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In International Theory; Power

In: Social Issues

Submitted By enigmaa
Words 399
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In International Relations, there are some crucial concepts that should be analyzed carefully by scholars. Meanings of these concepts should be clear for all states to minimize contradictions in the existing order. For example, authority and sovereignty are the concepts that ought to be understood by scholars as well as states. Most importantly, power is one of the core concepts in the discipline of International Relations.
Power is generally defined as the ability to influence the behavior of others by whatever means. Most people can think that the only way to exercise power is coercion. However, power does not necessarily involve coercion. It may be exercised as persuasion and as the construction of incentives. In International Relations, power is more than ability. Primary goal of states is to be powerful. In addition, power provides security, control and status to states.
There is no commonly accepted standard for what makes a state powerful. Throughout the history, economic and military power is determinant factor for some countries whereas population, geography and leadership have a role in being powerful for some countries. For example, Great Britain has always benefited its geography. As being an island, it is separated from Europe. Having this advantage, Great Britain prevented Hitler’s invasion of England during World War II. The fact that economical condition is determinant factor for states to be powerful can be seen in Saudi Arabia. Because Saudi Arabia has very important natural oil resources, it has a say in international area like the other OPEC countries.
In international area, states are not the only one who holds the power. There are non-states actors involved in international politics such as nongovernmental international organizations (NGOs) and most importantly intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). Intergovernmental organizations include United Nations, World Trade Organization. For example, United Nations aims to maintain world peace. It has a right to impose sanctions against those who broke the peace and it has policies to remove poverty and suffering. Despite failures of UN for keeping peace in some parts of the world, such as in Somalia, it still has power to say a word in world politics. In addition, as the world becomes global in terms of state’s economy, multinational corporations such as the Coca-Cola Company and McDonald’s have involved in international politics and so acquired power.
To sum up, power in International Relations is hold by states and non-states actors.…...

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