Biblid: 0025-8555, 70(2018)
Vol. 70, No 1, pp. 71-95
Received: 21 Jul 2017
Accepted: 16 Oct 2017
DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDING OF STATE POWER AS A KEY NOTION WITHIN THE REALIST THEORETICAL APPROACH
LIPOVAC Milan (Docent na Fakultetu bezbednosti Univerziteta u Beogradu), email@example.com
The concept of power is not a new phenomenon, so the intellectual origin of this concept can also be found among the ancient philosophers. However, the reconsideration of this concept within the International relations and Security studies started 60-70 years ago. The representatives of the realistic theoretical approach were mostly those who dealt with the concept of power of the state, as well as representatives of other theoretical approaches (e.g. liberalism, social constructivism, critical theories, feminist approaches, etc.). But, despite the great interest in this concept, consensus exists only on two key issues related to power of the state. First, in the terms of importance everyone agrees that the power of the state is one of the key concepts, and second, in the terms of complexity. Therefore, no one should be surprised by the pluralism of viewpoints regarding the concept. Those viewpoints could be reduced on three prevailing comprehensions of power of the state: power as control over resources, power as control over actors and power as control over events and outcomes. All these prevailing comprehensions have its own advantages and disadvantages. The aim of this paper was to present the views of relevant scholars (through the theoretical discussion not only by the realists), and to offer an adequate overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each of these comprehensions. Such a review of literature could certainly be useful for researchers in the case of selecting an adequate comprehension of power of the state for their particular specific research. The researcher should make this kind of decision based on a particular school of thought that he/she prefers, his/her personal affinities, but primarily based on the object and purpose of his/her research. The conclusion of the paper could be reduced to the notion that the concept of power of the state is far beyond the scope of realistic theoretical approach, and that it represents a key concept (and according to some scholars it is the most important concept in the IR), as well as that each of these prevailing comprehensions of power of the state has its own place in the theoretical conceptual apparatus of International relations and Security studies.
Keywords: Realism, state, power, resource control, actor control, event and outcome control