Reconsidering Power in International Relations

Akgül Ö., Renda K. K.

CHINESE POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW, vol.5, no.3, pp.332-354, 2020 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s41111-020-00151-4
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.332-354
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This article provides a conceptual and empirical review of power analysis in International Relations. The main objective of this article is to bridge the gap between conceptual and empirical research on power. First, it reviews various definitions of power by focusing specifically on International Relations literature. Second, it identifies and illustrates key measurement issues concerning the national power capacities of major powers. In this article, the Composite Index of National Capabilities for 20 countries for the period between 1991 and 2012 is used to demonstrate the change in power distribution among major powers. Lastly, it introduces diplomatic representation and war proneness as two new variables that enhance the empirical analysis of power by adding a relational dimension while working with tangible and quantifiable data. These two variables are both indicators and sources of national power. The article concludes by suggesting that diplomatic representation, and war proneness of countries, should be taken into consideration analytically if one wants to comprehend the dynamics and effects of power distribution among the most powerful countries in today's world.