The Concept Of Power In Politics Essay

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The Meaning of Power

     The instrumental character of power is that of a “means to an end.” It includes the tools, resources, and abilities used to pursue goals. The meaning of power and its role in politics is understood first with a background of its dual nature.

De jure refers to the theory of power. The concept of “absolute power,” considers tangible factors. When comparing nations’ power, money and gross national product are units of measure; the United States is more powerful than Mexico. Army size and strength are also measurable. World powers, such as the U.S., Britain, and Japan, defeat countries with smaller, weaker armies. From an objective standpoint, tangible assets make a country a world
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The U.S. has power, as mentioned before, and credibility based on its world power status. OPEC’s response will be based on this credibility along with the U.S.’s capability.

What the United States has and can do reestablishes the country’s de jure power. OPEC’s oil-producing countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, know the U.S. has a strong army. But they do not know the U.S.’s plan for using this power. The U.S. could decide to use the army, as a form of physical power if the request is denied. Or, the country could use economic power, in the form of trade restrictions. The percentage of power the U.S. utilizes depends on intention.

The importance of the country’s goals determines the United States’ intention to obtain more oil. Is this a strong intention, requiring one-hundred percent effort and power? Oil is vital to the U.S., in its industries and to its people, for their economic and personal needs. The more necessary oil is for the U.S. to achieve its goals in these areas, the more power will be utilized to get the oil. The contending party, the OPEC nations, is the outside factor in this political situation. The ways in which the United States pursues this issue may include up to eight manifestations of power.

It is best to use the less extreme measure of bargaining first. The United States may trade or provide aid to foreign countries to get the oil. Authority, the U.S.’s power of position, or prestige, the power of

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