Many countries have held enormous global power. Some countries are seen as superpowers that hold massive influence over world affairs. Other nations are regional powers that dominate a specific part of the world. On the other hand, some countries are considered weaker, less able to influence how world events play out. But why does this matter? Why is power important for a country? And what advantages do powerful countries have?
We’ve put together a breakdown of the most important reasons why a country needs to be powerful…
1. Powerful Countries Can Better Defend Themselves
A first reason why a country needs to be powerful is so it can defend itself.
All countries face threats. There are other nations that wish to interfere with their affairs, takeover their natural resources or lay-claim to their territory. A country must be strong so that it can deter attacks against it and be able to effectively defend itself against aggressors.
Powerful nations can defend themselves more effectively. They often have larger and better equipped armed forces, as well as the ability to mobilize financial and human resources for their defence.
Having a powerful military is a major way that countries can use their strength to defend themselves. However, having a strong economy, as well as efficient and effective government institutions, are also key to deterring aggression. The more powerful a nation is, the less likely other countries are to try and wield influence over it.
A vital reason why countries need to be strong is so that other nations do not try and conquer them.
2. Strong Countries Have Better Internal Security
A second reason why countries need to be powerful is to maintain their internal security.
Many countries face internal threats. These can include from armed groups fighting against the government, or separatist regions that wish to break away. Many countries also have problems with organised criminal gangs or widespread petty criminality.
Strong countries are better able to tackle their internal threats. Powerful countries can mobilize resources to fight factions that are against the state. Powerful countries can also use their resources to address the root causes of internal threats, such as poverty, lack of opportunities or lack of inclusion.
Countries that are powerful often have a strong central state. They also have well-run and effective institutions that operate throughout the country. Both are vital to reducing the risk of internal threats arising, as well as tackling localised issued when they do to prevent them becoming more widespread threats. Stronger countries are able to address local populations needs before resentment grows and violence breaks out.
3. More Powerful Countries Are More Economically Prosperous
Another reason why a country needs to be powerful is to ensure its economic prosperity.
Having a large economy is vital for a country. It means people within that country earn higher wages and are able to live more comfortable lives. It also gives more economic activities from which the government can draw revenue. This, in-turn, gives the government tax money to fund services and infrastructure for the country.
Being a powerful country and having a large economy are inter-twined. Powerful countries are able to command their economic resources effectively whilst protecting their economic interests at home and abroad. Economic growth allows a country to become strong as it makes the nation richer.
All countries aim to be economically prosperous. The stronger a country is, the better able it is to develop and become wealthy. More powerful countries are also able to sustain economic growth for longer and are better able to protect their populations from global economic downturns.
Ensuring long-term and sustainable economic prosperity is an important reason why a country needs to be powerful.
4. Powerful Countries Dominate International Diplomacy
International diplomacy is key to a nation’s success. A reason why countries need to be powerful is because stronger nations have more influence in the international arena.
In the modern globalised world, all countries are interconnected. Diplomacy – the ability to manage a country’s relations with other nations, is vital for a country to become prosperous, be protected and play a role in directing global affairs.
The stronger a country is, the more power it has in its international diplomacy. More powerful countries are able to better influence international bodies and push global decisions to be more in their favour. Weaker countries often struggle to have their voices heard and this limits their ability to secure global decisions that directly benefit them.
All countries need to work together, regardless of how strong they are. However, more powerful countries get a disproportionate amount of influence over global affairs. This is a major reason why countries need to become powerful.
5. Stronger Countries Lead in Trade and Commerce
Another reason why countries need to be powerful is so that they can better undertake trade and commerce.
International trade is the backbone of the modern global economy. Countries need to develop goods and services that their citizens can use, but also that can be sold internationally. This is vital to becoming a rich and prosperous country.
Being a strong nation creates significant advantages in terms of international trade and commerce. Powerful countries are able to dominate markets, find new trading partners, sign trade deals and develop industries that can compete in the international market. Strong nations are also less likely to be under-cut by competitors and are better able to stand-up for their own interests.
A further reason why a county should be powerful is so that it can support its companies around the world. Powerful countries are able to promote their brands, provide them financial assistance when needed and come to their defence if required. Companies from weaker countries suffer from a lack of support from their nations governments and this makes them easier to out-compete.
6. More Powerful Countries Can Form Better Alliances
Alliances are key to a country’s security and economic growth. A nation needs to be powerful in order to form the best alliances it can.
Countries form alliances for many reasons. There are security alliances that band nations together for their mutual defense. There are also economic alliances that integrate the economies of many countries so as to pool their resources and reduce competition. There are also diplomatic alliances, where countries support each other in the international arena. Forming strong alliances has been key for countries for several centuries.
More powerful countries are able to make better alliances. Simply put – countries want to be allied to strong nations. The stronger a country is, the more alliances it can form and the more favorable the terms of its alliances can be.
A major reason why a country needs to be powerful is so that it can have treaties with other countries and that other nations seek out to have alliances with them.
7. Strong Countries Have More Resilient Institutions
A final reason why a country needs to be strong is to ensure the resilience of its institutions.
All nations face crises. A country needs to be powerful to ensure that when crises hit, it’s ability to function is not compromised. A nations institutions – including government, civil society, businesses, NGOs and community groups, need to be resilient so that they can operate in times of disaster and crises. Weaker nations suffer because their institutions are often unable to cope when crises strike.
A further reason why a country needs to be powerful is because it can protect its institutions from being negatively influenced. A stronger country that has effective institutions is better able to prevent corruption. It is also more able to regulate businesses, the labour market, and the wider economy. This allows the country to be fairly ran and in-turn ensures sustainable prosperity.
Strong countries are better able to limit the effects of outside interference on its institutions, including politicians, media, and civil society. A country needs to be powerful to ensure that it can protect its institutions and ensure a well-functioning state for its citizens, even in times of crises.