Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Power of Nations: Measuring What Matters

| Fall 2018


Power plays a key role in international relations theory and practice. Most calculations of power are based on gross indicators such as population and GDP, but these measures are misleading. A better approach is to calculate a country’s net resources by subtracting a country’s liabilities from its assets. Measuring power this way reveals the weaknesses of countries such as China.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Michael Beckley, "The Power of Nations: Measuring What Matters," International Security, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Fall 2018), pp. 7–44, doi:10.1162/ISEC_a_00328.

The Author