HKS Authors

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Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus


Power is a contested concept, and no one definition suits all purposes. Many analysts of international relations and foreign policy have confused power defined in relational and resource terms. They often use simple command definitions of behavioral power, and neglect the second and third faces of power. In terms of resources, they often have ignored ideational aspects of power resources to accommodate simplified neorealist structural models. This article surveys the usefulness of different definitions and conceptions of power and illustrates how they can produce relatively rich or truncated foreign policy analyses.


Nye, Jr., Joseph S. "Power and Foreign Policy." Journal of Political Power 4.1 (April 2011): 9-24.