Power politics is a theory in international relations which contends that distributions of power and national interests, or changes to those distributions, are fundamental causes of war and of system stability.

The concept of power politics provides a way of understanding systems of international relations: in this view, states compete for the world’s limited resources, and it is to an individual state’s advantage to be manifestly able to harm others. Power politics prioritizes national self-interest over the interests of other nations or the international community, and thus may include threatening one another with military, economic or political aggression to protect one nation’s own interest.

(“Power Politics” 2022)

A Zero-sum game view of international relations.

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