Understanding the Mechanisms of International Influence in an Era of Great Power Competition

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Authors
Meierding, Emily
Sigman, Rachel
Subjects
influence
puissance
security cooperation
military aid
Africa
great power competition
Advisors
Date of Issue
2021
Date
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Language
Abstract
Amid growing speculation that the United States and China are destined for a more conflictual relationship, and that Russia is actively seeking to expand its global power, security scholars and professionals are increasingly interested in understanding the influence of great and rising powers throughout the world. However, in focusing primarily on power resources and international activities, existing scholarship on this subject has not adequately addressed how a state obtains and sustains international influence. To overcome this knowledge deficit, this article presents a framework for analyzing international influence that includes not only power resources and influence activities, but also a comprehensive set of power mechanisms that states mobilize to induce change in another state’s behavior. The article applies the framework to US security sector activities in Africa. The analysis, based primarily on interviews with US defense attachés and security cooperation officers, shows how different types of activities mobilize different sets of power mechanisms. It reveals that activities that mobilize expertise, attraction, and recognition mechanisms have the greatest potential for developing and maintaining influence. The article concludes that, to obtain and sustain international influence, states must be more attentive to the mechanisms of power, rather than merely deploying their power resources.
Type
Article
Description
17 USC 105 interim-entered record; under review.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jogss/ogab011
Series/Report No
Department
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
US Africa Command
Funder
Format
18 p.
Citation
Meierding, Emily, and Rachel Sigman. "Understanding the Mechanisms of International Influence in an Era of Great Power Competition." Journal of Global Security Studies 6.4 (2021): ogab011.
Distribution Statement
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States
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