Middle power

From Academic Kids

Middle power is a term used in the field of international relations to describe states that are not superpowers or great powers, but still have some influence internationally. There is no specific definition of which countries are middle powers. Canada, Australia and the Scandinavian countries are some of the countries most often referred to as middle powers. Many other countries from India, Mexico or Belgium have also been referred to as middle powers. Some middle powers can be regarded as regional powers and vice versa; hence, the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, though their definitions are not strictly the same.

Middle powers are characterized by allegiance to groups, but not leadership of them. Thus Canada and Australia are part of alliance blocs led by the United States. During the Cold War, middle powers not aligned with either of the two superpowers often turned to the Non-Aligned Movement to find international allies. Middle powers are often the states most committed to multilateralism.

Since the end of the Cold War the role of middle powers has faded as the planet has become increasingly dominated by a unilateralist United States. The Middle Powers of Europe have turned to the European Union, giving up some national sovereignty but maintaining influence over global affairs. Canada and Australia have both pursued closer economic and security ties with the United States.

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