Executive Summary

This article provides a comprehensive overview on the subject matter relating to national power. The various definitions of national power are included and are elaborated according to the different concepts. National power and its importance for both weak and powerful countries in terms of potential and actual powers are discussed. The ways in which national power can be exhibited is explained with examples from relations among countries. The elements of national power with regards to weak and powerful states are discussed utilizing both tangible and intangible elements. Elements are classified into Natural elements and Social elements. The natural elements of power discussed are geography, location, climate, population, territorial boundaries and natural resources. Under social elements of power, the various political doctrines utilized to acquire natural resources, military power and economic power are discussed. The psychological elements of power discussed were national morale, national integration, leadership, propaganda, and ideologies.


The international system is anarchical with no central authority to govern the actions of countries against another, in such a system there is a hierarchy of power among states. There are super powers, great powers, middle powers and micro powers.  Super powers are the world hegemonic powers; they have the ability to exert power and influence in a global level.  Examples for world super powers include the British Empire during the colonial era, Soviet Union and USA during the cold war, and USA remains the sole super power today. Great powers are countries like France, United Kingdom, China, Japan, India and Germany. Middle powers are countries such as Saudhi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand South Korea etcetera. The middle powers are greater in number. Small or micro powers include countries such as Ethiopia, Tibet, Nepal, Ghana etcetera.

There are many definitions to power: All politics, domestic and international, reveal three basic patterns, that is, all political phenomena can be reduced to one of three basic types. A political policy seeks either to keep power, to increase power, or to demonstrate power. (Morganthau, 1948) Power is also subject to growth and decline, both in real and relative terms. If we compare the power of the United States with that of China, we can see that a decade back the U.S. was far more powerful compared to China than today. This is despite the fact that the U.S. power has not declined materially during these days. The highest quality power comes from the application of knowledge. Knowledge can be used to punish, reward, persuade and even transform an enemy into an ally. It increases efficiency and also serves to enhance both, wealth and force. Power does not have to be used to be effective. It is often enough that the other actors acknowledge the presence of power, either implicitly or explicitly, since the potential exercise of acknowledged or presumed power can be as intimidating as its actual use; hence the concept and practice of deterrence. (Joblonsky,1997)

1.1 Elaboration of national power: different concepts

Power can be described as: a measurement of a state or an actor’s ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other actors and states.  National power has two categories of elements: Tangible and Intangible elements. Tangible elements are nuclear, physical and natural resources a country possesses. Intangible elements of power include peace, dignity, leadership and economic prowess. Thus, the ability of an international actor to use its tangible and intangible resources and assets in such a way as to influence the outcomes of events in the international system is power. Usually power is exerted or acquired for achieving national objectives. For example, countries exerting power on other countries to hunt for scarce resources used for industries in their home countries.  Example Gold mining industry in South Africa uses African labor but the company that controls  the industry is DeBeers which is of Dutch origin and products are sold all over the world. South Africa is thus the country which was controlled by a powerful state to exploit its resources and cheap labor.  

Power can also be divided into actual power and potential power. Countries that have nuclear power are potential powers. When they are used, they become actual powers. This causes a security threat to other countries.  According to Morgenthau, power should be exhibited. While countries like Somalia, Ethiopia, have highest rates in poverty, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, has nuclear power.  Some countries are conservative in preserving metaphysical powers; these powers are intangible and the countries have a rich history which they are proud of.  Example : Italy and Greece were home to the great Roman and Greek Civilizations which had  its influence on the historical and cultural development of  modern Europe. Leadership is another of those elements. For example: Hitler being a charismatic leader showed a way for people to admire their racial origins. In understanding actual and potential power, the element of population can be taken into consideration. China owns a huge workforce and controls the world economy, Bangladesh in the other hand, although it possesses manpower, they do not aid in the country’s economic development. Therefore although high population is an intangible element of power, as long as it is not used for development purposes it is at disadvantage.

According to Hans Morgenthau, politics is a power conflict. Therefore all occurrences and procedures could be in different levels, the ultimate goal is to obtain power, expand power, and exhibit power. National power can be exhibited in various ways. By use of influence, in order to obtain obedience from less powerful states, for coercive power, attraction, and collaboration and competition among rival powers.  By use of forces, states can captures and acquire territory in other regions. Through political manipulation, national power can be exhibited.  German aggression during the Second World War was motivated by the jingoism on part of Hitler; his example was followed by Mussolini of Italy and General Franco of Spain.  Neighboring countries with much less power had to fall in line with German aggression for example Poland. Nature of national power for both powerful and weaker states can be elaborated in several concepts. In terms of multi-dimensional inter-relationships, one element cannot decide a country’s national power and it definitely cannot judge a national power relative to other countries. A state does not become powerful with only one element, but a blend of several elements. Brazil, though a country with vast territory has no powerful economy or military prowess.  Bangladesh has a vast population but has high poverty level. Belgium is an industrialized country which doesn’t exhibit its military prowess and nuclear capabilities.  Switzerland possesses first class military power and a stable economy but does not engage in any aggression and is a peaceful country. Peace is also an element of National power where the countries though they possess military capabilities advocate peace without plunging in to war as war could destabilize the economy and incurs a huge cost.

A single element in a country’s national power cannot be wholly decisive. Hans Morgenthau views it as a Fallacy of the single factor. Power is relative and inconsistent. Power is constantly compared with the power of another country. USSR was once a hegemony which was the opponent of USA, but now it has become second rate to USA as the powers of the Soviet Union collapsed. In terms of economics, OPEC countries have a higher bargaining power than Europe, Australasia or Asia. The best technological equipment and machinery is shipped to countries with high bargaining power and these countries include:  Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Quatar, Venezuela etcetera. Power also comes in opportunities; even to a powerful state, power cannot be used in some cases. Smaller states sometimes use power against stronger states.  During the USA-Iran hostage crisis, USA could not take any measures against Iran.  During the cold war, the non-alliance states of 1973 could have formed a power block but they wished to remain neutral without joining any rival power blocks. Although Arabia and Israel were middle powers, during the Arab-Israel war, America did not receive permission to establish NATO headquarters. 

National power is also used in negative and positive situations by both powerful and weak states. When considering powerful states, positive situations are where they help smaller states through granting loans and aids. This is called exhibiting ‘soft powers’ by exerting influence in other states economically. Negative situations are when super powers and great powers place economic and military sanctions on weaker states that disagree with them. Example: America’s sanctions on Cuba, USA sanctions on Iran and prohibitions of diplomatic missions. By maneuvering power positively, stronger states can help weaker states. Russia sent military and economic aids to Castro ruled countries. During the Israel-Palestinian conflict, USA supported Israel.  There are also instances when countries are reluctant to acknowledge another country’s power; France in 1958 resigned from the membership of NATO against the membership of USA. Sometimes very powerful countries with military and nuclear power do not use them against other countries in certain situations. USA followed an isolation policy after the Second World War till she was provoked into retaliation against bombing of Pearl Harbor. During the Cuban missile crisis, America would not use power against Cuba. Similar during the India-Pakistan Kashmir conflict thought both countries possessed nuclear power they wouldn’t use it against another.

1.2 Elements of National Power: Natural Elements

Frederick Hartman who wrote ‘Relations Among Nations’ explains the different elements of power in which the natural and social classification of power is discussed. Geographic elements include the size of land which is considered a military strategy. When small countries are easily subjected to invasions and in invading large countries, it is difficult to conquer the whole country by the opponent. Small countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal were subjected to invasions. Napoleon and Hitler could not invade Russia due to its land area. IN 1976, Japan tried to invade China and failed due to its land area. Soviet Russia and Yugoslavia as a strategy of developing power tried to annex several regions because increased territory in terms of land can increase power. The location is a natural element of power important to both small and big/weak and powerful states due to Geopolitical concerns. Sri Lanka, being close to India and strategic position in the Indian Ocean is an advantage for trade. Tibet’s position between India and China, the position of Suez Canal in Egypt, and Poland’s location between Russia and Germany are important. India’s rise of power is a threat to neighboring China; Tibet being located in between the two countries is important because of its security implications. During the Second World War, Poland was Germanized and was used as a means to access Russia.

The climates of countries are also an important natural element of power. African countries suffer due to the dry and humid climate while Arctic and Sahara desert regions are not suitable for human habitation.  In the context of war, the climate and seasonal change has affected operations that can sometimes cause defeat or victory in war depending on which side is at advantage or disadvantage. Examples: Vietnam-USA war- American troops were defeated in Vietnam because of the monsoons and dense forests in Vietnam. Similarly, Hitler’s troops were defeated in Stalingrad Russia because of the harsh winter. Internal topography and shape of the country can naturally affect a country’s security. Examples: the Himalayas between China and India, the Pyrenees Mountain range protecting Spain, and the English border protects Britain.

Territorial Boundaries as an element of national power for both weak and powerful countries most time cause long term disputes leading to wars.  There are natural and manmade borders, artificial borders later become the cause for inter-state conflicts. Some of the existing borders today include North and South Korean border established in 1948. India and China war was based on the Sino-Indian border conflict. Arab and Israeli conflict was based on the West Band near Jordan, Gaza Strip close to Egypt and Golan Heights near Syria. Territorial border invasions are a main reason that causes war. Examples: Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict on the Nagorno-Karabakh war border, German invasion of polish border, German invasion of Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia etcetera. Sudetenland was a region that had a major population of Germans. It was to bring more space to their race that Germany tried to annex Sudetenland.   In order to solve border issues, States enter into cease fire agreements. Through them, the states come into terms about borders. 1967-Israeli-Syria-Purple line border,1949-India-Pakistan ceasefire Agreement, and China-India McCartney-MacDonald Line are a few examples.

Within the countries, with the increase of population, the infrastructure, strengthening off investments and economic development is a problem in developing countries. Countries that have less income have higher population rates than developing countries and countries with moderate incomes. The majority of 7.2 billion populations in the world today are from sub-Saharan and Asian countries. Due to the rapid increase of population, some countries in order to control the increase of population follow certain policies. In 1980, China introduced a one child policy to families. The structure of the population also matters in national power for all states. Increases of groups that belong and contribute to the workforce become part of the National Power. Despite the low population in Israel, it has a higher percentage of people and who contribute to the workforce. The structure of the population in some countries is represented by gender, age, racial and religious characteristics, labor and production capacities, rural-urban gap, and education. Sri Lanka is a state that provides free education and health care services.

Perhaps the most important element of national power is Natural resources. Natural resources are important in a country as a national power due to their ability to be used in defense mechanisms, industrial development, and trade among countries. Natural resources do not have equal distribution among nations; it is due to this scarcity and unequal distribution that countries try to enter to negotiations or in some cases disputes. Lack of natural resources can cause drop-down in production and thus the economies. Various strategies are then used to acquire resources, markets and develop the economy of the countries. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, declining production and rising unemployment made capitalist countries to pursue ‘beggar-thy-neighbour’ policies in the late 1920s and 1930s. In 1877, the British found Diamond mines in Cape Town, Africa. Till then, locals had not found them. Gold is a rare natural resource and countries that possess gold are sought after by rich and powerful countries that have the money and technology to invest in acquiring Gold, but the problem they face is acquiring cheap labor to employ in mining activities. For this purpose the country with the resource is acquired through force. During the Apartheid, South Africa was under Dutch dominion and they established DeBeers Company using the diamond and gold reserves of South Africa. Today, two thirds of the South African economy depends on its gold mines with Johannesburg as the center of the gold mining industry.

A most crucial natural resource in the world used for generating power, nuclear energy and for most industries is Crude oil. The countries possessing crude oil are less in number and they have very high bargaining power: countries of the OPEC. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in Baghdad, Iraq, with the signing of an agreement in September 1960 by five countries namely Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. They were to become the Founder Members of the Organization. These countries were later joined by Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962), Libya (1962), the United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973), Gabon (1975) and Angola (2007). From December 1992 until October 2007, Ecuador suspended its membership. Gabon terminated its membership in 1995. Indonesia suspended its membership effective January 2009. Currently, the Organization has a total of 12 Member Countries. (OPEC, 2014)

The image below excerpted from www.OPEC.org illustrates crude oil distribution among the OPEC countries.   

Figure 1 (Percentage of oil Reserves in OPEC)

States use different strategies to acquire natural resources they do not possess in their mother country. Resources are purchased, and through agreements and political manipulations natural resources are acquired. There are several Doctrines adopted by leaders of the US regarding policies on countries through which they acquire resources for the benefits of USA.

·       Monroe Doctrine- (is not codified, but made through declarations) President James Monroe’s foreign policy. ‘European efforts to colonize or interfere with states of Latin American countries would be viewed as acts of aggressions requiring US intervention. Thus other countries were not allowed to use resources of Latin American countries such as Nicaragua, Cuba which are famous for sugar cultivation.
·       Eisenhower Doctrine- Foreign policy of President Dwight David Eisenhower. This was a protest against Russian use of the Suez War as a pretext to enter Egypt.
·       Truman Doctrine- an international relations policy by US president Harry Truman. Policies set to prevent Greece and Turkey from falling to the Soviet sphere.

Countries that have natural resources are invaded and strict methods are used to exploit these resources. When looking in to the Crimean crisis, Ukraine’s top export is ‘natural gas’, iron, redefined petroleum, and seed oil. The implication of the Russian armed forces seizing control of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 is that it disrupts relations between Ukraine and the European Union. About 80% of Russian gas exports to Europe pass through Ukraine. Europe depends on Russia for 40% of its imported fuel. The most important pipelines that run through Ukraine are the ones leading to Slovakia; they eventually take gas to Germany, Austria and Italy. (The Diplomat, 2014) The Spratly Island dispute is cause as many states including China, Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan are claiming this land. The location of Spratly Island in the South China Sea is a strategic location as it also holds significant reserves of oil and natural gas.

1.3 Elements of National Power: Social Elements

Military Force/Power is a strong element that determines national power. However, not all countries have military capabilities, and countries with military power sometimes are reluctant to go to war as it is very costly and destabilizing the economy. A country cannot only be powerful with military power as it should have a powerful economy too. These are elements that complement each other in order to remain strong in the International System. USA is the strongest state in military and economic terms. In order to rise in military power, a country should also possess attractive leadership, technology and mass man power. Example: During the Gulf War, American soldiers were sent to war affected areas spending 80 billion US dollars. Sending of voluntary soldiers to peace keeping activities of UN is mostly contributed by America. Thus it is financially stable and has military power and big numbers of troops to engage in times of crisis. An example of how leadership affects National Power can be seen during Russia’s escalation of power during Putin’s leadership. China is a great power that boasts of the biggest militia. Military power is an insignia of the national pride of Great Britain.

In the cold war period, under Ronald Reagan’s presidency, US developed its military powers greatly. Germany during the Second World War dispatched its Kraigsmarine to invade enemy states displaying their naval prowess. Some states that do not publicly display their power in the international arena have the ability to speedily increase their power to face a threat. Example: Israel’s current army of 164,000 soldiers can be doubled in 24 hours at times of crisis; similarly Sweden could double its army in 24 hours too. Some countries have military power, but are unable to use them in an unexpected crisis because of underestimation of the opponent or lethargy. Such situations damage National Power of the country at disadvantage. Example: Germany underestimated Russia’s military powers till they were defeated in Stalingrad in 1943. USA during its policy of isolation did not show interest in Japan’s rise of power till Japan provoked the USA by the attack on pearl harbor in 1941.

A prosperous economy is an important element of national power for both weak and powerful states. However economic power as an element cannot stand alone without population (high man power to engage in manufacturing and production), natural resources, and climate that fosters cultivation. These are a few explained examples

·       Somalia, Uganda, Congo are countries with declining economies and they are poverty stricken. There is inflation, lack of resources and tribal disputes. The factor that decides the entire power of a country is the economic factor.
·       USA, UK, and China are countries with very high technology. Since they have the financial capability to invest in technology, they are highly industrious with developed agriculture.
·       India, before it became a great power launched five year development plans to develop its agriculture and infrastructure, Iron and machinery, and Industry. Some places in India are called IT villages and they produce the highest number of software engineers.
·       Countries like Thailand, and Philippines increase small business enterprise to develop its tourism.
·       There are instances where political movements cause downfall in economies. Example: Perestroika reformation within the communist party of the Soviet Union led by Mikhail Gorbachov and Glasnost policy was often argued as the cause of dissolution of the Soviet Union.
·       Some states possess unstable economies due to high levels of poverty and inflation. Examples: Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
·       Due to internal conflicts, some states cannot reach economic stability. Examples: Uganda’s war with Congo, and existence of anarchy in Somalia.

Nationalism is an important element of understanding national power where powerful and weak states are considered. Nationalism can be defined as promotion of national identity to the exclusion of other entities. It promotes the characteristics of the group and allegiance to that group. Nationalism is often ties to the principal of self-determination which suggest that people have the right to form a state and have control over their affairs.  Nationalism can contribute to conflict in many ways. In countries where there are a number of ethnic groups; a leader often emerges who encourages the supremacy of one group at the expense of another. This had led to war, intrastate conflict, ethnic cleansing and genocide. This is difficult for the countries in the international system for different reasons. If smaller states depend on imports of certain items from the countries where there are conflicts, the trade relations fall into jeopardy. At the same time, powerful countries understand it’s difficult to pit the sovereignty of one state against the need to protect people and non-combatant groups against human rights violations and genocide. It was issues relating to ethnicity and national identity that led to the collapse of Yugoslavia. Serbs, Croats, and Bosnian Muslims engage in war over the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In this case, ethnic cleansing was encouraged by nationalist leaders such as Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia and Franjo Tudjman in Croatia. This can also be seen in Rwanda, where approximately 800,000 people were massacred in 1994. In Rwanda, the hatred against Tutsis had been building for decades and finally exploded in 1994, following the death of Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu. (Kaufman,2013)

Nationalism and its principal of self-determination are also tied to the concept of territory. Here there are instances when the conflicts were solved by mediator (a super power) and when all attempts at negotiation fail. The Camp David Accords, signed in September 1978 between enemies Egypt and Israel, was mediated by the United States under the direction of President Jimmy Carter. An intractable conflict that couldn’t be solved using any mediation or negotiation was the city of Jerusalem which was claimed by both Palestinians and Israelites.

1.3.1 Elements of National Power: Social Elements: psychological elements
The psychological elements of National Power that are important to both weak and powerful states include: national characteristics, national morale, national integration, propaganda, leadership and ideologies. National characteristics include place branding; the process of image communication to a target market. This is how countries identify themselves. America considers itself a democracy, Amsterdam is called Lampsterdam: ‘lighted city’, Paris is the ‘illuminated city’. Some countries are known for their aggressiveness: Germany-Nazism, Spain/Italy- fascism. Norway prides itself as a country that speaks against war crimes and human rights. Psychological elements cannot be measured; it is determined by how the country perceives itself and how other countries perceive it. USA is known for valuing individual liberty, whereas Russia and Germany has high nationalist feelings. Britain is proud of its historical value. Japan is known for its efficiency of industrial activities/ labor and discipline.

National integration, as an element of national power refers to the process of creating a single identity by which the people from a particular area or country should subscribe. National integration seeks to eliminate vices like inequality, while strengthening solidarity and unity. Example: In America, there are so many people with multi-ethnic roots but they maintain a common identity as Americans. Uni-racial countries have a high rate of national integration compared with multicultural states. Multi-cultural states do not have stability due to minority and majority issues. Differences in race, religion, caste, language, ethnicity, political opinion, and sexual orientation are disadvantages to these countries. Example: Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria are destabilized due to majority and minority problems.  In Iraq, there was the conflict among Sunni and Shiite Muslim factions. Turkey guerillas demanded for a separate state. Kosovo that was divided from Serbia became a new state. This was a reason for the collapse of Serbia’s National Integration. Rwanda, is a country with low national integration due to the Tutsi minority and Hutu majority engaging in war and genocide that received international criticism.

National morale is used to represent the willingness of a civilian population (and its military forces) to continue to engage in war. Having a high national morale indicate the population is more willing inclined to support war; low national morale indicates people are close to giving-up. Examples: In Sri Lanka, during the final stages of the civil war, there was very high support from citizens to continue the war till victory on part of the government. Leaders play a huge role in maintaining the national morale of citizens. Venezueala was brought to stability through the leadership of Castro. Lenin and Stalin in USSR fostered national moral as the populace would generally support their causes. Italy gaining support and willingness to be controlled by fascism was lead by Mussolini. Hitler was an able leader that advocated Nazism in Germany and lead Germany to war even with Russia.

In order to boost national morale, Propaganda is used as a technique. Through communication methods, the ability to influence another state and develop power has increased. The inventions of the television, radio, internet and social media has paved the way for leaders to address and attract masses. Examples: Paul Joseph Goebbels was the Reich Minister of propaganda for Germany advocating Nazism. Arthur Sieyss Inquart, an Austrian Nazi politician established Nazism in Austria. Konrad Henlein establishes Nazism in Czechoslovakia. [Germany wins over Czech and Austria theoretically due to Nazi propaganda]. In the war between USA and Vietnam, Vietnam used radio Hanoi services to get their messages through. In the Yugoslav wars, Serbia fought against Croatians, Albanians, and Bosnians. Serbia carried out propaganda against Yugoslavia. Soviet Russia used film as media to mobilize masses. Some notable films include: ‘Battleship Potemkin’, ‘I am Cuba’ and ‘October: Ten Days That Shook the World’. Recently six people who created and posted a video on YouTube dancing to Pharell William’s international hit ‘happy were arrested by the Iranian secret police. This video was a harmless one that did not carry political messages or any such but the ayatollah regime accused it as ‘un-islamic behavior’. When digging deep into the implications of the arrest, this video has over a million views on YouTube. The creators of the video, through the huge public audience gained, demonstrated a power to mobilize the masses. And that, presumably, is what the guardians of revolutionary order found most threatening about the whole incident. (Foreign Policy, 2014)

Leadership is another intangible element of National Power and a very important one for both weak and powerful states. USA is a brilliant example for leadership affecting stability and economic development. In foreign policy implementation, some national leaders influence greatly towards the other country. Panama was part of Columbia, but America wanted to continue the French intention of building a canal. America instigated panama citizens of Columbia to revolt against Columbia by providing funds. Later Panama became an independent state. Therefore through leadership USA exhibited how it can use power and influence to separate states. Leaders of a state can influence the state internally and exert international influence too. When diplomatic plans and capabilities to implement them of a leader are high, the ability to raise national interests is high. The negotiations and dealings with other states can be conducted amicably. USA president Nixon, with the intention of building diplomatic relations tours in People’s Republic of China. For a leader who has a good plan, sometimes the general public provides the fullest support. Such leaders are known for their charisma. Example: Non-violence movement of Mahatma Gandhi, Mao-tse-tung of China and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela.

The concept of national interest and how countries achieve it is also important to states. Political scientist Charles Kegley states ‘the primary obligation of every state-the goal to which all national objectives should be subordinated-is to promote its national interest to acquire power for this purpose’.  Realist thinkers define national interest in terms of power; in the belief that only by acquiring power can a country achieve its primary goals. Some political scientists define national interest more broadly than simply the acquisition of power, such as protecting what the state sees as its core interests, which are those that involve the protection and continuation of the state and its people. (Kaufman, 2013)

Ideologies that a state represents are also an element of national power that affects both weak and small states. Among opinions, some opinions that are central such as capitalism, liberalism, socialism, democracy etcetera affect a state’s relationship with another. States with similar ideologies band together while states with contrasting ideologies clash. Russia influenced other states with equal powers with their ideology during the Cold War. Example, smaller states such as Lithuania, Latvia, Bolivia, are influenced during the cold war (satellite states) New socialist countries of the Latin America use their opinion and political ideologies to go against capitalist ideology of USA. Example: Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Ecuador. Countries that stand for Democratic Peace theory, do not invade states with similar views. Some countries use soft power approaches to influence countries such as China; financial aids to countries like Sri Lanka. Collapse of ideologies can lead to collapse of a state. With the collapse of Nazism, Germany lost its power as a state as an aftermath of the Second World War. As an aftermath of the Cold War, Russia had to accept certain policies of capitalism putting away absolute socialist ideology. In Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito/Marshall Tito, leader of the non-aligned movement, secretary general of the league of communists of Yugoslavia, widely acclaimed as a unifying symbol domestically and abroad. After his death Yugoslavia plunged into war. Tsar Russia collapses with October revolution.


Although in a nation, diversity in terms of racial, religious, and political factions cannot be managed, a strong sense of nationalism can help achieve it. Sometimes adversities help bring an otherwise divided people together. The United States and its allies could easily invade Iraq and Afghanistan because their people are divided into ethnic and sectarian groups, but they will never venture against countries like Iran and North Korea which stand as one nation. The country with the world’s highest population, China, with its huge territory has improved unity to an extent that it has improved its industry to gradually become a super power. This is a good example of how unity and direction can turn a demoralized, opium infested country into a super power within a short span of half a century. Therefore, nationalism provides a degree of integration and a sense of belonging which contribute to national will and morale.  Power is the ability of an individual or state to influence or control the behavior of others. Relations among nations depend on how power is used. It is a very strong persuasive tool and the elements of national power can be sharpened to achieve the goals of a state. National power depends on both intangible and tangible elements, the presence or absence of an element does not guarantee power otherwise. The country must identify its strengths and weaknesses to balance between its actual and real powers.


·       Ahmad.n.d., Concept of National Power, viewed 29 May 2014, http://www.issi.org.pk/publication-files/1361514464_18039185.pdf
·       Baldwin.n.d., Power and International Relations, Viewed 01 June 2014, http://www.princeton.edu/~dbaldwin/selected%20articles/Baldwin%20(2012)%20Power%20and%20International%20Relations.pdf
·       R. Jackson, 2013. Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches. 5 Edition. Oxford University Press. Oxford
·       J.Kaufman, 2013. Introduction to international relations. Rowman and little field publishers. Plymouth
·       H. Morgenthau, 2005. Politics Among Nations. 7 Edition. McGraw-Hill. New York
·       Encyclopedia Britannica. 2014. national interest. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1082114/national-interest. [Accessed 07 June 2014].
·       Foreign Policy. 2014. Not So Happy In Iran. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/06/04/not_so_happy_in_iran?utm_content=buffer730d1&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer. [Accessed 07 June 2014].
·       OPEC. 2014. OPEC : Member Countries. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/about_us/25.htm. [Accessed 01 June 2014].
·       OPEC. 2014. OPEC : OPEC Share of World Crude Oil Reserves. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/data_graphs/330.htm. [Accessed 01 June 2014].
·       Wikipedia. 2014. National power. [ONLINE] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_power. [Accessed 07 June 2014].
·       Wikipedia. 2014. Power in international relations. [ONLINE] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_(international_relations). [Accessed 06 June 2014].

Copyright © 2016 Natasha Fernando, Inc .All rights reserved. No part of the content of this blog may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the blog author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher via LinkedIn, Google +, or Mail.


Follow by Email

Add me to your circles

Powered by Blogger.

Natasha Fernando's Blog

Natasha Fernando's Blog
I share my writing on an online platform because knowledge has to be shared. Margaret Fuller said : "If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it"

Natasha Fernando

Natasha Fernando

Translate my blog


Popular Posts

About the Author

Natasha Fernando is an undergraduate double majoring in Law and International Studies. This is her blog sharing her academic writing, essays, poetry and creative passages. She is also a volunteer blogger for the UNDP UNLOCKED Blogging platform.

My readers are welcome to comment and engage with the posts and contact me via LinkedIn or Google Plus. THIS PLATFORM IS FOR YOU TO AGREE DISAGREE AND DISCUSS.

Contact me if you want your events covered in a youth perspective. I publish articles for free in my blog. Always welcome a learning opportunity. #always #always a #Student

DISCLAIMER: The education institutes, where author is currently an undergraduate, does not represent or endorse the views expressed in this blog.