№ 3, 2021
In contrast to the representatives of other directions in International Relations Science, constructivists have long distanced themselves from the notion of power, but in the 2000s and 2010s, due to the increasing interest in conceptualizing this phenomenon, the first attempts of the constructivist interpretation of the concept of power started to emerge. Such interpretations received their fullest expression in the concept of Protean power, developed by a group of researchers under the informal leadership of Peter Katzenstein.
The article analyzes the main features of the Protean power, as well as the emerging practices. The author shows that this type of power is less associated with specific actors and their intentions than other types of power, since it is aimed at overcoming uncertainty under the conditions when it is impossible to calculate risks. This formulation of the question allows one to reconsider the role of the creativity principle in international interactions and provide it with a higher ontological status.
According to the author’s conclusion, the concept of Protean power continues the line of revising the ontological foundations of the studies of world politics, which has emerged within constructivism in the last decade. Similarly to some other constructivist concepts, this concept implies a holistic interpretation of the phenomenon of power in international relations and reflects the desire to move away from the classical (Newtonian) worldview. Although today it provides many reasons for criticism and, perhaps, needs further elaboration and reinterpretation, its contribution to the scientific discussion of the ontology of power in international interactions is beyond doubt. Protean power is paving the way that allows bypassing the neo-positivist consensus that has so far set the tone in the International Relations Science.
Loshkariov I. D.
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