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What is a Great Power? A Concept and its Meaning for understanding International Relations
GRIN Verlag
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11 pp.
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What is a Great Power? A Concept and its Meaning for understanding International Relations ebook: PDF

Essay from the year 2011 in the subject Politics - International Politics - General and Theories, grade: 2.3, University of Bath, language: English, abstract: ‘A hegemon is a state that is so powerful that it dominates all the other states in the system’. Under this assumption, who can be considered to be a great power? A world leader? Can there be more than just one? And if yes, what makes them so powerful? The purpose of this essay is to point out that the term of great power states and politics has changed in recent decades from security policy aspects of the Cold War to a more broaden definition including societal, economic and cultural characteristics. Taking these indicators into consideration, the international state system has turned away from a bipolar constellation between the two superpowers USA and Soviet Union to a multipolar world with numerous big players and growing regionalisation. In this world order, the BRIC states contemplate the field of great powers next to the US and Russia. The first section will outline a comprehensive definition of what a great power is and which characteristics distinguish it from less powerful states. The second part gives an overview of how great power politics has changed in recent decades from a bipolar world system with two super powers towards a far more diversified multipolar world with various great powers and no remaining hegemon. This approach will be tested within the third part of this essay through brief inspections of the cases of the US, India and the EU.

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