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International Futures Help System

Threat Elaborated: Power Terms

One important power term that affects interstate relations depends on relative power of the countries and is especially significant when two countries of relevance to each other enter a zone of power transition. Another important term is the concentration of power among the great powers themselves. It is increasingly uncertain whether the European Union should be treated as a single actor or as a group of individual states in such power concentration calculations, so IFs allows an option.

A third factor is whether or not the two interacting states are great powers or not. It is important whether the dyad contains zero, one, or two such powers. Because the definition of great power is uncertain, IFs allows the user to specify a threshold level at which a state begins to meet that definition and a second level at which point it clearly does.

A fourth factor in the figure below is less clearly a power term. Nonetheless, existence or absence of territorial disputes between states greatly affects the probability of a militarized dispute, quite possibly more than any other single factor.