What Does Power Exist? Essay

2284 Words10 Pages
What is Power? It is no dispute that international relations, in both contemporary times and the past, has always been characterized by power. Relationships between states are usually characterized by one state having power over the other. In reality, the international playing field is characterized by a hierarchy of states, their place in the order depending on the amount of power they possess. Although the existence of power as a central concept in international relations is universally accepted, how power is defined is the subject of many debates. Because there is a multiplicity of perspectives to be used in looking at international relations – such as realism, liberalism, constructivism, and rationalism, among many others – the views on power can be numerous. Some of the more widely held definitions of power are that it is the ability to control natural resources. Others would argue that it is a state’s ability to control other states. Moreover, some others would claim that power is the capacity to control outcomes in the international sphere. Of course, the perspective or theory that one would subscribe to has a great influence on how one sees the world. This is because “isms”, or theories, are lenses to which a scholar could use to view the world, including international relations, and explain its processes and the outcomes of these processes. Hence, like in any other subject, the philosophy taken by an individual has a strong defining influence on the person’s
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