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Power and Interdependence Essay (Book Review)

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Updated: May 4th, 2020

Modern world is characterized by a great tension. There is a great number of regions in the world where situation remains unstable. That is why the question of power and responsibility obtains great significance. With this in mind, the article Power and Interdependence revisited by Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye Jr. seems to be very actual nowadays. First of all, it should be said that this article is an attempt to reread and revaluate the book Power and Interdependence which was published several years before.

The authors want to determine whether ideas given in this book are still actual, at the same time trying to add something new as a reaction to modern conditions. At the beginning of the work the authors show how mood of American society has been changing with a flow of time and what events determined direction of societys development. Differences in mood and psychology of different periods of time are underlined. Moreover, they are explained with the help of deep analysis of important factors which had a great influence on society.

The first part of the article investigates the most important issues of the book which are relationship between power and interdependence, explanation of change in international regimes and the ideal type of complex interdependence. The second part is devoted to detailed analysis of concepts and theories which were given by these authors. Next sections main aim is to investigate such concepts as “systemic political process” and “learning”. Attention to these notions is given as they can be very important for further investigations.

The authors enlarge upon each of this parts, revealing some facts and outlining main details of their concepts. In the first part they state the fact that in terms of modern war the costs of using force in order to solve some problem are extremely high. Moreover, the work shows ineffectiveness of super states in struggle with some small countries where social mobilization of population is used. Resting on these facts, it became obvious that some other methods are needed.

Underlining the need of states in security and power, the authors says that military power still remains the most effective tool to satisfy these needs. The thought that interdependence can be analyzed politically without any interference of complex interdependence or international regimes is underlined.

In authors analysis of interdependence they say that military vulnerability remains a very important factor in the world policy which very often influences decision making. However, this fact can also influence bargaining. The author says that the main contribution of the work Power and Interdependence is that analysis of the politics of interdependence requires a complex approach which should be implemented in order to achieve better results.

The work also investigates the concept of complex interdependence and tries to outline its main peculiarities and difficulties connected with its recognition. They state the fact that this idea should not be taken as a reality, though it is a suggestion about the future of the world policy in case the basic notions of realism are preserved. However, the authors stress incompleteness of their treatment of complex interdependence as some theoretical implications have been ignored.

The article also investigates change in international regime and its aftermath for the world. The authors say that there is a tendency to devote more attention to this question, investigating international regimes structure and peculiarities of functioning.

In the end of the article conclusions are made. The authors summarize their main ideas, declaring that this work is attempt to add some new information to their old investigation.

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"Power and Interdependence." IvyPanda, 4 May 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/power-and-interdependence/.

1. IvyPanda. "Power and Interdependence." May 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/power-and-interdependence/.


IvyPanda. "Power and Interdependence." May 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/power-and-interdependence/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Power and Interdependence." May 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/power-and-interdependence/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Power and Interdependence'. 4 May.

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