Power and the States of Asia-Pacific Region

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Assignment 4

KK 2 Part A – Power and the States of Asia-Pacific Region

* REMEMBER: 3 Marks indicates roughly 1 paragraph. 6 Marks roughly 2 paragraphs etc*

1. Define the following terms as they relate to global politics.

  1. Power (2 MARKS)

Power in global politics may refer to state power that may be in the form of military or economic power of a state or group of states. There exists no measure or definition of what may be deemed a powerful state though states having significant power in the in the international environment in which they operate in may be deemed to be hegemons, superpowers, great powers, regional powers, or middle powers (Lachmann, 2010). For instance, there are the G20, the BRICS, the G7 all of which are influential of varying degrees in the global political power structure.

  1. National Interest (2 MARKS)

A country’s cultural, military, and economic ambitions and goals. It is an important concept in global politics and international relations particularly among the proponents of the realist political school (Finnemore, 2016).

  1. Describe
    ONE of the ‘dimensions of power’ (2 MARKS) (1-Force, 2-Knowledge, 3-Hidden)

Knowledge power refers to the knowledge regarding something important that an entity has that enables that entity to control people or capital. This may be the knowledge such as the technique for extracting the most energy from coal or the knowledge to manipulate the population into obedience to the authorities (Lachmann, 2010).

  1. Using the dimension you chose above, explain how it can be measured when comparing states (2 MARKS)

To measure knowledge power between two states can be done through analysing aspects such as education levels or levels of development between two countries. For instance a country such as the US has more knowledge power over a country like Tanzania and hence is more powerful

  1. Explain what is meant by ‘SOFT POWER? Give an example in your response.


Soft power refers to the ability of an entity or government to co-op, convince, or attract rather than using means of monetary compensation, force or coercion to persuade people towards a cause (Nye, 2014). It is important to note that for power to be deemed soft it has to be non-coercive. Rather soft power is characterized by foreign policies, political values and culture. In recent times, soft power has variously been used to refer to influencing and changing public opinions by channels deemed not too transparent such as lobbying by powerful non-political and political entities and organizations.

  1. Choosing either AMERICA or AUSTRALIA, describe
    ONE of their national interests. Then explain at least ONE issue in which they have used their power to achieve this national interest (4 MARKS)

The national interest of the United States is to prevent the expansion of the Russian influence in Europe (Neuchterlein, 2013). Pushing for peace and greater development of Europe, they have played a key role in having many states that were in the Soviet sphere of influence join the EU thus weakening Russian influence in Europe. They have also sought to spread their style of government (democracy) throughout the world by supporting rebels in a bid to depose autocratic leaders in Libya, Egypt and currently in Syria (Finnemore, 2016).


LACHMANN, R. (2010). States and power. Cambridge, UK, Polity Press.

NYE, J. S. (2014). Soft power: the means to success in world politics. Soft Power. New York, Public Affairs.

FINNEMORE, M. (2016). National interests in international society. Ithaca, NY, Cornell Univ. Press.

NUECHTERLEIN, D. E. (2013). United States National Interests in a Changing World. Lexington, The University Press of Kentucky.

DUE DATE: Thursday 22 April 2016 4.45pm

Penalties for late submission will apply.

MARKS: ___/20*

RMIT Foundation Studies

2Global Politics 2016 Page