Power in the 21st Century

The LSE IDEAS Churchill 2015 panel on Power in the 21st Century discussed what power means today.

One of the key questions was how modern day statesman can exert influence with power less concentrated. Panellists included Patrick Porter (Strategic Studies, University of Exeter), Josef Ansorge (Yale University) and Barry Buzan (Emeritus Professor of International Relations at LSE).

While the panel was conducted in private ahead of a report to be released on October 23rd, IDEAS asked for questions on social media. The chosen public question asked if/how small state can leverage power today, after the end of the Churchill era of large state power such as the US and UK. The first answer was that small states should acquire the patronage of a small power, while other participants spoke about the growing gap between states in ‘digital power’ including online identity creation.

The panel was part of the IDEAS Power Shifts project, which interrogates shifts in power - from the US to China, West to East and states to non-state actors - and asks how power transitions from one actor to another.