The Significance of Relative Power Over Absolute Power Term Paper by Vyn Raie

The Significance of Relative Power Over Absolute Power
An explanation as to why an emphasis on relative power in international relations is more important than absolute power.
# 94976 | 1,313 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2006 | US

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This paper takes a look at relative power versus absolute power, from both realist and liberal perspectives. The paper uses Canada and China as examples. The paper concludes that it is better for the state to emphasize a realist perspective rather than a liberalist one.

From the Paper:

"States have always been interacting with one another on a systemic level. According to realists, because states are self-interested, they worry about power of which there are two different kinds. Realists value relative power more than absolute power. Absolute power refers to a state's strive towards flourishing economically, and militarily. On the other hand, relative power refers to a state's emphasis on its relationship with other states around it, watching surrounding states and planning accordingly. However, unlike realists, liberals do not value power as highly and look to gains as being more important. Absolute gains follow a non-zero-sum mentality, which means that a state's gains are infinite. One state's gain does not have to be another state's loss as it could be in the case of relative gains. As a result, what is more important for a state to emphasize: a realist's view of power or the liberal view of gains?"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "A Strong Partnership." Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. <>. 24 Nov 2006. 29 Nov 2006.
  • "Cold War." MSN Encarta. <>1993-2006. 30 Nov 2006.
  • Doyle, Michael W. "Liberalism and World Politics." Essential Readings in World Politics. Ed. Karen A. Mingst and Jack L. Snyder. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc: 2004. 73-82.
  • International Information Program. Trade and Economics. "Study Documents Negative Impact of U.S Trade Deficit with China." Feb 11 2005. 5 Dec 2006. < /g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27893.htm>.
  • Kotkin, Stephen. "OFF THE SHELF; Living in China's World" New York Times. 5 Nov 2006. 29 Nov 2006. < >.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Significance of Relative Power Over Absolute Power (2007, May 13) Retrieved October 28, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Significance of Relative Power Over Absolute Power" 13 May 2007. Web. 28 October. 2020. <>