Superpower

A superpower is a state with a dominant position characterized by its extensive ability to exert influence or project power on a global scale. This is done through the combined means of economic, military, technological, political and cultural strength as well as diplomatic and soft power influence. Traditionally, superpowers are preeminent among the great powers. While a great power state is capable of exerting its influence globally, superpowers are states so influential that no significant action can be taken by the global community without first considering the positions of the superpowers on the issue.[1]

The term was first applied in 1944 during World War II to the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union.[2] During the Cold War, the British Empire dissolved, leaving the United States and the Soviet Union to dominate world affairs. At the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States became the world's sole superpower.[3][4][5] Today, scholars debate which countries and organizations to include in the list of superpowers, with the People's Republic of China, the European Union, the Republic of India, and the Russian Federation all being debated among scholars as potential superpowers.[6]


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