IPSA Research Group 36 on Political Power

Virtual Interim Conference, November 19 and 20, 2022




                                     November 19



Trade Powers in Times of Crisis


Alina V. Vladimirova


Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Friday 11:00pm- Saturday 12:40am (EST)



Experts discussing trade powers usually present ratings with countries ordered according to their export, import, and total turnover shares. This approach is familiar and works well in a situation when we need a general overview of foreign economic relations. However, in applied studies, it can be insufficient. First of all, the level of data aggregation is too high. Indicators for all types of goods are summed up and a crucial pattern could be lost in these figures. The data also lack context and such ratings of trade powers don’t allow us to see how these relations look in the international trade system. In this paper, we demonstrate how approaches to trade power assessments can be modified depending on the research question, for example, when a country struggles during a local or global crisis. As a case, we consider states of the Asia-Pacific during the COVID-19 pandemic









Power in Russia During the Crisis: A Multidimensional View

Valeri Ledyaev


HSE University, Moscow, Russia

1:00am-2:45am (EST)


Why do people put up with the current regime in Russia?

Who is responsible for recent events?

The power elite?

The people who support the regime?

The entire population of Russia, including those who do not support the regime?

A multidimensional view of power can provide answers to these questions.

An analysis of various dimensions and forms of power in modern Russia shows the presence of a fairly stable unity of different “faces” of power and their effectiveness. In contrast to liberal democracies, where these four dimensions of power constitutes a duality whereby the very same process which leads to domination, also constitutes conditions of possibility for democracy, thus normatively desirable (Mark Haugaard), in Russia the latter is absent. All faces of power reproduce domination of the ruling elite (militocracy). The bases of domination are: “false consciousness” + “anticipation of defeat by the powerless” (John Gaventa) + mobilization of bias + open and hidden coercion.








   November 20

China’s perspective of USA and Russia.

Marco Antonio Batista Martin


University of Evora

                                                            9:00am-10:40am (EST)



This paper analyzes the current balance of power between Russia and the United States from the critical point of view of Xi Jinping.






Prime Minister Ardern’s Use of Soft Power to Combat China’s Influence:

The Case of New Zealand (1999-2020)

Judit Trunkos


Robert Morris University

11:00am-12:45pm (EST)



This article studies New Zealand’s soft power use from 1999-2020 to find out whether the Ardern Administration boosted its soft power reliance and spending as a reaction to China’s growing assertiveness in the region. To answer this question, this article first evaluates previous and current Prime Ministers’ speeches to find out if there was a change in the perception of threat associated with China. Next, this article studies New Zealand’s soft power spending and action count to reveal any changes after Ardern was elected. The findings indicate that while New Zealand mostly focuses on regional trading partners in the pacific, the government’s intentional strengthening of soft power institutions, programs and increasing reliance on soft power since 2018 is clear. The findings also point to New Zealand’s continues reliance on soft power in the post-pandemic world.




Crisis and Power: The Mexican case, A rise of societal power

Gabriela Palavicini and Adriana Cantón*


Technologico de Monterrey and University of Salamanca

1:00pm-2:40pm (EST)


The Mexican population has suffered in the past years due to political unsettledness in many senses. One of these is the coverage of its own needs, indispensable for its survival. These have caused even bigger complications for the State, such as the lack of governability and governance itself. However, the Mexican State does not act by itself: societal participation has become an active member of the mere State. Consequently, the research question is: How is power distributed in Mexico towards stable governance? Being the hypothesis: The power is necessarily creating an opening for civil society to gain it; looking for attaining the main objective: To establish a relation between new governance in Mexico and the rising civil society in terms of power. In addition, the supporting questions will be as follows: Is Mexico a failed State?; How can citizens trust in the institutions; if trust is lost and democracy has a tendency towards authoritarianism?; To talk about participation by society, does it refer to a strengthening or a prevail of democracy?; Is it the role of society to take the power that the State is leaving?; Should new channels be created by society; parallel to those of the State?; How can the State recover its power?