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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In international relations, a regional power is a state that has power within a geographic region.[1][2] They define the polarity of any given regional security complex.[3] States which wield unrivaled power and influence within a region of the world possess regional hegemony.

Contents

Characteristics

Regional powers shape the polarity of a regional area. Typically, regional powers have capabilities which are important in the region but do not have capabilities at a global scale. There are slightly differing definitions of what makes a regional power. The European Consortium for Political Research defines a regional power: "A state belonging to a geographically defined region, dominating this region in economic and military terms, able to exercise hegemonic influence in the region and considerable influence on the world scale, willing to make use of power resources and recognized or even accepted as the regional leader by its neighbours".[1]

The German Institute of Global and Area Studies states that a regional power must:

  • be part of a definable region with its own identity
  • claim to be a regional power (self-image of a regional power)
  • exert decisive influence on the geographic extension of the region as well as on its ideological construction
  • dispose over comparatively high military, economic, demographic, political and ideological capabilities
  • be well integrated into the region
  • define the regional security agenda to a high degree
  • be appreciated as a regional power by other powers in the region and beyond, especially by other regional powers
  • be well connected with regional and global fora.[2]

Some states may be regarded as both a great power and a regional power. Likewise some states may be regarded as a middle power and a regional power.

Current regional powers

Regional powers in teal.

Below are states that have been described as regional powers by international relations and political science academics, analysts, or other experts. These states to some extent meet the criteria to have regional power status, as described above. Different experts have differing views on exactly which states are regional powers. States are arranged by their region.

East Asia

Europe

Latin America

North Africa/Middle East

Northern America

Oceania

South Asia

Southeast Asia

Sub-Saharan Africa

See also

Notes

Note a: Regional powers in the Persian Gulf
Note b: Regional powers in the Levant

References

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