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Power in International Relations

  • Enrico Fels
Chapter
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Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)

Abstract

‘Power’ and ‘shifts in power’ are two of the most common topics of debate in IR and a number of other fields. Before delving into the problem of how to decipher shifts in power, it is important to understand the difficulty in defining the concept of ‘power’ in IR. Most scholars of IR as well as political practitioners agree that “power is the platinum coin of the international realm, and that little or nothing can be accomplished without it.” While “the concept of power is central to international relations”, the majority of IR scholars nonetheless agree that “the nature of power remains a central puzzle for international relations theory.” Accordingly, for millennia the study of power has been an essential part of human philosophical endeavours: be they Greek generals, Indian philosophers or Roman and Chinese statesmen, they have all tried to answer questions regarding the essential nature of power, its sources and how to wield it most wisely in order to maintain and increase it.

Keywords

Foreign Policy International Relation Nuclear Weapon Structural Power International Affair 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Fels
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Global StudiesUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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