Concept of power in International Relations

The concept of power is very essential as well as very important topic in the International Relations. In other hand, power is one of the main dominating factors in the International Relations.

There are many definitions that define the term of power. Among them, realism assumes that “power is real”.

According to the Holsty , “ power as the general capacity of a state to control the behavior of others”. Every state has some kind of power at a level. Using the power that state can control the other countries, parties or organizations behavior patterns. That power can be military, economically, soft or hard. Any way the ability of a country that can control the others is known as the power.

Power can be defined as the ability to achieve whatever desired. Also, power is a fundamental substance of politics. Sometimes power may be economic. It means power can influence by means of economic.

By The other hand power can be political. A party or a country can influence for the law-making process or the political institutions using power.

Thirdly, power may be personal. Power has the ability to influence and control the people. Armed forces and the police can be mention as the examples for the institutions that a state practice its power over the society.

Power is the ultimate goal of international system. Most of the states have a competition to grow rapidly by economically, military or politically. Anyway, the ultimate goal of these efforts is the power.

The states in the international system use power as a guard for their security. Some states use power for influence and achieve their agendas from the weak states. Same time Some countries use power to protect them from the powerful countries. For an example, China has a large armed force. Most of the time other countries think twice to begin a war with China because of its military power. At the same time, we know a technological and economical war between USA and China is very popular today. However, many countries use power as a tool for maintaining their security.

Power is a good measurement to measure the status of a status. We know there are many powerful and weak states in the international system. When we think about the powerful countries, USA, China, North Korea come first in to our mind. There are some specific power elements for that countries. So, the international system accepts them as powerful countries. By the next article we will discuss about the national power and its elements .

Written by Sandali Chathurika


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