Power and Sovereignty

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Published on 29 Sep 2011
School
University of Ottawa
Department
Political Science
Course
POL 1102
Professor
Power
-In a strict sense: the ability to act (I can).
-Connection with assertiveness (Giddens) and free will (who I am).
-Ability to act is determined by choices made, direction (I choose).
-In social relationships terms, power focus for political science: the ability to mobilize resources by
setting a direction (Montbrial).
Power to do: empowerment, autonomy.
Power over: rule, control, constraint.
-At the international level, right to self-determination for the peoples: the ability to decide and act by
and for oneself.
Power as a Force (Might, Puissance)
-One of the central categories in International Relations, particularly for the realism school.
-For Weber: possibility to “triumph”, to have your own way in a social relationship by your own will.
-Not in absolute terms but interactions.
Two Dimensions
-Positive: Ability to do and to make others do.
-Negative: Ability not to do and to prevent others to do.
Power Factors
-Geography
-Natural Resources
-Industrial, Technological Capacity
-Finance
-Economy
-Military and State of Readiness
-Population
-Education
-For the longest time it was mostly based on military.
-Today, Military is important no doubt, but may be questioned as the sole and prime factor.
-Factor weight varies and must be assessed in context (interdependence).
-Economic globalization as a transforming force.
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Document Summary

In a strict sense: the ability to act (i can). Connection with assertiveness (giddens) and free will (who i am). Ability to act is determined by choices made, direction (i choose). In social relationships terms, power focus for political science: the ability to mobilize resources by setting a direction (montbrial). At the international level, right to self-determination for the peoples: the ability to decide and act by and for oneself. One of the central categories in international relations, particularly for the realism school. For weber: possibility to triumph , to have your own way in a social relationship by your own will. Positive: ability to do and to make others do. Negative: ability not to do and to prevent others to do. For the longest time it was mostly based on military. Today, military is important no doubt, but may be questioned as the sole and prime factor. Factor weight varies and must be assessed in context (interdependence).

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