Evaluating Power Political Repertoires (EPOS)

2016 - 2020 (Completed) Project number: 250419
Research Project
EPOS aims to bring about a systematic problem shift in how power politics are studied by moving analytical focus from states' power resources and systemic features of world politics to the actual repertoires through which states engage one another.

Two closely intertwined developments loom large over contemporary world politics.

First, economic and military power is becoming less concentrated in the North Atlantic littoral. Second, globalization processes including changing communications technologies, production chains, and transportation vectors - lead many policymakers and analysts to search for new paradigms for understanding political power.

Some speak of 'soft power' or 'network power', and suggest that the nature of power itself is changing. This presents a challenge for scholars of international relations: Our dominant frameworks for understanding the first set of processes assume historical continuity - that the same basic dynamics operate in all power transitions across time and space. The wagers that undergird the second set of processes focus, in contrast, on historical discontinuity: They anticipate that contemporary shifts in world politics may play out very differently than those of the past because the nature of power is changing. Extant theories of world politics are therefore cut off from adjudicating between these different views.

Evaluating Power Political Repertoires (EPOS) aims to move beyond this impasse by advancing a systematic problem shift in how we study power politics: Rather than focusing on states' power resources and on how the systemic features of world politics condition certain types of power political behavior, EPOS focuses on the repertoires through which states engage one another. The project team draws from the well-developed analytic framework of contentious politics, but necessarily adapts it for the study of international relations. Thus, the project defines repertoires of power politics as the relatively stable array of tactics that states turn to when competing for influence. Recognizing that states pursue influence through repertoires opens up exciting avenues for understanding the dynamics of power-political competition.


Research Council of Norway

Funding program

Toppforsk - FRIHUMSAM


From secret negotiations to Tweetlomacy

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Just a few years ago, the Brexit negotiations would probably have been conducted behind closed doors. Today, however, such negotiations also unfold in real time – on Twitter. Senior Research Fellow Øyvind Svendsen (NUPI) has taken a closer look at what this entails.

Bildet viser Japans president Abe og USAs president Trump

The strategic importance of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Tokyo’s take

May 10, 2019

While the idea of the Indo-Pacific as more than just a geographic space is only recently taking root in the Nordics and broader Europe, it has already been hotly discussed as a strategically important arena in foreign and security policy circles in Asia for several years.

Bildet viser Mount Fuji i Japan

Japan and China: Competing Realities

August 23, 2017

China has played a central role in Japanese identity-making for centuries - what of its role today? asks Wrenn Yennie Lindgren (NUPI) in a new article.


Publication : Academic chapter/article/Conference paper

Afterword: International Organizations and Technologies of Statehood

The afterword discusses the contributions to the symposium by drawing links to cognate fields such as international relations, international law, and ...

Performing Statehood through Crises: Citizens, Strangers, Territory

This article applies the growing International Relations literature on state performance and performativity to the question of how practitioners categorize ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL

The Relationship Between Narratives and Security Practices: Pushing the Boundaries of Military Instruments in Japan

Japanese security policy has undergone significant changes lately. Japanese policymakers have recently argued over advancing Japan’s Self-Defense Forces ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL

corporaexplorer: An R package for dynamic exploration of text collections

This article presents the 'corporaexplorer' open source software. 'corporaexplorer' is an R package that uses the Shiny GUI (graphical ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL

Frustrated Sovereigns: The agency that makes the world go around

In this special issue we build on the growing interest in recognition to suggest that a shift from recognition to misrecognition open up new theoretical ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL

New Dynamics in Japan-Russia Energy Relations 2011-2017

Since the triple disaster in Japan in 2011, the energy dimension of Japan-Russia relations in the Russian Far East (RFE) has developed at a more rapid ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL

French status seeking in a changing world. Taking on the role as the guardian of the liberal order

France has a long history as a traditional European great power. But is this still the case today? The analysis in this article shows how French exceptionalism, ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL

States before relations: On misrecognition and the bifurcated regime of sovereignty

The symbolic structure of the international system, organised around sovereignty, is sustained by an institutional infrastructure that shapes how states ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL

Identity Politics and the East China Sea: China as Japan's 'Other'

This article contributes to the relational IR literature on identity politics and Sino-Japanese relations. Theoretically, we develop Rumelili's 2004 ...

Project Manager

Europe  Africa  Asia  Russia and Eurasia  South and Central America  International economics  Security policy

Morten Skumsrud Andersen

Senior Research Fellow,Head of the Research Group on Global Order and Diplomacy


Iver B. Neumann

Former employee

Guri Bang

Former employee


Daniel Nexon, Georgetown University (US)

Stacie Goddard, Wellesley College (US)

Alexander Cooley, Columbia University (US)