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Encyclopedia > Power vacuum

A power vacuum is an expression for a political situation that can occur when a government has no identifiable central authority. The metaphor implies that, like a physical vacuum, other forces will tend to "rush in" to fill the vacuum as soon as it is created, perhaps in the form of an armed militia or insurgents, military coup, warlord or dictator. For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation). ... This article is about authority as a concept. ... Look up Vacuum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Lebanese Kataeb militia The term Militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary [1] citizens to provide defense, emergency, law enforcement, or paramilitary service, and those engaged in such activity, without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. ... An insurgency is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority, by any irregular armed force that rises up against an enforced or established authority, government, or administration. ... Coup redirects here. ... A warlord is a person with power who has de facto military control of a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. ... A dictator is an authoritarian, often totalitarian ruler (e. ...

Historian Fernand Braudel compared the situation of Italy during the Renaissance as a "cyclonic zone, an enormous vacuum", which would sweep in foreign armies: Fernand Braudel (August 24, 1902–November 27, 1985) was a French historian. ... This article is about the European Renaissance of the 14th-17th centuries. ...

"The strength of the barriers in eastern and south-western Europe varied from century to century. The nomads' worlds rotated between these areas of negligence, weakness and sometimes ineffectual vigilance. A physical law drew them now westwards, now eastwards, according to whether their explosive life would ignite more easily in Europe, Islam, India or China. Eduard Fueter's classic work drew attention to a cyclonic zone, an enormous vacuum in 1494 over the fragmented Italy of princes and urban republics. All Europe was attracted towards this storm-creating area of low pressure. In the same way hurricanes persistently blew the people of the steppes eastwards or westwards according to the lines of least resistance.[1]

During or following a civil war there is often a power vacuum of some sort. For example, the war-torn nation of Somalia is currently mired in a power vacuum, with no central government or president exercising control over the supposed "Republic of Somalia". This article is about the definition of the specific type of war. ... The Somali Civil War is an armed conflict in Somalia that started in 1988. ... This page contains a list of the Presidents of Somalia. ... Look up republic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

A power vacuum can also occur following a constitutional crisis in which large portions of the government resign, creating unclear issues regarding succession to positions of power. A constitutional crisis is a severe breakdown in the smooth operation of government. ... An order of succession is a formula or algorithm that determines who inherits an office upon the death, resignation, or removal of its current occupant. ...

After the Second World War, there was a power vacuum. Along with the division of East and West Germany, Stalin's diplomacy and governance, the development of the atomic bomb, policies of containment of communism, the expansionism of the USSR and a growing lack of trust (fear of a hegemony) were seen to be factors in the emergence of the Cold War. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... “East Germany” redirects here. ... Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (Georgian: , Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jughashvili; Russian: , Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili) (December 18 [O.S. December 6] 1878[1] – March 5, 1953), better known by his adopted name, Joseph Stalin (alternatively transliterated Josef Stalin), was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Unions Central Committee from... Once a pariah denied diplomatic recognition by most countries, the Soviet Union had official relations with the majority of the nations of the world by the late 1980s. ... A nuclear fireball lights up the night in a United States nuclear test. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter A nuclear weapon derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions of fusion or fission. ... A countrys foreign policy is a set of political goals that seeks to outline how that particular country will interact with other countries of the world and, to a lesser extent, non-state actors. ... This article is about foreign policy. ... This article is about the form of society and political movement. ... Look up hegemony in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ...

More recently, the tight control which Saddam Hussein's Baath party exerted on Iraq could have been exploited during a transitional hand-over period following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Instead, the US Government's policy of purging Baath party members from the Iraqi government after the invasion created a power vacuum which was quickly filled by insurgents, who then began to attack American service personnel using improvised explosive devices and snipers such as Juba.[1] Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) was the fifth President of Iraq and Chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council from 1979 until his overthrow by US forces in 2003. ... Baath Party of Iraq Baath son of Magog of Milesian tradition This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... This article is about the 2003 invasion of Iraq. ... ... An insurgency is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority, by any irregular armed force that rises up against an enforced or established authority, government, or administration. ... Explosive devices, as used by terrorists, guerrillas or commando forces, are formally known as Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs. ... This article is about the military occupation. ... Juba (جوبا) is the nom de guerre of an alleged sniper involved in the Iraqi insurgency featured in several videos of Iraqi insurgents in action. ...

The general concept of a "power vacuum" is relevant to many personal and organizational situations. In the criminal world many druglords are able to become untouchable because of fear of any backlash occurring in a power vacuum situation.


  1. ^ Fernand Braudel, Capitalism and Material Life, New York, Harper & Row, 1967, vol. I, p.57
Fernand Braudel (August 24, 1902–November 27, 1985) was a French historian. ...



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