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Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Ramshackle Great Power

06-08-2006 Kommersant - The Unites States, China and Japan are leading great powers now, while Great Britain and Russia drag behind them. Russia would sink even lower, to the sixth place, should the European Union be considered a state, according to the poll of Gallup and TNS-EMNID, which was held in nine countries – five states of G7 (less Italy and Canada) and in Brazil, Russia, India and China. The great-power standing of the U.S. has been doubted by no one of the polled. As to Russia, only the Germans (50 percent of the polled) and English (43 percent) thought it a great power, while the Japanese and the Brazilians were most skeptical (only 10 percent viewed Russia great today). When evaluating the greatness, the priorities vary from a country to a country, though the significance of economic power is of no doubt - 52 percent of respondents thought it most vital for the state. In general, the polled countries could be easily split into two groups. One of them is focused on internal affairs, almost ignoring such features of the world power as elaborating a world agenda, ensuring global security and being socially and culturally attractive. The most evident representatives of this group are India and Russia, where no more than 2 percent to 18 percent of respondents singled out those factors. The second group is open to the world; its members are the E.U. states – France, Germany and Great Britain. The Russians are conservative when measuring the power of the state. Most vital for them are a strong army, strong economy, political stability and resources, while attractiveness of the social model of development for the world at large, innovation ability, advance of education and science are very secondary - only 10 percent to 20 percent of respondents found those features significant.

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