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Back to BasicsState Power in a Contemporary World$
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Martha Finnemore and Judith Goldstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199970087

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199970087.001.0001

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New Terrains: Sovereignty and Alternative Conceptions of Power

New Terrains: Sovereignty and Alternative Conceptions of Power

(p.339) 15 New Terrains: Sovereignty and Alternative Conceptions of Power
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Stephen D. Krasner

Oxford University Press

Conventional approaches, which focus on material resources as the basis of power and altering foreign policies as the primary objective of states, are incomplete. Power is reflected not only in the ability to make threats and offer rewards based on material resources (military and economic), but also in the capacity to change the identities, the self-conceptions, of weaker targets. More powerful states may focus not just on changing the foreign policies of their counterparts in other countries but also on state building, altering the domestic authority structures within which these counterparts are embedded. State building will not disappear as a goal of foreign policy because, as a result of the spread of nuclear and biological capability, weaker states pose a threat to the security of the stronger. Changing domestic authority structures in other states, however, remains a formidable challenge better accomplished through bargaining, or voluntary agreement, than through power in any of its multifold manifestations.

Keywords:   international relations, power, state power, sovereignty, state building, foreign policy, bargaining

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