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VNU Award 2011: Power in international relations

Power has been considered as “blood of live” for international politics, as momentum and basic interest of state in international relations. Power disputes also have been regarded as main reason of war and conflict in history. Power is not only great realty but also centre theory of Realism and main concern of many other theories. Power is the paradigm for explanation of history, especially history of international relations. Understanding power has methodological significance in exploring further process and result of much interaction. Because of such real and theoretical importance, so that power has become centre issues in international relations research.
Understanding the topic has important significance for vision and policymaking. For Vietnam, in both macro and micro dimensions, understanding the issue has been necessary as power has been related closely with our security and development interests. However, the process always contains both opportunities and challenges. The intensive understanding about power and its impacts in international relations will help us to use opportunities and curb challenges. Understanding the topic can help us to select relevant behavior and to limit interference from outside, contributing to maintaining stability of security environment and socio-economic development of our country.
With above-mentioned significance, content of the book is divided into 3 chapter, introduction and conclusion. The introduction presents significance of the topic and the objectives of the book.
Chapter 1: Concept and classification of Power in international relations
The Chapter overviews process of concept of power and analyses the different concepts in international relations research. At the same time, at least seven classifications of power that have been use in reality and research are presented. Besides, chapter 1 also introduces Realism as main theory of power in international relations.
Chapter 2: Component of Power
The Chapter presents the components that compose power of state in international relations. The components are geography, population, military force, economy, sciences-technology and moral factors. In every component, not only different dimensions have been mentioned but also changes of their role have been studied in historical perspective.
Chapter 3: Role of Power in international relations
The Chapter evaluates the role of power in two state and international relations dimensions. In the state dimension, four points have been mentioned: Power as aim and mean of state, factor that determines international position of state, characteristics of power and issue of measuring power. In international relations dimension, role of power is manifested in its domination of many great phenomena in international relations such as balance of power, security dilemma, arm race, ally, power structure of international system and war.

The conclusion gives six author’s evaluation on power in international relations and some recommendation for promoting state strength of our country.

 Asso.Prof. Hoàng Khắc Nam
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