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The Measure of Power and the Power of Measure

Thursday October 21, 2010, at 16:00
Seminar Room - Ground Floor IBEI
Stefano Guzzini (Danish Institute for International Studies)


Power is a central concept in theories of International Relations. Its explanatory role shows in such a key concept as the ‘balance of power’ which predicts that allied groups of states will tend to balance their respective powers. But it also plays an important role for understanding the outcome of conflicts, since here ‘power’ has often been likened to a ‘cause’: getting someone else to do what he/she would not have otherwise done. Knowing power distributions therefore is said to explain state behaviour and the outcome of their interaction. This public lecture will illustrate such interactive effects by discussing the present debate about US power, showing the way we conceive power, if it becomes shared, implies and legitimates particular foreign policy action.