Potential superpowers

Potential superpowers

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A potential superpower is a state or a political and economic entity that is speculated to be, or to be in the process of becoming, a superpower
Superpower
A superpower is a state with a dominant position in the international system which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests...

 at some point in the 21st century. Previously, it was considered by many sources that only the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 fulfilled the criteria to be considered a superpower. However, this view is now challenged by some who believe the rise of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (a state) and the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (a supranational entity) have already supplanted the sole superpower status of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The states of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 are also regarded as potential superpowers.

Predictions made in the past have not been perfect. For example, in the 1980s, many political and economic analysts predicted that Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 would eventually accede to superpower status, due to its large population, huge gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 and high economic growth at that time. Though still the world's third-largest economy as of 2011, Japan has faced an ongoing period of weak growth since the "lost decade
Lost Decade (Japan)
The is the time after the Japanese asset price bubble's collapse within the Japanese economy, which occurred gradually rather than catastrophically...

" of the 1990s, eroding its potential as a superpower.

Brazil

Federative Republic of Brazil

The Federative Republic of Brazil is considered by a number of analysts and academics a potential superpower of the 21st century.

In a lecture entitled Brazil as an Emerging World Power, presented at the Mario Einaudi
Mario Einaudi
Mario Einaudi was a scholar of political theory and European comparative politics. He was born in 1905 in Italy. His father, Luigi Einaudi, was one of Italy’s great economic thinkers and later became the first President of the Republic of Italy .[3] A graduate of the University of Turin’s...

 Center for International Studies at Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

, Leslie Elliot Armijo has said that "Brazil will soon rise as Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

’s first superpower". Armijo states that "Brazil keeps solidifying itself as leader of its region by launching a series of integration projects", adding also that "as an international actor, Brazil has also taken a larger share of world politics by incrementing its already strong presence in economic initiatives, such as the International Finance Facility
International Finance Facility
The International Finance Facility is a proposal by HM Treasury in conjunction with the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom. The IFF is designed to frontload aid to help meet the Millennium Development Goals...

 and the G20", asserting that "Brazil’s rising prominence derives from its solid democratic rule and its strong economy" and concluding that "Soon, we’ll have two superpowers in the Western Hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

".

Elizabeth Reavey, a research associate from the Council on Hemispheric Affairs
Council on Hemispheric Affairs
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs is a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental organization founded in 1975. In its own words, it was established to "promote the common interests of the [Western] hemisphere, raise the visibility of regional affairs and increase the importance of the...

, claims in the title of her article that While the US Looks Eastward Brazil Is Emerging as a Nuclear Superpower. Describing the importance of the ongoing development of nuclear technology in the country, she calls Brazil an emerging superpower, with a "potential to have a China-like, booming economy, increased nuclear capabilities, a growing self-confidence in its own power and an ability to make its own way".

Brazil is often called an economic superpower, either present or future, and many experts and journalists compare Brazil with the other potential superpowers of the BRIC
BRIC
In economics, BRIC is a grouping acronym that refers to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which are all deemed to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development...

 group. Jonathan Power from Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research claims in his article Brazil is Becoming an Economic and Political Superpower that "Brazil has a head start
Head start (positioning)
In positioning, a head start is a start in advance of the starting position of others in competition, or simply toward the finish line or desired outcome...

 on India and China", saying that it has been positively developing for over 100 years, and adding that "between 1960 and 1980 Brazil doubled its per capita income". Power also speculates that Brazil "has a good chance of emerging as the world’s first economic superpower without nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s".

There are, however, numerous obstacles to Brazil reaching superpower status. According to Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

-winning economist Paul Krugman
Paul Krugman
Paul Robin Krugman is an American economist, professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times...

, recognising Brazil's current economic strength is “not the same as [saying] it will become the economic superpower [anytime soon].” Similarly, energy analyst Mark Burger writes that Brazil, in general, will improve its energy situation, but not to the point of being an energy superpower
Energy superpower
The term energy superpower does not have a clear definition. It has come to be used to refer to a nation that supplies large amounts of energy resources to a significant number of other states, and which therefore has the potential to influence world markets to gain a political or economic...

.

China


People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...



The People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 receives continual coverage in the popular press of its potential superpower status, and has been identified as a rising or emerging economic and military superpower by academics and other experts. In fact, the 'rise of China' has been named the top news story of the 21st century by the Global Language Monitor
Global Language Monitor
The Global Language Monitor is an Austin, Texas-based company that collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends in language usage worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language...

, as measured by number of appearances in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet and blogosphere, and in Social Media.

Barry Buzan
Barry Buzan
Barry Gordon Buzan is Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and honorary professor at the University of Copenhagen and Jilin University...

 asserts that "China certainly presents the most promising all-round profile" of a potential superpower. Buzan claims that "China is currently the most fashionable potential superpower and the one whose degree of alienation from the dominant international society makes it the most obvious political challenger." However, he notes this challenge is constrained by the major challenges of development and by the fact that its rise could trigger a counter coalition of states in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

.

Parag Khanna
Parag Khanna
Dr. Parag Khanna is an Indian American author and international relations expert. He is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, Research Fellow in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. and Director of...

 states that by making massive trade and investment deals with Latin America and Africa, China has established its presence as a superpower along with the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. China's rise is demonstrated by its ballooning share of trade in its gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

. He believes that China's "consultative style" has allowed it to develop political and economic ties with many countries including those viewed as rogue states by the United States. He states that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Shanghai Cooperation Organization
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO , is an intergovernmental mutual-security organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan...

 founded with Russia and the Central Asian countries may eventually be the "NATO of the East".

Geoffrey Murphay's China: The Next Superpower argues that while the potential for China is high, this is fairly perceived only by looking at the risks and obstacles China faces in managing its population and resources. The political situation in China may become too fragile to survive into superpower status according to Susan Shirk
Susan Shirk
Susan L. Shirk is an expert on Chinese politics and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State during the Clinton administration. She was in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs . She is currently a professor at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the...

 in China: Fragile Superpower. Other factors that could constrain China's ability to become a superpower in the future include: limited supplies of energy and raw materials, questions over its innovation capability, inequality and corruption, and risks to social stability and the environment. Minxin Pei does not believe that China is a superpower or that it will be one anytime soon arguing that it faces daunting political and economic challenges. Amy Chua
Amy Chua
Amy L. Chua is the John M. Duff, Jr. Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She joined the Yale faculty in 2001 after teaching at Duke Law School. Prior to starting her teaching career, she was a corporate law associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton...

 states that whether a country has enough pull to bring immigrants is an important quality for a superpower. She also writes that China lacks the pull to bring scientists, thinkers, and innovators from other countries as immigrants. However, she believes that China made up for this with its own diaspora
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

, saying that size and resources for them are unparalleled.

European Union

European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...


The European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) has been called an emerging superpower by academics. Many scholars and academics like T.R. Reid, Andrew Reding, Andrew Moravcsik
Andrew Moravcsik
Andrew Moravcsik is a Professor of Politics and director of the European Union Program at Princeton University. He is known for his research on European integration, international organizations, human rights, and American and European foreign policy, for developing the theory of liberal...

, Mark Leonard, Jeremy Rifkin
Jeremy Rifkin
Jeremy Rifkin is an American economist, writer, public speaker, political advisor and activist. He is the founder and president of the Foundation On Economic Trends...

, John McCormick, and some politicians like Romano Prodi
Romano Prodi
Romano Prodi is an Italian politician and statesman. He served as the Prime Minister of Italy, from 17 May 1996 to 21 October 1998 and from 17 May 2006 to 8 May 2008...

 and Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 either believe that the EU is, or will become, a superpower in the 21st century.

Mark Leonard cites several factors: the EU's large population, large economy (the EU has the largest economy in the world; the economy of the EU is slightly larger than that of the U.S. in terms of GDP purchasing (PPP) ), low inflation rates, the unpopularity and perceived failure of US foreign policy in recent years, and certain EU members states' high quality of life (when measured in terms such as hours worked per week, health care, social services).

John McCormick believes that the EU has already achieved superpower status, based on the size and global reach of its economy and on its global political influence. He argues that the nature of power has changed since the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

-driven definition of superpower was developed, and that military power is no longer essential to great power; he argues that control of the means of production is more important than control of the means of destruction, and contrasts the threatening hard power of the United States with the opportunities offered by the soft power
Soft power
Soft power is the ability to obtain what one wants through co-option and attraction. It can be contrasted with 'hard power', that is the use of coercion and payment...

 wielded by the European Union.

Parag Khanna
Parag Khanna
Dr. Parag Khanna is an Indian American author and international relations expert. He is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, Research Fellow in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. and Director of...

 believes that the EU, together with China, has already achieved superpower status and rivals the US for influence around the world. He also mentions the large economy of the EU, that European technologies more and more set the global standards and that European countries give the most development assistance. He agrees with McCormick that the EU does not need a common army to be a superpower. The EU uses intelligence and the police to apprehend radical Islamists, social policy to try to integrate restive Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 populations and economic strength to incorporate the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and gradually subdue Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. Khanna also writes that South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

, and other regions prefer to emulate the "European Dream" than the American variant
American Dream
The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes a promise of the possibility of prosperity and success. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each...

. This could possibly be seen in the South American Union and the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

. Notably, the EU as a whole is among the most culturally diverse "entities" on the planet, with some of the world's largest and most influential languages being official within its borders.

Andrew Reding also takes the future EU enlargement
Future enlargement of the European Union
The future enlargement of the European Union is theoretically open to any European country which is democratic, operates a free market and is willing and able to implement all previous European Union law...

 into account. An eventual future accession of the rest of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, the whole of Russia, and Turkey, would not only boost the economy of the EU, but it would also increase the EU's population to about 800 million, which he considers almost equal to that of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 or China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. The EU is qualitatively different from India and China since it is enormously more prosperous and technologically advanced. Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003 and is chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party , which holds a majority of the seats in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Erdoğan served as Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998. He graduated in 1981 from Marmara...

 said in 2005: "In 10 or 15 years, the EU will be a place where civilizations meet. It will be a superpower with the inclusion of Turkey."

Robert J. Guttman wrote in 2001 that the very definition of the term superpower has changed and in the 21st century, it does not only refer to states with military power, but also to groups such as the European Union, with strong market economics, young, highly educated workers savvy in high technology, and a global vision. Friis Arne Petersen, the Danish ambassador to the U.S. has expressed similar views. He conceded that the EU is a “special kind of superpower,” one that has yet to establish a unified military force that exerts itself even close to the same level as many of its individual members.

Additionally, it is argued by commentators that full political integration is not required for the European Union to wield international influence: that its apparent weaknesses constitute its real strengths (as of its low profile diplomacy and the emphasis on the rule of law) and that the EU represents a new and potentially more successful type of international actor than traditional ones; however, it is uncertain if the effectiveness of such an influence would be equal to that of a politically integrated superpower such as the United States.

Barry Buzan notes that the EU's potential superpower status depends on its "stateness". It is unclear though how much state-like quality is needed for the EU to be described as a superpower. Buzan states that the EU is likely to remain a potential superpower for a long time because although it has material wealth, its "political weakness and its erratic and difficult course of internal political development, particularly as regards a common foreign and defence policy" constrains it from being a superpower.

Alexander Stubb
Alexander Stubb
Cai-Göran Alexander Stubb is a Finnish politician and Minister for Foreign Affairs from 4 April 2008 to 22 June 2011...

, the Finnish
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 Minister for Foreign Affairs, has said that he thinks the EU is both a superpower and not a superpower. While the EU is a superpower in the sense that it is the largest political union
Political union
A political union is a type of state which is composed of or created out of smaller states. Unlike a personal union, the individual states share a common government and the union is recognized internationally as a single political entity...

, single market
Single market
A single market is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with common policies on product regulation, and freedom of movement of the factors of production and of enterprise and services. The goal is that the movement of capital, labour, goods, and services between the members...

 and aid donor in the world, it is not a superpower in the defense or foreign policy spheres. Like Barry Buzan, Alexander Stubb thinks that the most major factor constraining the EU’s rise to superpower status is its lack of statehood in the international system, other factors are its lack of internal drive to project power worldwide, and continued preference for the sovereign nation-state amongst some Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

ans. To counter-balance these he urged the EU leaders to approve and ratify the Lisbon Treaty (which they did in 2009), create an EU foreign ministry (EEAS, led by High Representative
High Representative
High Representative may refer to either:* The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy High Representative may refer to either:* The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy High Representative may refer to either:* The High...

 Catherine Ashton, will be finished in 2012), develop a common EU defense
Military of the European Union
The military of the European Union today comprises the several national armed forces of the Union's 27 member states, as the policy area of defence has remained primarily the domain of nation states...

, hold one collective seat at the UN Security Council and G8
G8
The Group of Eight is a forum, created by France in 1975, for the governments of seven major economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1997, the group added Russia, thus becoming the G8...

, and address what he described as the “sour mood” toward the EU prevalent in some European countries today.

However, some do not believe that the EU will achieve superpower status. "The EU is not and never will be a superpower" according to the former UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, commonly referred to as the Foreign Secretary, is a senior member of Her Majesty's Government heading the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and regarded as one of the Great Offices of State...

 David Miliband
David Miliband
David Wright Miliband is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for South Shields since 2001, and was the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2007 to 2010. He is the elder son of the late Marxist theorist Ralph Miliband...

. Lacking a unified foreign policy and with an inability to project military power worldwide, the EU lacks "the substance of superpowers," who by definition have "first of all military reach [and] possess the capacity to arrive quickly anywhere with troops that can impose their government's will.". EU parliamentarian Ilka Schroeder argues that conflicts such as the Israeli-Palestinian dispute see close EU involvement largely to compensate for European inability to project military power internationally.

The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

s Robert Lane Greene
Robert Lane Greene
Robert Lane Greene is an American journalist, best known for his work for The Economist and his book about the politics of language, You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws, and the Politics of Identity, published by Delacorte Press in 2011...

 notes that the lack of a strong European military only exacerbates the lack of unified EU foreign policy and discounts any EU arguments towards superpower status, noting especially that the EU's creation of a global response force rivaling the superpower's (America) is "unthinkable." The biggest barrier to European superpowerdom is that European elites refuse to bring their postmodern fantasies about the illegitimacy of military "hard power" into line with the way the rest of the world interprets reality" according to Soren Kern of Strategic Studies Group. Britain's Michael Howard
Michael Howard
Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, CH, QC, PC is a British politician, who served as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005...

 has warned against the "worry" that many Europeans are pushing for greater EU integration to counter-balance the United States, while Europe's total reliance on soft (non-military) power is in part because of its lack of a "shared identity." While to some the European Union should be a "model power" unafraid of using military force and backing free trade, its military shortcomings argue against superpower status.

India

Republic of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...


Several media publications and academics have discussed the Republic of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

's potential of becoming a great power
Great power
A great power is a nation or state that has the ability to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength and diplomatic and cultural influence which may cause small powers to consider the opinions of great powers before taking actions...

 or eventually a superpower. However, Daniel Lak describes India as the underdog, facing more challenges than advantages, yet it is approaching superpower status. He also mentions that despite the hardships of significant poverty and social inequality, India is overcoming all of this.

Anil Gupta
Anil K. Gupta
Anil K. Gupta is Professor at Indian Institute of Management and founder or Honey Bee Network. This Network is the biggest network of grassroots creative and experimenting farmers and artisans in the world...

 is almost certain that India will become a superpower in the 21st century. As an example, he states that due to India's functional institutions of democracy and its relatively corruption
Corruption
Corruption usually refers to spiritual or moral impurity.Corruption may also refer to:* Corruption , an American crime film* Corruption , a British horror film...

-free society, it will emerge as a desirable, entrepreneurial and resource and energy-efficient superpower in the near future. He predicts that by 2015 India will overtake China to be the fastest growing economy in the world and emerge as a full-fledged economic superpower by 2025. In addition to that, he states, India has the potential to serve as a leading example of how to combine rapid economic growth with fairness towards and inclusion of those at the bottom rungs of the ladder and of efficient resource utilization, especially in energy.

Robyn Meredith claims that both India and China will be superpowers. However, she points out that China is decades ahead of India, and that the average Chinese person is better off than the average Indian person. Amy Chua
Amy Chua
Amy L. Chua is the John M. Duff, Jr. Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She joined the Yale faculty in 2001 after teaching at Duke Law School. Prior to starting her teaching career, she was a corporate law associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton...

 also adds to this, stating that while India's potential for superpower is great, it still faces many problems such as "pervasive rural poverty, entrenched corruption
Corruption in India
Political, bureaucratic, corporate and individual corruption in India are major concerns. A 2005 study conducted by Transparency International in India found that more than 55% of Indians had first-hand experience of paying bribes or influence peddling to get jobs done in public offices...

, and high inequality
Inequality
In mathematics, an inequality is a statement how the relative size or order of two objects, or about whether they are the same or not .*The notation a b means that a is greater than b....

 just to name a few". Also like China, India lacks the "pull" for immigrants, and Indians still continue to emigrate in large numbers. However, she notes that India has made tremendous strides to fix this, stating that some of India's achievements, such as working to dismantle the centuries-old caste system and maintaining the world's largest diverse democracy is historically unprecedented.

Fareed Zakaria
Fareed Zakaria
Fareed Rafiq Zakaria is an Indian-American journalist and author. From 2000 to 2010, he was a columnist for Newsweek and editor of Newsweek International. In 2010 he became Editor-At-Large of Time magazine...

 also believes that India has a fine chance at becoming a superpower. Pointing out that India's young population coupled with the second largest English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

-speaking population in the world could give India an advantage over China. Also believes that while other industrial countries will face a youth gap, India will have lots of young people, or in other words workers. Zakaria says another strength that India is that despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, its democratic government has lasted for 60 years, stating that a democracy can provide for long-term stability.

Parag Khanna
Parag Khanna
Dr. Parag Khanna is an Indian American author and international relations expert. He is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, Research Fellow in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. and Director of...

 believes that India is not, and will not become a superpower for the foreseeable future, lagging decades behind China in both development and strategic appetite. Instead, he believes India will be a key swing state along with Russia. He says that India is "big but not important", has a highly successful professional class, while millions
Poverty in India
Poverty is widespread in India, with the nation estimated to have a third of the world's poor. According to a 2005 World Bank estimate, 41.6% of the total Indian population falls below the international poverty line of 1.25 a day...

 of its citizens still live in extreme poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

. He also writes that it matters that China borders a dozen more countries than India and is not hemmed in by a vast ocean and the world's tallest mountains. China has a loyal diaspora twice the size of India's and enjoys a head start in Asian and African marketplaces. However in a recent article written by Parag Khanna
Parag Khanna
Dr. Parag Khanna is an Indian American author and international relations expert. He is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, Research Fellow in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. and Director of...

, he says that India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, along with China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 will grow ever stronger, while other powers, like Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, muddles along.

On the other hand, Founder and President of the Economic Strategy Institute and former counselor to the Secretary of Commerce in the Reagan Administration Clyde V. Prestowitz Jr.
Clyde V. Prestowitz Jr.
Clyde Prestowitz, founder and President of the Economic Strategy Institute, served as counselor to the Secretary of Commerce in the Reagan Administration...

 has predicted that "It is going to be India's century. India is going to be the biggest economy in the world. It is going to be the biggest superpower of the 21st century."

Russia

Russian Federation
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...



The Russian Federation has been suggested by some as a potential candidate for resuming superpower status in the 21st century.

According to economist Steven Rosefielde of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Russia intends to "reemerge as a full-fledged superpower," and "contrary to conventional wisdom, this goal is easily within the Kremlin's grasp, but the cost to the Russian people and global security would be immense." Rosefielde further argues that Russia "has an intact military-industrial complex...and the mineral wealth to reactivate its dormant structurally militarized potential," and that "supply-side constraints don't preclude a return to prodigal superpowerdom".

Military analyst Alexander Golts of The St. Petersburg Times argues that Putin's confrontations with the U.S. on nuclear issues are in pursuit of regaining superpower status for Russia. It has been argued that Russia's foreign policy
Foreign relations of Russia
The foreign relations of Russia is the policy of the Russian government by which it guides the interactions with other nations, their citizens and foreign organizations and sets standards of interaction for Russian organizations, corporations and individual citizens towards them...

toward bordering countries is designed with the ultimate goal of regaining superpower status. Mike Ritchie of industry analysts Energy Intelligence says "Russia was always a superpower that used its energy to win friends and influence among its former Soviet satellites. Nothing has really changed much. They are back in the same game, winning friends and influencing people and using their power to do so."

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