For other types of power, see Power. Power in international relations is defined in several different ways. Modern discourse generally speaks in terms of state power, indicating both economic and military power. Those states that have significant amounts of power within the international system are the penguin dictionary of international relations pdf to as small powers, middle powers, regional powers, great powers, superpowers, or hegemons, although there is no commonly accepted standard for what defines a powerful state.
NATO Quint, The G7, the BRICS nations and the G20 are seen by academics as forms of governments that exercise varying degrees of influence within the international system. Entities other than states can also be relevant in power acquisition in international relations. Such entities can include multilateral international organizations, military alliance organizations like NATO, multinational corporations like Wal-Mart, non-governmental organizations such as the Roman Catholic Church, or other institutions such as the Hanseatic League.
Power as status, which some states or actors possess and others do not. Primary usage of “power” as a goal in international relations belongs to political theorists, such as Niccolò Machiavelli and Hans Morgenthau. Especially among Classical Realist thinkers, power is an inherent goal of mankind and of states.
Economic growth, military growth, cultural spread etc. The German military thinker Carl von Clausewitz is considered to be the quintessential projection of European growth across the continent.
In more modern times, Claus Moser has elucidated theories centre of distribution of power in Europe after the Holocaust, and the power of universal learning as its counterpoint. Jean Monnet was a French left-wing social theorist, stimulating expansive Eurocommunism, who followed on the creator of modern European community, the diplomat and statesman Robert Schuman. Political scientists principally use “power” in terms of an actor’s ability to exercise influence over other actors within the international system.
This influence can be coercive, attractive, cooperative, or competitive. Mechanisms of influence can include the threat or use of force, economic interaction or pressure, diplomacy, and cultural exchange.
Under certain circumstances, states can organize a sphere of influence or a bloc within which they exercise predominant influence. Historical examples include the spheres of influence recognized under the Concert of Europe, or the recognition of spheres during the Cold War following the Yalta Conference. The Warsaw Pact, the “Free World”, and the Non-Aligned Movement were the blocs that arose out of the Cold War contest. Military alliances like NATO and the Warsaw Pact are another forum through which influence is exercised.