In the chapter 12, we have learned about the definition of power, what has contributed to power and how power can be measured. These papers are going to be about the elements that contributed to power. Power is the product of many elements/factors, one of which, is natural resources. Possession, exploitation, control and use are the 4 level of importance when it comes to natural resources.
Of course, for actors to have large quantity in term of natural resources are usually considered advantageous if compare to others. Along with large quantity of resource, actors have to be able to exploit their own resources. For example, Russia and Serbia are rich in natural resources especially, minerals. Unfortunately, they could not exploit those resources as the locations and climate are not beneficial to them. This show that Russia and Serbia, who has large quantity of resources, received nothing for their power due to the fact that they could not exploit their existed resources. Moreover, actors have to also have control over their resources. Simply means that, actors have to be able to control over their own resources in order to improve their power. The oil-producing states in the Middle East are a good example for that.
Before, oil-producing states are considered important but impotent in the international arena. However, when they were able to cooperate through OPEC and obtained control over their oil fields, those states finally extend their power in the international arena. In addition to possession, exploitation and control, use is also important to actor’s power. Actors have to be able to use their resources effectively for their own purposes. It is usually referring to actor’s industrial sector and economy development.
For example, Democratic Republic of Congo is rich in resources but due to the fact that they are lack in industrial bases, they could not make use of their resources. Another example is Cambodia, Cambodia certainly rich in resources but due to the limitation of industrial base and economy of this country, Cambodia welcomed investment from other countries to work on agriculture, industrial sector especially China (Vannarith, 2017). To sum up, natural resources is one of the inputs of power. It surely plays a role in determined actor’s power. In chapter 13, which is Economic Parameters of Power, many issues have been discussed. Those issues included how economic contributed to power as well as discussion about international economic system. These papers will be about the new economic system and why is it emerged. Before, the economic system was interdependent and anarchy but in the mid-1990s, the international economic system started to change and the new system began to rise.
There are 3 reasons that led to the change to the new system. First, the western developed states have come to the consensus that collaboration through open economic system will accelerated their economic growth and economic power. They believe that through collaboration, they could increase their wealth. Second, after the collapse of Eastern Europe and Soviet Union, the new noncommunist states started to want their economy to be the same as the Western states. They recognized that the Western capitalist system could increase their economy. Third, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, developing world states started to aim at foreign investment, privatization and private sector which is in contrast of 1970s when most of developing world states restricted on foreign investment especially western due to the fear of neocolonialism and exploitation.
To sum up, perspective of the western, new noncommunist states and developing world states have play an important role in presented the new economic system. In chapter 14, we have mainly learned about military and power. In these papers, we are going to look at military power in the 21st century. After the cold war ended, analysist thought that the military power was no longer play an important role in international politics. The view of the analysist was correct on some degree because in most states, the military expenditure declined. However, the military power remained important in international politics if not more. During the cold war, there were civil wars, regional conflicts occurred but the decision makers usually acted with restricted as they feared that it would lead to nuclear showdown of the superpower, US and USSR. They afraid that little war could turn into big war.
However, when the cold war ended, the believe disappeared. As the result, many civil wars, and regional conflicts occurred. For example, Bosnia war in 1992-1995 which occurred as the result of the collapse of republic of Yugoslavia (Lampe, 2017). At that time, the conventional weapons became a good use. People started to think that conventional weapons are important and useful for small conflicts. Even though conventional weapons became an important weapon in today world, we could not ignore the fact that nuclear weapons remained as important as conventional weapons. In fact, many countries such as US, North Korea, Iraq and others are currently put so much effort to develop their nuclear weapons’ capabilities.
Along with that, states also feared of biological and chemical agents that could cause as much destruction as nuclear weapons. To sum up, in 21st century, conventional weapons are considered important and useful for the conflicts but at the same time nuclear weapons and others biological and chemical agent’s capabilities are to not be ignored. They are all determined the military power.