The Rise of Middle Powers

Episode 21 of Business Diplomacy Today covers the emerging significance of middle powers. Host Matthias Catón is joined by Michael Mazarr, Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation. Matthias and Michael discuss how middle powers are rising and their impact on global trade and business environment.

Beginning with definitions of middle powers, Michael explains the concept of different power scales, and the domestic and global roles great, middle, and small powers play. Understanding different factors as ingredients of influence, such as size, geography and economic power, Matthias and Michael discuss the shift into a multipolar reality where middle powers have a growing significance.

Tied with these complexities, their conversation examines the implications of changes in the global power order on businesses and decision-making processes in contexts of investments and geopolitical shifts. Furthermore, the space that businesses provide for communication, such as cyber- and information security, is discussed.

Matthias and Michael specify these theories in the cases of India’s growth, US-China relations, and developments within the Middle East; with Michael further advising business to continuously invest in developing their geostrategies and ability to operate internationally.

Ultimately, this episode serves as a vital resource for understanding the changing dynamics of global business and diplomacy; as well as the imperative need for businesses to understand and adapt to global shifts to remain competitive and influential on an international scale.

About the guest

Dr. Michael Mazarr

Michael Mazarr is a Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation. Prior to coming to RAND, he served as Professor and Associate Dean at the U.S. National War College in Washington, D.C.

He has served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, President and CEO of the Henry L. Stimson Center, Senior Vice President for strategic planning at the Electronic Industries Alliance, Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Senior Fellow and Editor of The Washington Quarterly at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Executive Briefing – what you should read now

  • Zakaria, Fareed (2011) The Post-American World: And the Rise of the Rest
  • Bremer, Ian (2013) Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World