Kucherenko S. A.

Main Page ~ Authors ~ Kucherenko S. A.
  • № 2, 2023

    • The Concept of Power and Its Transformation in Political Realism

      The article is devoted to the analysis of the transformation of the concept of power in political realism. In recent decades, the International Relations Theory has witnessed an emerging consensus about the nature of this transformation. According to an increasingly popular point of view, classical realists, primarily Hans Morgenthau, interpreted power as power relationships between two individuals that have psychological and normative dimensions. The reform of realism by Kenneth Waltz and other structuralists stripped power of these dimensions, turning it into quantifiable material might.

      Critics of structural realism interpret such a rethinking as impoverishment and erosion of the concept, fraught with dangerous consequences for the International Relations Science. In their eyes structural realism is nothing more than a disguised ideology of power politics, which could and should be overcome by returning to the roots of the realist tradition and using classical concepts, which are supposedly richer and deeper.

      The study shows that the transformation of the concept of power can be explained by the objective rather than ideological reasons: in the era of quantitative methods, attempts to define power as something immeasurable were perceived as a rejection of “scientific”. At the same time, classical realism itself already contained the prerequisites for such interpretation of power, which was largely viewed as a might. In comparison to the general theory, Morgenthau's approach to the definition of this concept slightly stands out, but is not fundamentally different. At the same time, Morgenthau’s concept of power in its original formulation is poorly applicable as an analytical tool, revealing a number of contradictions and difficulties associated with the ontological dimension of the project of political realism.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2023-109-2-6-18

      Pages: 6-18