Cover: Measuring National Power in the Postindustrial Age

Measuring National Power in the Postindustrial Age

by Ashley J. Tellis, Janice Bially, Christopher Layne, Melissa McPherson

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Abstract

The arrival of postindustrial society has transformed the traditional bases ofnational power, and thus the methods used to measure the relative power of nations should be reassessed as well. Appreciating the true basis of national power requires not merely a meticulous detailing of visible military assets but also a scrutiny of larger capabilities embodied in such variables as the aptitude for innovation, the soundness of social institutions, and the quality of the knowledge base--all of which may bear upon acountry's capacity to produce the one element still fundamental to international politics: effective military power. The authors reconfigure the notion of national power to accommodate a wider understanding of capability, advancing a conceptual framework that measures three distinct areas--national resources, national performance, and militarycapability--to help the intelligence community develop a better evaluation of a country's national power. The analysis elaborates the rationale for assessing each of these areas and offers ideas on how to measure them in tangible ways. An analyst's handbook, RAND/MR-1110/1-A, is also available.

Table of Contents

  • Preface PDF

  • Figures PDF

  • Summary PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction: Why the Interest in National Power? PDF

  • Chapter Two

    "Power" and "National Power": Some Conceptual Considerations PDF

  • Chapter Three

    Reviewing Traditional Approaches to Measuring National Power PDF

  • Chapter Four

    Toward a Revised View of Measuring National Power PDF

  • Chapter Five

    Measuring National Resources PDF

  • Chapter Six

    Measuring National Performance PDF

  • Chapter Seven

    Measuring Military Capability PDF

  • Chapter Eight

    Conclusion PDF

  • Appendix PDF

  • Bibliography PDF

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The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Arroyo Center division.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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