Do you need a short introduction into 'power in International Relations'?
A Working Paper collecting Guzzini's recent encyclopedia entries on power analysis in IRThis Working Paper makes accessible four interconnected commissioned encyclopedia entries on the analysis of power. The first one gives an overview of the different concepts of power in International Relations in their theoretical and historical development. The second treats more specifically with the constructivist view of power in International Relations. That approach has developed out of the critique of conceiving power in terms of mere material properties. In contrast, constructivists stress the constitutive character of ideas for the self-understanding and interests of actors. They also rely usually on a relational understanding of power, which is the topic of the third entry. In a relational understanding of power, power is not the possession of a person, nor does it correspond to a mere production of effects; it is constituted within a social relation. Only by knowing the respective value systems and beliefs specific to the relationship can the analyst attribute power. The fourth and final (shorter) entry is on the phenomenon of fungibility of power resources. In the analysis of power, the problem of fungibility refers to the issue whether or not different types of resources (e.g. military, economic, cultural, diplomatic) have the characteristic of being freely exchangeable or replaceable. If resources are highly fungible, i.e. can be mutually substituted without losing much of their value, then this allows them to be aggregated, so as to permit the construction of overall power resource indexes. This is fundamental for balance of power analyses and for the explanation of behaviour in terms of power maximisation, both typical for realist approaches in IR. The entry shows how lacking fungibility can be seen to undermine such theorising in International Relations.