Zdeněk Kríž - Jana Urbanovská - Stanislava Brajerčíková

The Middle Power Concept: Presenting a Complex Approach

(Komplexný prístup ku konceptu stredne veľkej mocnosti)

 Politické vedy, Volume 22, Number 4/2019, pages 33-56



Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
KRÍŽ, Z. - URBANOVSKÁ, J. - BRAJERČÍKOVÁ, S. 2019. The Middle Power Concept: Presenting a Complex Approach. In Politické vedy. [online]. Vol. 22, No. 4, 2019. ISSN 1335 – 2741, pp. 33-56. Available at:


Middle powers have traditionally played an important role in the international system. Nowadays, the label of middle power possesses relevant political implications and thus theorizing about middle powers is more significant than ever before. However, there is a lack of exact and complex middle power definition in academic as well as in political area. Hence, in the present study, an overview of the development of middle power theorizing from its beginning up to the present was offered in form of a literature review. Subsequently, the main conceptualizations of middle power were compared, the advantages and disadvantages of each particular attitude emphasized and a complex approach toward defining middle power was proposed. The results show that the complex approach towards the conceptualization of middle powers employs the strengths of previous approaches and overcomes their weaknesses. The emphasis on the relative position of a state in the power pyramid is based on the belief that this position, in combination with value orientation and self-image, affects both the state’s actions and its ability to create conditions for the functioning of the international system and the ability to influence the basic parameters of the international system.

Key words: Middle power, definitional approaches, complex approach

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