Conceptualising Emerging Powers

  • Laura C. Mahrenbach
Part of the Palgrave Handbooks in IPE book series (PHIPE)


What, exactly, is an emerging power? While empirical scholarship-discussing states such as Brazil, India, or China have blossomed over the past 20 years, little attention has been paid to conceptualising these states. This creates confusion about emerging powers themselves as well as their impact on global affairs. I argue that systematic study of three factors—growing material (especially economic) capabilities, diplomatic ambitions, and peer recognition by others—will enable us to overcome the contemporary conceptual problems of coherence and differentiation. Doing so will require scholars of international political economy to re-evaluate theoretical assumptions embedded in today’s literature. It will also empower us to better contribute to policy discussions of emerging states. These arguments are illustrated in reference to emerging power activities in global economic governance.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura C. Mahrenbach
    • 1
  1. 1.Bavarian School of Public PolicyTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany

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