On the Measure of Power and the Power of Measure in International Relations
This publication discusses the impossibility of objectively measuring the concept of power, arguing that international relations as a discipline misconceived and misused the concept of power. In the first part of the study, the author presents a classic conceptual analysis to show that a general 'overall power' analysis is inevitably flawed. The second part introduces a more constructivist conceptual analysis, introducing the notion of performativity, and highlights the political battle over defining the criteria of power. The paper discusses the debate over US power, showing that the way power is conceived implies and legitimates particular foreign policy action.
© 2009 Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)