Middle power

In international relations, a middle power is a sovereign state that is not a great power nor a superpower, but still has large or moderate influence and international recognition.

Leaders of the G20 countries and others present at the 2008 G-20 Washington summit. Most members of the G20 are middle powers while some are great powers.

The concept of the "middle power" dates back to the origins of the European state system. In the late 16th century, Italian political thinker Giovanni Botero divided the world into three types of states: grandissime (empires[citation needed]), mezano (middle powers), and piccioli (small powers). According to Botero, a mezano or middle power "has sufficient strength and authority to stand on its own without the need of help from others."[1]


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