De macht der staten : Een inventarisatie van de alternatieven tot kwantificering

  • Guy Tegenbos


Though the central concept in International Relations, not so much importance was yet attached to the operationalisation of national power.
In his overview, the author distinguishes three conceptual approaches:
1° exercised power (empiricaly observed, post facto); 2° status (what people think the power of a nation is); 3° potential power (indirect measure, operationalising the «elements of national power»).
An operationalisation of exercised power is not yet available because of grave theoretical and practical difficulties. Indices of status are elaborated
but the relevance of this concept seems to be low.
Potential power, the most intresting approach is aften elaborated; the present-day operationalisations however don't correspond to what the «great theoretici» wrote about «the elements of national power».
In most cases only one or a few indicators are included; most operationalisations don't deliver a rank ordening but only a stratification ...
The author concludes research attention should be attached to the operationalisation of power, especially potential power.

How to Cite:

Tegenbos, G., (1974) “De macht der staten : Een inventarisatie van de alternatieven tot kwantificering”, Res Publica 16(1), p.133-159. doi:

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Published on
30 Mar 1974
Peer Reviewed