Rising powers, status competition, and global governance: a closer look at three contested concepts for analyzing status dynamics in international politics

Thomas J Volgy, Kelly Marie Gordell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article focuses on the intersection of rising powers, competition for status, and the extent to which governance is influenced by such elements. Despite extensive scholarly attention to these concepts, contestation regarding the classification of state powers, the exact role status plays, and the consequences that can exist when it comes to global and regional forms of governance continues. We contend that the majority of states within this project have effectively risen, with some potentially still rising (from one grouping to another), while two countries, Iran and Turkey, are considered at best rising, but with uncertain trajectories. It remains unclear how they may rise sufficiently to become influential as ‘rising’ powers in the current state of international politics. We argue as well that the impact of status seeking on global governance is highly variable and, depending on the status seeking strategy chosen, may not exacerbate conflicts between rising powers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalContemporary Politics
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • conflict
  • cooperation
  • governance
  • Rising powers
  • status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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