of PowerPower is an of the essentailly contestedconcepts in tne study of international relations(Evans, Newnham, The Penguin Dictionary ofInternational Relations)―The concept of Power is one of the mosttroublesome in the field of international politics‖(Robert Gilpin)Power, like a host of other important concepts inIR, is an essentially contested concept – itmeans quite different things to different people(Brian C. Schmidt)At its simplest, power in interstate relations maybe defined as a state’s ability to control, or atleast influence, other states or the outcome ofevents. (Key Concepts of IR)
dimensions of PowerThe internal dimension corresponds to thedictionary definition of power as a capacityfor action. A state is powerful to the extentthat it is insulated from outside influence orcoercion in the formulation andimplementation of policy. A commonsynonym for the internal dimension ofpower is autonomy.
The external dimension corresponds to thedictionary definition of power as a capacityto control the behaviour of others; toenforce compliance. Such influence neednot be actively exercised; it need only beacknowledged by others, implicitly orexplicitly, to be effective. It also need notbe exercised with conscious intent; thebehaviour of others can be influencedsimply as a by-product of powerful acts.dimensions of Power
distinction of PowerStructural power confers the power todecide how things shall be done, thepower to shape frameworks within whichstates relate to one another, relate topeople, or relate to corporate enterprises.
Relative power is more, or less, if oneparty is also determining the surroundingstructure of the relationship. Four separatebut related structures of power ininternational relations:• the knowledge structure refers to the power to influencethe ideas of others;• the financial structure refers to the power to restrict orfacilitate their access to credit;• the security structure shapes their prospects for security;• the production structure affects their chances of a betterlife as producers and as consumers.distinction of Power
The first is that the concept of power is primitive in the specificsense that its meaning cannot be elucidated by reference toother notions whose meaning is less controversial than isown. (―Truth‖ is another such primitive concept)…The second reason is that the concept of power is essentiallycontested… in other words, it cannot be disconnected fromwhat we commonly call the ―value assumptions‖ of the personmaking the judgment.Third, the contestedness of power – the fact that what countsas power and being powerful is controversial matters. For, asStefano Guzzini argues, it has performative role in ourdiscourse and, more particularly, our political discourse: howwe conceive of power makes a difference to how we think andact in general and more particularly in political context.Definition of Power―i want to begin by suggesting three reasons forboth the trouble and controversy. (Steven Lukes)
David Baldwin describes the twodominant traditions of power analysis inInternational Relations: in terms ofelements of national power approachwhich depicts power as resources and therelational power approach, which depictspower as an actual or potentialrelationship.Tradition of Power
National power approachProponents of the elements-of-national powerapproach equate power with possession ofspecific resources.All of the important resources that a statepossesses are typically combined in somefashion to determine its overall aggregatepower. The resources that are most often usedas an indicator of national power include thelevel of military expenditure, gross domesticproduct, size of the armed forces, size of theterritory and population.
Relational power approachThis approach was championed by behavioral – orientedpolitical scientists during the 1950s and 1960s.According to Robert Dahl, who was an influentialadvocate of the relational conception of power, ―A haspower over B to the extent that he can get B to dosomething that B would not otherwise do‖.Fundamental to the relational conception of power is theability to demonstrate a change in outcomes.Power as a set of material resources id deemed to beless important than the actual ability of Actor A to changethe behavior of actor B.
Rather than power being a ―one size fits all‖category, the relational approach disaggregatespower into a number of component parts inorder to demonstrate how it is exercised inspecific issue –areas. The dimension of powertypically include its scope (the objectives of anattempt to gain influence over which issue), itsdomain (the target of the influence attempt(, itsweight (the quantity of resources) and its costs(opportunity costs if forgoing a relation).
Carr argued that power is indivisible, yet heclaimed that for purposes of discussion it couldbe divided into three categories: military power,economic power, and power over opinion.Yet because of the ever-present possibility ofwar breaking out, Carr argued that militarypower was the most important form of power ininternational politics…‖The supreme importanceof instrument lies in the fact that the ultima ratioof power in international politics is war‖
―International Politics, like all politics is a strugglefor power‖―Whatever the ultimate aims of internationalpolitics, power is always the immediate aim‖When we speak of power we mean man’scontrol over the minds and actions of othermen… this is a psychological relation betweenthose who exercise it and those who over whomit is exercised.‖
Elements of PowerTangibles include; Population, Territory,Natural Resources and IndustrialCapacity, Agricultural capacity and MilitaryStrength and MobilityIntangibles include; Leadership andPersonality, Bureaucratic OrganizationEfficiency, Type of Government, SocialCohesiveness, Reputation, ForeignSupport and DEPENDENCY
Like other classical realists, Morgenthauequated power with the possession of bothmaterial and non-material resources.Morgenthau distinguished between twotypes of elements that contributed to thepower of a nation: those that are stableand those subject to a constant change.
The stable elements which are largely of aquantitative nature, included geography, naturalresources (food and raw materials), industrialcapacity, military preparedness and population.Morgenthau identified four qualitative, non-material factors that have a bearing on anational power: national character, nationalmorale, the quality of government and thequality of a nation’s diplomacy.
Morgenthau signaled out the quality ofdiplomacy as the most important factorcontributing to the power of a nation.According to Morgenthau, ―the conduct ofa nation’s foreign affairs by its diplomats isfor national power in peace what militarystrategy and tactics by its military leadersare for national power in war‖
Hard and Soft PowerPower is the ability to influence the behavior of others toget a desired outcome. Historically, power has beenmeasured by such criteria as population size andterritory, natural resources, economic strength, militaryforce, and social stability.Hard power enables countries to wield carrots andsticks to get what they want. The Pentagon’s budget forFY2008 is more than $750 billion and growing, manytimes more than the nearest competitor. The UnitedStates has the world’s largest economy, and more than athird of the top 500 global companies are American.There is no other global power, and yet American hardpower does not always translate into influence.
Trends such as these have made power less tangible andcoercion less effective. Machiavelli said it was safer to befeared than to be loved. Today, in the global information age,it is better to be both.Soft power is the ability to attract people to our side withoutcoercion. Legitimacy is central to soft power. If a people ornation believes American objectives to be legitimate, we aremore likely to persuade them to follow our lead without usingthreats and bribes.Legitimacy can also reduce opposition—and the costs—ofusing hard power when the situation demands. Appealing toothers’ values, interests and preferences can, in certaincircumstances, replace the dependence on carrots and sticks.Cooperation is always a matter of degree, and it is profoundlyinfluenced by attraction.Militaries are well suited to defeating states, but they are oftenpoor instruments to fight ideas. Today, victory depends onattracting foreign populations to our side and helping them tobuild capable, democratic states. Soft power is essential towinning the peace. It is easier to attract people to democracythan to coerce them to be democratic.
Smart PowerSmart power is neither hard nor soft—it is the skillfulcombination of both. Smart power means developingan integrated strategy, resource base, and tool kit toachieve American objectives, drawing on both hard andsoft power. It is an approach that underscores thenecessity of a strong military, but also invests heavily inalliances, partnerships, and institutions at all levels toexpand American influence and establish the legitimacyof American action. Providing for the global good iscentral to this effort because it helps America reconcileits overwhelming power with the rest of the world’sinterests and values.
The United States has in its past wielded hardand soft power in concert, with each contributinga necessary component to a larger aim. Weused hard power to deter the Soviet Unionduring the Cold War and soft power to rebuildJapan and Europe with the Marshall Plan and toestablish institutions and norms that havebecome the core of the international system.Today’s context presents a unique set ofchallenges, however, and requires a new way ofthinking about American power.
Power lies at the States have a two kind of power: latentpower and military power. These two forms of power areclosely related but not synonymous, because they are derivedfrom different kind of assets.Latent power refers to the socio-economic ingredients that gointo building military power; it is largely based on a state’swealth and the overall size of its population. Great powersneed money, technology, a and personnel to build militaryforces and to fight wars, and a state’s latent power refers tothe raw potential it can draw on when competing with rivalstates.In international politics, however, a state’s effective power isultimately a function of its military forces and how theycompare with the military forces of rival states…Therefore, thebalance of power is largely synonymous with the balance ofmilitary power. I define power largely in military terms… (TheTragedy of Great Power Politics)
Power is not a simple and stablephenomenon. Indeed, it is very much apolitical chameleon, constantly changingeven while it remains the same (John T.Rourk)Power DynamicsAbsolute and relative powerObjective and subjective powerSituational power
WILLIAM C. WOHLFORTHThe Rules of Power AnalysisRule No. 1: Be Clear About Definitions ofPowerRule No. 2: Watch the GoalpostsRule No. 3: Do Not Rely on a SingleIndicatorRule No. 4: Consider Latent Power
Rule No. 1: Be Clear About Definitions of PowerWhat have shifted are peoples views of the realutility of these resources and capabilities. Currentdiscussions of the limits of US power are reallyfocused on the limited usefulness of large amountsof military and economic capabilities. Politicalscientists generally use the term "power" to refer toa relationship of influence. As Robert Dahl put it,power is "ability to get B to do something it wouldnot otherwise have done" or, of course, to prevent Bfrom doing something it otherwise would havedone).In international relations, the same term of "power"is often equated with resources: measurableelements that states possess and use to influenceothers. In popular commentary-, these twomeanings of power are often conflated, withunfortunate results.
To begin with, the challenge of converting power-as resourcesinto power-as-influence is not a uniquely US problem. Allgreat powers confront these challenges. If the cause of thenew gloominess concerning US power had to he reduced toone word, it would be "Iraq." In 2003, fresh from apparentmilitary- victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United Statesappeared to be a colossus. Yet in 2007, its inability tosuppress the Iraqi counterinsurgency- and civil war seems tohave revealed feet of clay. All the hard data on US militarysuperiority—its over one-half of global defense spending,.some 70 percent of global military R&D, and dominance ininformation-intensive warfare—now appear in a new light. Theworlds most vaunted military machine is not even able totame disorganized Sunni and Shia militias in Mesopotamia.But the example of Iraq exhibits a balance of power dynamicbetween states and non-state insurgents, not one betweenseveral different states. There is no reason to believe thatChina, Russia, India, or the European Union would performany better if faced with the challenges that the US militaryconfronts in Iraq. Some scholars argue that Iraq demonstratesnew information about the state versus non-state balance.
Once an insurgency takes root, governmentsrarely prevail. When they do—as in die case ofBritain in South Africa at the turn of the lastcentury and more recently, Russia inChechnya—it is usually the result of deployingvery large military forces willing to use ferociousviolence on a mass scale against innocentcivilians. With a comparatively small force in alarge and populous country, the United Statesinability to foster stability in Iraq is tragic, but notsurprising.
Rule No. 2: Watch the GoalpostsThe larger problem with conflating power-as-resources with power-as-influencesthat it leads to a constant shifting of thegoalposts. The better die United Statesbecomes at acquiring resources, thegreater the array of global problems it isexpected to be able to resolve, and thegreater the apparent gap between itsmaterial capabilities and die ends it canachieve.
Rule No. 3: Do Not Rely on a SingleIndicatorCurrent projections of Chinas economic rise may well beoverstated. Iraq aside, what is most responsible for thevirtual shift to multipolarity is not a word but an acronym:PPP. PPP stands for the "purchasing power parity"estimate of countries exchange rates—the size of theireconomies in dollar terms. Although the prices oi manymanufactured products tend to be equalized byinternational trade, the price of labor is not, and thereforelabor-intensive products and services tend to berelatively cheap in poor counties. PPP corrects for thisdiscontinuity by using prices for a locally selected basketof goods to adjust the exchange rate for converting localcurrency into dollars. As University of Pennsylvaniaprofessor Avery Goldstein notes, "the World Banksdecision in 1994 to shift to a PPP estimate for Chinaseconomy was crucial in propelling perceptions of thatcountrys imminent rise to great power status."
But forecasts about Chinas rise should not he based onpredictions on its living standards. They should discussChinas presence as a great power in internationalpolitics— its ability- to use money to purchase goods andinfluence matters abroad. PPP clearly exaggerates this sortof power. No one knows how much to discount the PPPnumbers for the purposes of making comparisons ofnational power. What is certain, economist .Albert Keidelnotes, is that one should not "use projections of nationalaccounting growth rates from a PPP base. This commonpractice seriously inflates estimates of Chinas futureeconomic size—exaggerating the speed with which Chinaseconomy will overtake that of the United States in totalsize." Projections must take into account the fact thatgrowth will cause prices to converge with internationalnorms, and thus the PPP to converge with the marketexchange rate. Using such a methodology, Keidelestimates that it will take until 2050 for Chinas totaleconomic size to equal the United States. National power isa complex phenomenon.
Rule No. 4: Consider Latent PowerUS military forces are stretched thin, its budget and trade deficitsarc high, and the country continues to finance its profligate waysby borrowing from abroad—notably from the Chinesegovernment. These developments have prompted many analyststo warn that the United States suffers from "imperial overstretch."And if US power is overstretched now, the argument goes,unipolarity can hardly be sustainable for long. The problem withthis argument is that it fails to distinguish between actual andlatent power. One must he careful to take Into account both thelevel of resources that can he mobilized and the degree to whicha government actually tries to mobilize them. And how much agovernment asks of its public is partly a function of the severity ofthe challenges that it faces. Indeed, one can never know for surewhat a state is capable of until it has been seriously challenged."self-inflicted overstretch"— in which a state lacks the sufficientresources to meet its current foreign policy commitments in theshort term, but has untapped latent power ;and readily availablepolicy choices that it can use to draw on this power. This isarguably the situation that the United States is in today.
Gregory Treverton, Seth G.Jones (RAND)“Measuring power: how topredict future balances”,Harvard International Review,Summer, 2005
Power is an elusive concept. As the political scientistHans Morgenthau wrote, "The concept of politicalpower poses one of the most difficult andcontroversial problems of political science."Understanding the nature of power has long beencentral to the study of international relations and tothe work of the US Intelligence Community. The taskis now all the more important and elusive, becausethe United States enjoys an unprecedented amountof economic, military, and technological might incomparison to other states. Yet it must exercise itspower in a world not only of state-related constraintson that power, but also of transnational forces andnon-state actors that act as competitors, qualifiers,constrainers, and, sometimes, enhancers of thatpower.
State power can be conceived at threelevels:the level of resources or capabilities,also known as power-in-being,the level of power conversion throughnational processes, and thelevel of power in outcomes, by which werefer to a states tendency to prevail inparticular circumstances.
The starting point for thinking about--and developingmetrics for--national power is to view states as"capability containers." Yet those capabilities--demographic, economic, technological, and others--become manifest only through a process ofconversion. States need to convert material resources,or economic prowess, into more usable instrumentssuch as combat proficiency. In the end, however, whatpolicymakers care most about is not power ascapability, or even power converted from nationalethos, polities, and social cohesion. They care aboutpower in outcomes. That third level of power is by farthe most elusive, for it is contingent and relative. Itdepends on how the power manifests itself, andagainst whom the power is exercised.
the first level of state powerThe main categories used to identify the first level ofstate power, the level of capability, are grossdomestic product (GDP), population, defensespending, and a less precise factor capturinginnovation in technology. Using these estimates,power is summed as a percent of total global power,and fourteen states hold at least a one percentshare. The United States is at the top of the powerstructure, though it is hardly an isolated andunilateral power. While the United States currentlyholds nearly a fifth of total global power, it is closelyfollowed by the European Union, considered as aunified actor, and China, which each hold about 14percent. India, moreover, holds about 9 percent,while Brazil, South Korea, and Russia each holdabout 2 percent.
These numbers, though only estimates, suggestpossible alliances that could match the power ofthe United States acting alone or with itstraditional allies. Such a power assessment alsoexamines the most likely locations for futureconflict, based on six criteria. Projectionsindicate that Asia is by far the most dangerousregion, with six of the eight most conflict-pronebilateral balances involving China. Theassessment also indicates that by 2015, thelevel of US power will be closely threatened byChina and India, while the European Union andall non-US members of the Group of Eight willexperience a slow decline in power.
Converting Resources into PowerCarnegie scholar Ashley Tellis and hiscolleagues at RAND have recently offered a re-examination of the concept of "national power."They began by assuming that a meticulousdetailing of visible military assets is required tounderstand the true basis of national power. Italso requires a scrutiny of such variables as theaptitude for innovation, the nature of socialinstitutions, and the quality of the knowledgebase. For Tellis and his colleagues, all of thesefactors influence a countrys capacity to producethe one element that is still fundamental tointernational politics--effective military power.
Their core argument is that national power is dividedinto three linked realms: natural resources, nationalperformance, and military capabilities. The firstrealm encompasses the level of resources eitheravailable to, or produced by, a country. The secondrealm, national performance, is derived from theexternal pressures facing a country and theefficiency of its governing institutions and its societyat large. The third realm, military capabilities, isunderstood in terms of operational proficiency oreffectiveness. Military capability is produced as aresult of both the strategic resources available to amilitary organization and its ability to convert thoseresources into effective, coercive power. Thesethree realms taken together describe nationalpower.
The Tellis approach is still one of material capabilities,though it gets to what might be called power-in-being. It isabout usable power, but does not involve power outcomes.Rather than regard states as simple "containers ofcapability," this approach considers ideas, organization,and politics. Its ultimate objective is to understand theprocess by which national resources are converted intomilitary capabilities--especially those that will improvecombat proficiency. In fact, Tellis approach can be appliedto any country, and his team has empirically applied theanalysis to China. But since data can easily overwhelm theexercise, it is imperative at a macro level to focus on thethree or four most critical factors. Therefore, the interplay ofpower resources, transformative capabilities, and outcomeshave dominated the discussion.
Though many of the issues explored by Tellis and his colleagues arecritical, there is still a need to think about broadening the scope ofindicators. In general, four additional areas are important for powerconversion. The first area encompasses economic issues, includingaccess to capital. Researchers have generally focused on domesticeconomic resources and capabilities. Changes in the global economy,however, have created an impetus to find new indicators that measure theability of states to utilize global resources for domestic activities. Forexample, it will become increasingly important to determine the impact ofoutsourcing domestic jobs to companies in foreign countries. A secondarea involves the institutions and political structures specific to agiven state. Important indicators include the level of corruption and the sizeof what is called the "selectorate"--in other words, the size of the group towhich a leader is actually accountable. This indicator matters especiallybecause it affects the ability of states to allocate and distribute resources. Athird, and related, area incorporates values, trust, social capital, andother aspects of civil society. That is, how do people cooperate andinteract in political and economic relationships? The final area is socialstructure, a measure that includes societal stratification and ethnic andclass divisions.
Strategic ResourcesWhat variables will help us to identify the great powers inthe international system in 2020? Important variables include population, human capital,economic power, technological prowess, and militarycapabilities. However, the single most important form ofpower in 2020 will continue to be military power.Though military power is best indicated by defensebudgets, other measurements might include specificmilitary expenditures such as ground, air, and navalforce spending. While these indicators are easilyquantifiable, however, they do not always correlate wellwith military effectiveness. In fact, history demonstratesthat smaller armies have defeated larger opponentsbecause of better training, doctrine, and strategy.
Today, economic power is the ultimate foundation ofmilitary power, and the best indicator of economic poweris GDP. Like defense budgets, however, GDP providesonly a limited picture of power. It says little about thecomposition of the economy, such as whether it isspearheaded by leading sectors, or dominated by oldand declining ones. Therefore, it is often equallyimportant to consider variables such as human capitaland technology. The best "off the shelf" measure ofhuman capital is the average year of educationalattainment. When measuring technology, the bestindicator is per capita expenditure on research anddevelopment.
Ultimately, however, none of these indicatorsprovides a complete picture of power in 2020.Articulating an ideal indicator is difficult and,perhaps, impossible. But it is likely to havesomething to do with "quality": the ability ofstates to convert these components into outputsand make use of them. What truly determinespower in the end is a states ability, through unityand purpose, to mobilize and pursue nationalambitions.
Instruments of PowerWhy do we evaluate and forecast levels of power? Powerassessment is crucial to understanding future national securitythreats and developing useful instruments to address them. It isargued, for example, that future threats to the United States will becaused by a combination of economic, military, environmental, andother variables. An abbreviated list of these threats includesterrorism, pollution, transnational organized crime, demographicchanges, and even new health threats such as Severe AcuteRespiratory Syndrome.Therefore, a menu of "old" and "new" power instruments will beneeded to combat these threats. In fact, several "old" powerinstruments need to change--one of which is the military. In the past,the military focused on conventional and nuclear warfare. In thefuture, it will need to focus on countering asymmetric forces.Economic instruments are equally in need of change; smartergovernment instruments would not stifle markets and innovation, butwould provide social protection to populations.
More interesting, perhaps, are the implications for diplomacy as atraditional instrument of power. Diplomacy in the United States hastraditionally been about selling the American way of life to foreigngovernments and populations. A better approach might be topromote local groups, institutions, and policies that are compatiblewith US goals. For example, the US government might initiate apolicy of providing assistance to groups abroad that support idealsand policies compatible with US interests, even when these groupsdo not explicitly support, and perhaps even oppose, the UnitedStates.This strategy may help to legitimize the United States abroad andhelp it better achieve policy change through diplomacy andcooperative efforts. Moreover, it might be beneficial for the UnitedStates to adopt a policy of "strategic restraint." Exercising restraint inthe United States use of hard power abroad will decreasecounterbalancing and increase regional cooperation.
Improving Our Ability to ForecastPowerSeveral variables and indicators provideinformation about the current state ofpower distribution, especially the softerforms. Such variables--which includecultural attractiveness, political outcomesand rulings, knowledge generation anduse, and governance effectiveness--mightbe incorporated in predicting distributionsof power.
The first of these variables, cultural attractiveness, includes the"consumption" of US culture, the prevalence of English, the spreadof US-style institutions, and the allure of US universities. It would beinteresting to conduct an opinion poll that asked respondentsquestions such as: If you could live anywhere in the world, otherthan your own country, where would you live and why? Would yourchoice be most influenced by economic, political, or cultural factors?Equally interesting would be an indicator of knowledge generationand use. This includes a variety of research and developmentexpenditures (total amounts, basic research levels, military researchlevels), the extent of education at the college level and beyond, thequality of education, and knowledge infrastructure, such ascomputers, telephones, and the prevalence of networked users. Athird variable is the set of political outcomes, such as UN votes andWorld Trade Organization dispute rulings, that determine whichstates win and which lose, while additional indicators may includethe influence of non-state actors, governance effectiveness, andmeasures of globalization.
It might be useful to build on these variables and indicators inseveral ways. First, they could be incorporated into the set of factorsfrom which aggregate power indices are computed. In fact, thesystem of flexible weighting that already exists should make thisincorporation easy. In addition, it might be useful to create anabsolute power index in contrast to the current index of relativepower. Although states are characterized by their percentage ofsystem power, many states and non-state actors have beenincreasing their absolute power in ways that affect overall systembehavior. For instance, when non-state actors such as terroristgroups achieve significant absolute power, including the ability to doharm, that fact may be more important than their relative power,which is likely to be modest. On the other hand, the relative power ofthe United States, while enormous in absolute terms, has limits--limits that have become visible in Iraq. Indicators or thresholds forabsolute power would be helpful.
Second, it may be useful to simplify andimprove the user interface for addressingpower. It might be helpful, for instance, toadd a basic report capability focused onthe indices of power and the componentelements of it. It might also be worthconsidering a specialized form to simplifythe controlling of weighting and indexconstruction.
Forecasts, however, will only be as good as the underlyingmodel. There are at least three areas where the foundationsof any power model can be enhanced. First, it would be usefulto turn attention to the production function in the economicmodel. The quality of economic growth forecasts isfundamental to most of what the model does. It would behelpful to better represent that production function in a waythat builds more extensively on current theories ofendogenous growth. Another critical change involves thedevelopment of the education sub-model. Returns toeducation, both in terms of quality and prevalence, may haveimportant implications for models of future power structures.Third, an area that needs significant work is therepresentation of debt and its impact on countries. Significantpower shifts could occur in the international system as a resultof exchange rate changes and financial crises.
relying only on the base case. The most intuitive set of scenarios wouldbuild on different assumptions of economic growth rates. For example, theRAND Corporation has applied a technique called "fault lines" to China. Theanalysis asked what major "fault lines," or adversities, might seriously affectChinas ability to sustain rapid economic growth. It identified such factors asunemployment, poverty, social unrest, corruption, epidemic diseases, aswell as water resources and pollution. It then asked how these adversitiesmight occur, and by how much they would affect Chinas growth.Wild cards--exogenous shocks to the system--are also important toconsider. Future shocks might include energy system shocks, financialshocks, collapses of key regimes, or lethal terrorist attacks. One way RANDhas looked at shocks is "breaking" continuities--searching for factors wherepredictions of continuity seem dubious, even if predicting exactly how, letalone when, that continuity might break is elusive. Breaking is especiallylikely when two measures of continuity are uneasy partners. Forexample, several years ago, work on the Asian Futures model includedexogenous shocks in Korea and China. In Korea, the heavily armedconfrontation is sustained even as North Korea declines economically butdoes not collapse. Similarly, in the China-Taiwan conflict, the stand-off goesup and down in temperature while China does not accept de factoTaiwanese autonomy, and Taiwan does not declare de jure independence.
In sum, there are a number of steps that must betaken if we are to better understand power andforecast international distributions of power.These include strengthening indices of relativeand absolute power, enhancing the foundationsof the power model, and developing futurescenarios. If taken, these steps can providepolicy makers with a more useful set of variablesto measure power, and ultimately improve theirability to understand the future securityenvironment.
Power resources of the Major U. S.contenders, 1990Source of Power United States Soviet Union Europe Japan ChinaTangibleBasic resources strong strong strong medium strongMilitary strong strong medium weak mediumEconomic strong medium strong strong medumScience/Technologystrong medium strong strong weakIntangibleNationalCohesionstrong medium weak Strong strongUniversalisticCulturestrong medium strong medium mediumInternationalInstitutionsstrong medium strong strong medium
Sources ofpowerUnited States Japan China Russia EuropeanUnionIndiatangibleBasicresourcesstrong medium strong strong strong Strong tomediumMilitary strong weak medium strong medium mediumEconomic strong strong strong andmediummedium andstrongstrong medium to strongScience/Technologystrong strong medium medium strongIntangibleNationalCohesionstrong strong strong medium weak weak andmediumUniversalisticCulturestrong medium medium medium strong mediumInternationalInstitutionsstrong strong medium medium strong mediumPower resources of the Major U. S.contenders, 2008 – moja procena
Sources ofpowerUnited States Japan China Russia EuropeanUnionIndiatangibleBasicresourcesMilitaryEconomicScience/TechnologyIntangibleNationalCohesionUniversalisticCultureInternationalInstitutionsPower resources of the Major U. S.contenders in the future?
Ballance of PowerIndicates the relative distribution of poweramong states into equal or unequalshares.Traditionally, it refers to a state of affairs inwhich no one state predominates overothers.Prescriptively, it refers to a policy ofpromoting a power equilibrium on theassumption that unbalanced power isdangerous.
Ballance of PowerPrudent states that are at a disadvantagein the balance of power will (or at leastshould) form an alliance against apotentially hegemonic state or take othermeasures to enhance their ability torestrain a possible aggressor.One state may opt for a self-consciousbalancing role, changing sides asnecessary to preserve the equilibrium.
Certain conditions of BoPa multiplicity of sovereign statesunconstrained by any legitimate centralauthority;continuous but controlled competition overscarce resources or conflicting values;an unequal distribution of status, wealth,and power potential among the politicalactors that make up the system.
equilibriuma kind of compromise among states that find its orderpreferable to absolute chaos, even though it is a systemthat favours the stronger and more prosperous states atthe expense of sovereign equality for all of themGreat powers play the leading roles in balance of powersystems because of their preponderant military force andtheir control of key technologies.hegemonic state will often try to justify its position eitherby providing certain public goods for other states (suchas a beneficial economic order or international security),or because it embraces values that are common to a setof states. Great powers reap a disproportionate share ofthe benefits of the system, but they also bear a greaterresponsibility as its regulators
key distinctionsUnipolarity; one state or superpowerdominates the international system.Bipolarity; two states or blocs of states areroughly equal in power.Multipolarity refers to a situation in whichthere are at least three great powers.
Other distinctionregional or local balancesbalance of power in the internationalsystem as a whole
Other distinctionSubjective and an objective balance of power.One of the great difficulties of evaluating thebalance of power in the 21st century is thatpower resources are unevenly distributedamong the great powers and there is no simplecorrespondence between possession of aresource and the ability to control outcomes as aconsequence. For example, whilst the UnitedStates is overwhelmingly dominant in terms ofmilitary power, economic power is much moreevenly distributed between the United States,Western Europe, and Japan
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