There are few truisms in international relations, but one that even academics won’t disagree on is that foreign policy begins at home. How powerful a country is, and a nation’s stature in the international arena, rests on its economic and political fundamentals.

US academic David Shambaugh defined six dimensions of power:  perceptual, diplomatic, global governance, economic, cultural and security. In the international arena a country needs to first be perceived by others as powerful, its diplomacy must be executed effectively, it needs to shoulder more than its fair share of international governance duties, its economy needs to be sustainably strong, its culture must be attractive to others, and all of this must be backed up by a strong military...

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