The realization of the power needs of nations was always at the back of international relations. But the needs of the world society have changed. In the traditional system of international politics, the power needs of nations were subserved by balance of power. Now, the balance of power system has lost its utility because of increased nationalism, rapid modernization of technology and the ability of the superpowers to wage wars with nuclear weapons and also because of the expedient fact that it is impossible, in most cases, to establish a balance of power in international relationships.
The balance of power theory maintains that the power of the stronger nation over the weaker should be at an equilibrium with the power of the weaker over the stronger. The pursuit of balance of power constantly led to wars in the past. However the development of nuclear weapons changed all this. The balance of nuclear power and powers decreasing in terms of nuclear weapons made such wars totally impossible.
Balance of power in international relations is the number which represents the relative power of the nations in international relations. The power of a nation is measured in terms of the amount of power it can use in any situation or any place. According to this concept, a country which is the stronger has more power than the weak. The weaker of the two, however, should be the one that seemingly does not have enough power to dominate the stronger.
The terms big power and great power are synonymous in English-speaking countries. According to the theory of great power or balance of power, there are three categories of powers among which nations compete.
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