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A great power is a sovereign state that is recognized as having the ability and expertise to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength, as well as diplomatic and soft power influence, which may cause middle or small powers to consider the great powers' opinions before taking actions of their own. International relations theorists have posited that great power status can be characterized into power capabilities, spatial aspects, and status dimensions. While some nations are widely considered to be great powers, there is considerable debate on the exact criteria of great power status. Historically, the status of great powers has been formally recognized in organizations such as the Congress of ViennaDanilovic, Vesna. "When the Stakes Are High – Deterrence and Conflict among Major Powers", University of Michigan Press (2002), pp 27, 225–22
(PDF chapter downloads)(PDF copy)
.
or the United Nations Security Council. ''Accordingly, the great powers after the Cold War are Britain, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and the United States'' p. 59 The United Nations Security Council, NATO Quint, the G7, the BRICs and the Contact Group have all been described as great power concerts. The term "great power" was first used to represent the most important powers in
Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ...
during the post- Napoleonic era. The "Great Powers" constituted the " Concert of Europe" and claimed the right to joint enforcement of the postwar treaties.Charles Webster, (ed), ''British Diplomacy 1813–1815: Selected Documents Dealing with the Reconciliation of Europe,'' (1931), p. 307. The formalization of the division between small powers and great powers came about with the signing of the Treaty of Chaumont in 1814. Since then, the international balance of power has shifted numerous times, most dramatically during
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
and
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
. In literature, alternative terms for great power are often world power or major power.


Characteristics

There are no set or defined characteristics of a great power. These characteristics have often been treated as empirical, self-evident to the assessor. However, this approach has the disadvantage of subjectivity. As a result, there have been attempts to derive some common criteria and to treat these as essential elements of great power status. Danilovic (2002) highlights three central characteristics, which she terms as "power, spatial, and status dimensions," that distinguish major powers from other states. The following section ("Characteristics") is extracted from her discussion of these three dimensions, including all of the citations. Early writings on the subject tended to judge states by the realist criterion, as expressed by the historian A. J. P. Taylor when he noted that "The test of a great power is the test of strength for war." Later writers have expanded this test, attempting to define power in terms of overall military, economic, and political capacity. Kenneth Waltz, the founder of the neorealist theory of international relations, uses a set of five criteria to determine great power: population and territory; resource endowment; economic capability; political stability and competence; and military strength. These expanded criteria can be divided into three heads: power capabilities, spatial aspects, and status.Danilovic, Vesna. "When the Stakes Are High – Deterrence and Conflict among Major Powers", University of Michigan Press (2002), pp 27, 225–23

John Mearsheimer defines great powers as those that "have sufficient military assets to put up a serious fight in an all-out conventional war against the most powerful state in the world."


Power dimensions

As noted above, for many, power capabilities were the sole criterion. However, even under the more expansive tests, power retains a vital place. This aspect has received mixed treatment, with some confusion as to the degree of power required. Writers have approached the concept of great power with differing conceptualizations of the world situation, from multi-polarity to overwhelming hegemony. In his essay, 'French Diplomacy in the Postwar Period', the French historian Jean-Baptiste Duroselle spoke of the concept of multi-polarity: "A Great power is one which is capable of preserving its own independence against any other single power." This differed from earlier writers, notably from Leopold von Ranke, who clearly had a different idea of the world situation. In his essay 'The Great Powers', written in 1833, von Ranke wrote: "If one could establish as a definition of a Great power that it must be able to maintain itself against all others, even when they are united, then Frederick has raised Prussia to that position." These positions have been the subject of criticism. In 2011 the U.S. had 10 major strengths according to Chinese scholar Peng Yuan, the director of the Institute of American Studies of the China Institutes for Contemporary International Studies. :1. Population, geographic position, and natural resources. :2. Military muscle. :3. High technology and education. :4. Cultural/soft power. :5. Cyber power. :6. Allies, the United States having more than any other state. :7. Geopolitical strength, as embodied in global projection forces. :8. Intelligence capabilities, as demonstrated by the killing of Osama bin Laden. :9. Intellectual power, fed by a plethora of U.S. think tanks and the “revolving door” between research institutions and government. :10. Strategic power, the United States being the world’s only country with a truly global strategy. However he also noted where the U.S. had recently slipped: :1. Political power, as manifested by the breakdown of bipartisanship. :2. Economic power, as illustrated by the post-2007 slowdown. :3. Financial power, given intractable deficits and rising debt. :4. Social power, as weakened by societal polarization. :5. Institutional power, since the United States can no longer dominate global institutions


Spatial dimension

All states have a geographic scope of interests, actions, or projected power. This is a crucial factor in distinguishing a great power from a regional power; by definition, the scope of a regional power is restricted to its region. It has been suggested that a great power should be possessed of actual influence throughout the scope of the prevailing international system. Arnold J. Toynbee, for example, observes that "Great power may be defined as a political force exerting an effect co-extensive with the widest range of the society in which it operates. The Great powers of 1914 were 'world-powers' because Western society had recently become 'world-wide'." Other suggestions have been made that a great power should have the capacity to engage in extra-regional affairs and that a great power ought to be possessed of extra-regional interests, two propositions which are often closely connected.


Status dimension

Formal or informal acknowledgment of a nation's great power status has also been a criterion for being a great power. As political scientist George Modelski notes, "The status of Great power is sometimes confused with the condition of being powerful. The office, as it is known, did in fact evolve from the role played by the great military states in earlier periods... But the Great power system institutionalizes the position of the powerful state in a web of rights and obligations." This approach restricts analysis to the epoch following the Congress of Vienna at which great powers were first formally recognized. In the absence of such a formal act of recognition it has been suggested that great power status can arise by implication by judging the nature of a state's relations with other great powers.Domke, William K – Power, Political Capacity, and Security in the Global System, Contained in: Stoll and Ward (eds) – Power in World Politics, Lynn Rienner (1989) A further option is to examine a state's willingness to act as a great power. As a nation will seldom declare that it is acting as such, this usually entails a retrospective examination of state conduct. As a result, this is of limited use in establishing the nature of contemporary powers, at least not without the exercise of subjective observation. Other important criteria throughout history are that great powers should have enough influence to be included in discussions of contemporary political and diplomatic questions, and exercise influence on the outcome and resolution. Historically, when major political questions were addressed, several great powers met to discuss them. Before the era of groups like the United Nations, participants of such meetings were not officially named but rather were decided based on their great power status. These were conferences that settled important questions based on major historical events.


History

Different sets of great, or significant, powers have existed throughout history. An early reference to great powers is from the 3rd century, when the Persian prophet Mani described
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg ...
,
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
, Aksum, and
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
as the four greatest kingdoms of his time. During the Napoleonic wars in Europe American diplomat James Monroe observed that, "The respect which one power has for another is in exact proportion of the means which they respectively have of injuring each other." The term "great power" first appears at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The Congress established the Concert of Europe as an attempt to preserve peace after the years of
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic Wars, Europe ...
. Lord Castlereagh, the British foreign secretary, first used the term in its diplomatic context, writing on 13 February 1814: "there is every prospect of the Congress terminating with a general accord and Guarantee between the Great powers of Europe, with a determination to support the arrangement agreed upon, and to turn the general influence and if necessary the general arms against the Power that shall first attempt to disturb the Continental peace." The Congress of Vienna consisted of five main powers: the
Austrian Empire The Austrian Empire (german: link=no, Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling , ) was a Central Europe, Central-Eastern Europe, Eastern European multinational state, multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
,
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was ''de facto'' dissolved ...
,
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
, and
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the List of European islands by area, largest European island and the List of is ...
. These five primary participants constituted the original great powers as we know the term today. Other powers, such as Spain, Portugal, and Sweden, which were great powers during the 17th century and the earlier 18th century, were consulted on certain specific issues, but they were not full participants. After the Congress of Vienna, Great Britain emerged as the pre-eminent power, due to its navy and the extent of its overseas empire, which signalled the '' Pax Britannica.'' The balance of power between the Great Powers became a major influence in European politics, prompting Otto von Bismarck to say "All politics reduces itself to this formula: try to be one of three, as long as the world is governed by the unstable equilibrium of five great powers." Over time, the relative power of these five nations fluctuated, which by the dawn of the 20th century had served to create an entirely different balance of power. Great Britain and the new
German Empire The German Empire (),Herbert Tuttle wrote in September 1881 that the term "Reich" does not literally connote an empire as has been commonly assumed by English-speaking people. The term literally denotes an empire – particularly a hereditary ...
(from 1871), experienced continued economic growth and political power. Others, such as Russia and Austria-Hungary, stagnated. At the same time, other states were emerging and expanding in power, largely through the process of industrialization. These countries seeking to attain great power status were:
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
after the Risorgimento era,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north ...
during the Meiji era, and the United States after its civil war. By 1900, the balance of world power had changed substantially since the Congress of Vienna. The Eight-Nation Alliance was an alliance of eight nations created in response to the Boxer Rebellion in China. It formed in 1900 and consisted of the five Congress powers plus Italy, Japan, and the United States, representing the great powers at the beginning of the 20th century.


World Wars

Shifts of international power have most notably occurred through major conflicts. The conclusion of
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
and the resulting treaties of Versailles, St-Germain, Neuilly, Trianon and Sèvres made Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States the chief arbiters of the new world order. The
German Empire The German Empire (),Herbert Tuttle wrote in September 1881 that the term "Reich" does not literally connote an empire as has been commonly assumed by English-speaking people. The term literally denotes an empire – particularly a hereditary ...
was defeated,
Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire,, the Dual Monarchy, or Austria, was a constitutional monarchy and great power in Central Europe#Before World War I, Central Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed with t ...
was divided into new, less powerful states and the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
fell to revolution. During the Paris Peace Conference, the " Big Four" – Great Britain, France, Italy, and the United States – controlled the proceedings and outcome of the treaties than Japan. The Big Four were the architects of the Treaty of Versailles which was signed by Germany; the Treaty of St. Germain, with Austria; the Treaty of Neuilly, with Bulgaria; the Treaty of Trianon, with Hungary; and the Treaty of Sèvres, with the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
. During the decision-making of the Treaty of Versailles, Italy pulled out of the conference because a part of its demands were not met and temporarily left the other three countries as the sole major architects of that treaty, referred to as the "Big Three". The status of the victorious great powers were recognised by permanent seats at the League of Nations Council, where they acted as a type of executive body directing the Assembly of the League. However, the council began with only four permanent members – Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan – because the United States, meant to be the fifth permanent member, never joined the League. Germany later joined after the Locarno Treaties, which made it a member of the League of Nations, and later left (and withdrew from the League in
1933 Events January * January 11 – Sir Charles Kingsford Smith makes the first commercial flight between Australia and New Zealand. * January 17 – The United States Congress votes in favour of Philippines independence, against the wis ...
); Japan left, and the Soviet Union joined. When
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
started in 1939, it divided the world into two alliances: the Allies (initially the United Kingdom and France, China, followed in 1941 by the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
and the United States) and the Axis powers (
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
, Italy, and Japan).Harrison, M (2000
M1 The Economics of World War II: Six Great Powers in International Comparison
Cambridge University Press.
Even though the book ''The Economics of World War II'' lists seven great powers at the start of 1939 (Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and the United States), it focuses only on six of them, because France surrendered shortly after the war began. During World War II, the U.S., U.K., USSR, and
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
were referred as a "trusteeship of the powerful" and were recognized as the Allied " Big Four" in Declaration by United Nations in 1942. These four countries were referred as the " Four Policemen" of the Allies and considered as the primary victors of World War II. The importance of France was acknowledged by their inclusion, along with the other four, in the group of countries allotted permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council. Since the end of the World Wars, the term "great power" has been joined by a number of other power classifications. Foremost among these is the concept of the superpower, used to describe those nations with overwhelming power and influence in the rest of the world. It was first coined in 1944 by William T. R. Fox''The Superpowers: The United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union – Their Responsibility for Peace'' (1944), written by William T.R. Fox and according to him, there were three superpowers: Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. But after World War II Britain lost its superpower status. The term middle power has emerged for those nations which exercise a degree of global influence but are insufficient to be decisive on international affairs. Regional powers are those whose influence is generally confined to their region of the world.


Cold War

The
Cold War The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of Geopolitics, geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The term ''Cold war (term), co ...
was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc, which began following World War II. The term " cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two superpowers, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict was based around the ideological and geopolitical struggle for global influence by these two superpowers, following their temporary alliance and victory against Nazi Germany in 1945. During the Cold War, Japan, France, the United Kingdom and
West Germany West Germany is the colloquial term used to indicate the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification through the accession of East Germany on 3 O ...
rebuilt their economies. France and the United Kingdom maintained technologically advanced armed forces with power projection capabilities and maintain large defense budgets to this day. Yet, as the Cold War continued, authorities began to question if France and the United Kingdom could retain their long-held statuses as great powers. China, with the world's largest population, has slowly risen to great power status, with large growth in economic and military power in the post-war period. After 1949, the Republic of China began to lose its recognition as the sole legitimate government of China by the other great powers, in favour of the
People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
. Subsequently, in 1971, it lost its permanent seat at the UN Security Council to the People's Republic of China.


Aftermath of the Cold War

China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
,
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
, and the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
are often referred to as great powers by academics due to "their political and economic dominance of the global arena". These five nations are the only states to have permanent seats with veto power on the UN Security Council. They are also the only state entities to have met the conditions to be considered " Nuclear Weapons States" under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and maintain military expenditures which are among the largest in the world. However, there is no unanimous agreement among authorities as to the current status of these powers or what precisely defines a great power. For example, sources have at times referred to China, France,P. Shearman, M. Sussex,
European Security After 9/11
'(Ashgate, 2004) - According to Shearman and Sussex, both the UK and France were great powers now reduced to middle power status.
Russia and the United Kingdom as middle powers. Following the
dissolution of the Soviet Union The dissolution of the Soviet Union, also negatively connoted as rus, Разва́л Сове́тского Сою́за, r=Razvál Sovétskogo Soyúza, ''Ruining of the Soviet Union''. was the process of internal disintegration within the Sov ...
, its UN Security Council permanent seat was transferred to the Russian Federation in 1991, as its largest successor state. The newly formed Russian Federation emerged on the level of a great power, leaving the United States as the only remaining global superpowerThe fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
left the United States as the only remaining superpower in the 1990s.
(although some support a multipolar world view). Japan and Germany are great powers too, though due to their large advanced economies (having the third and fourth largest economies respectively) rather than their strategic and hard power capabilities (i.e., the lack of permanent seats and veto power on the UN Security Council or strategic military reach). Germany has been a member together with the five permanent Security Council members in the P5+1 grouping of world powers. Like China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom; Germany and Japan have also been referred to as middle powers.Er LP (2006
Japan's Human Security Rolein Southeast Asia
/ref>Susanne Gratius, ''Is Germany still a EU-ropean power?'', FRIDE Policy Brief, No. 115 (February 2012), pp. 1–2: "Being the world's fourth largest economic power and the second largest in terms of exports has not led to any greater effort to correct Germany's low profile in foreign policy ... For historic reasons and because of its size, Germany has played a middle-power role in Europe for over 50 years." In his 2014 publication ''Great Power Peace and American Primacy'', Joshua Baron considers China, France, Russia, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States as the current great powers.
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
has been referred to as a great power by a number of academics and commentators throughout the post WWII era. ("''The United States is the sole world's superpower. France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom are great powers''") ("''The great powers are super-sovereign states: an exclusive club of the most powerful states economically, militarily, politically and strategically. These states include veto-wielding members of the United Nations Security Council (United States, United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia), as well as economic powerhouses such as Germany, Italy and Japan.''") (During the Kosovo War (1998) "''...Contact Group consisting of six great powers (the United states, Russia, France, Britain, Germany and Italy).''") The American international legal scholar Milena Sterio writes: Sterio also cites Italy's status in the Group of Seven (G7) and the nation's influence in regional and international organizations for its status as a great power. Italy has been a member together with the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany in the International Support Group for
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
(ISG) grouping of world powers. Some analysts assert that Italy is an "intermittent" or the "least of the great powers", while some others believe Italy is a middle or regional power. In addition to these contemporary great powers mentioned above, Zbigniew Brzezinski
Strategic Vision: America & the Crisis of Global Power
' by Zbigniew Brzezinski, pp. 43–45. Published 2012.
and Mohan Malik consider
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
to be a great power too. Although unlike the contemporary great powers who have long been considered so, India's recognition among authorities as a great power is comparatively recent. However, there is no collective agreement among observers as to the status of India, for example, a number of academics believe that India is emerging as a great power, while some believe that India remains a middle power. The United Nations Security Council, NATO Quint, the G7, the BRICs and the Contact Group have all been described as great power concerts. (''see section on'' 'The G6/G7: great power governance')Contemporary Concert Diplomacy: The Seven-Power Summit as an International Concert
Professor John Kirton
(''The G8 as a Concert of Great Powers'')Tables of Sciences Po and Documentation Francaise
Russia y las grandes potencias
an
G8 et Chine
(2004)
A 2017 study by the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies qualified China, Europe, India, Japan, Russia and the United States as the current great powers.


Emerging powers

With continuing European integration, the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
is increasingly being seen as a great power in its own right, with representation at the WTO and at G7 and G-20 summits. This is most notable in areas where the European Union has exclusive competence (i.e. economic affairs). It also reflects a non-traditional conception of Europe's world role as a global "civilian power", exercising collective influence in the functional spheres of trade and diplomacy, as an alternative to military dominance. The European Union is a supranational union and not a sovereign state and does not have its own foreign affairs or defence policies; these remain largely with the member states, which include France, Germany and, before Brexit, the United Kingdom (referred to collectively as the " EU three").
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
are widely regarded as emerging powers with the potential to be great powers. Political scientist Stephen P. Cohen asserts that India is an emerging power, but highlights that some strategists consider India to be already a great power. Some academics such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and David A. Robinson already regard India as a major or great power. Former British Ambassador to Brazil, Peter Collecott identifies that Brazil's recognition as a potential great and superpower largely stems from its own national identity and ambition. Professor Kwang Ho Chun feels that Brazil will emerge as a great power with an important position in some spheres of influence. Others suggest India and Brazil may even have the potential to emerge as a superpower. Permanent membership of the UN Security Council is widely regarded as being a central tenet of great power status in the modern world; Brazil, Germany, India and Japan form the G4 nations which support one another (and have varying degrees of support from the existing permanent members) in becoming permanent members. The G4 is opposed by the Italian-led Uniting for Consensus group. There are however few signs that reform of the Security Council will happen in the near future.
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
and
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
are also mentioned in the context of great powers.


Hierarchy of great powers

The political scientist, geo-strategist, and former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski appraised the current standing of the great powers in his 2012 publication ''Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power''. In relation to great powers, he makes the following points: According to a 2014 report of the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies:


See also

* Big Four (Western Europe) * G8 *
Indo-Pacific The Indo-Pacific is a vast biogeography, biogeographic region of Earth. In a narrow sense, sometimes known as the Indo-West Pacific or Indo-Pacific Asia, it comprises the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, the western and central Pacific O ...
* List of modern great powers * List of medieval great powers * List of ancient great powers * Power (international relations) * Precedence among European monarchies * International relations (1648–1814) * International relations (1814–1919) * Diplomatic history of World War I * International relations (1919–1939) * Diplomatic history of World War II ** History of United States foreign policy ** History of French foreign relations ** History of German foreign policy ** Foreign policy of the Russian Empire ** Foreign relations of the Soviet Union ** Historiography of the British Empire ** History of the foreign relations of the United Kingdom


Notes


References


Further reading

* Abbenhuis, Maartje. ''An Age of Neutrals Great Power Politics, 1815-1914'' (2014
excerpt
* Allison, Graham. "The New Spheres of Influence: Sharing the Globe with Other Great Powers." ''Foreign Affairs'' 99 (2020): 30
online
* Bridge, Roy, and Roger Bullen, eds. '' The Great Powers and the European States System 1814-1914'' (2nd ed. 2004
excerpt
* Brooks, Stephen G., and William C. Wohlforth. "The rise and fall of the great powers in the twenty-first century: China's rise and the fate of America's global position." ''International Security'' 40.3 (2016): 7-53
online
* Dickson, Monday E. Dickson. "Great Powers and the Quest for Hegemony in the Contemporary International System." ''Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal'' 6.6 (2019): 168–176
online
* * Edelstein, David M. ''Over the Horizon: Time, Uncertainty, and the Rise of Great Powers'' (Cornell UP, 2017). * Efremova, Ksenia. "Small States in Great Power Politics: Understanding the" Buffer Effect"." ''Central European Journal of International & Security Studies'' 13.1 (2019
online
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External links


Rising Powers Project
publishes ''Rising Powers Quarterly'' (2016- ) {{DEFAULTSORT:Great Power Military terminology International relations Hegemony International relations theory States by power status Political science terminology 19th-century neologisms Political terminology