Skip to content
NUPI skole

Instruments of State Power: History and Theory

The ISPO Workshop Series will develop new and innovative analytical tools and vocabularies to help understand current developments in global politics.


  • NATO
  • International economics
  • Trade
  • Diplomacy
  • International organizations
  • The EU

Our point of departure is that International Relations currently lacks an adequate analytical vocabulary to assess developments such as global shifts in power relations, globalization, and new modes of global governance. Most importantly, we posit, the prevalent view of the state cannot help us understand how (different) states respond (differently) to these challenges. ISPO will provide an avenue for exploring new takes on the state which focus on its use and power and available instruments of power politics, thus also furthering the development of innovative takes on statehood through a dialogue between historical and theoretical perspectives.

The main milestones of ISPO will be the organization and finalizing of three workshops. The secondary milestones are outputs and dissemination from the workshops.

Tentative dates:

March 2017: Workshop 1, Lund (“Rethinking Power Politics: Conceptualizing Instruments of State Power”)

September 2017: Workshop 2, Copenhagen (“Instruments of state power in historical perspective: conditions of development and change”)

April 2018: Workshop 3, Oslo (“Contemporary instruments of state power: understanding world dynamics”)

Project Manager

Benjamin de Carvalho
Research Professor


Halvard Leira
Research Professor
Minda Holm
Senior Research Fellow
Benjamin de Carvalho
Research Professor
Iver B. Neumann
Former employee
Kristin Haugevik
Research Professor
Morten Skumsrud Andersen
Senior Research Fellow, Head of the Research Group on Global Order and Diplomacy
Stein Sundstøl Eriksen
Research Professor