The Concept of Power in International Politics

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The concept of power is central to the study of international politics. International politics has been defined in terms of influencing major nations in the world to advance the purpose of a nation against the opposition of other nations. Thus, it is rather not surprising that power, either by means of influence or control, has been a dominant concept that is intertwined in discussion when it comes to the study of international politics. Before getting into the fundamental nature of power in international relations, it is needed to consider just what power is. Power in the study of international politics can be derived in several ways as a goal of states or individual; as a measure of influence or control over actors, events, outcomes, and international affairs; as reflecting triumph in conflict and obtaining security; as control over capabilities and resources. Power can broadly be considered of as the ability to manipulate others to act according to our benefit, and to avert them from doing the same to us.

Power is the creation, in and through social relations, of outcomes that characterize the ability of actors to find out their status and fate. This wide-ranging concept involves two fundamental critical dimensions: the types of social relations through which power works in relations of interaction or in social relations of constitutions and specificity of social relations through which effects are produced. The more power inclines more foreign policy choices; the lesser-known theory of "balance of power," where nations compete for dominance in a complicated chess game of military spending and diplomatic posturing. Possession of power permits both individuals and countries to successfully endorse and guard their interests con...

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... Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Stronger states such as the US waged war against weaker states such as Vietnam. Interestingly, the defeat of the United States in Vietnam and of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan indicates to a more intricate concept of power which is broader than mere financial or military strength. In fact, a lot of the current theories of international relations dispute that power as conventionally described by realists is intrinsically unclear and open to analysis based on particular state of affairs. Nevertheless, it can be successfully concluded that power is primarily associated with what a state can stop another state from doing to it and what a state can do. The ways by which power is executed may be changing, yet the fundamental nature of competing desires and interests remain predominant in defining the international relations.

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