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The Reality of Virtual Power

DAVOS – As Arab regimes struggle with demonstrations fueled by Twitter and Al Jazeera, and American diplomats try to understand the impact of WikiLeaks, it is clear that this global information age will require a more sophisticated understanding of how power works in world politics.

That is the argument of my new book, The Future of Power. Two types of power shifts are occurring in this century – power transition and power diffusion. The transition of power from one dominant state to another is a familiar historical pattern, but power diffusion is a more novel process. The problem for all states today is that more is happening outside the control of even the most powerful of them.