Power Audit in International Relations

Panel Code

While a task to compare power of political actors is one of the oldest in international relations field, there are no clear guidelines on how to approach it. Power audit procedures, depending on particular research questions and theory chosen, can start with resources assessment, and can focus on results achieved by analyzed entities. They are also influenced by parties involved in political power analysis projects – audit clients, academic or business researchers and consumers of findings. We can see these specialties by reviewing existing body of attempts to assess soft power, including indexes presented by different institutions now.
We invite contributions that share a commitment to the rigorous conceptual analysis of power, but focus on methodological and empirical issues, explaining problems of power audit and its possible solutions. We are interested in attracting papers that show how to deal with different pitfalls, like the infamous problem of inconsistent measures associated with relative and relational nature of power. As this panel aims at exploring a range of approaches to power audit, we encourage papers that deal with diverse concepts and theories: multiple faces of political power, hard, soft, smart, normative, cultural, trade, networked, etc. This panel will provide room for discussion on best practices in conducting empirical research on political power in international relations.