A great power is a nation or state that is able to influence other states in most of the world. That is possible because it has great economic, political and military strength. Its opinions are taken into account by other nations before taking diplomatic or military action. Characteristically, they have the ability to intervene militarily almost anywhere. They also have soft, cultural power, and often economic investment in less developed countries. There is no definite list, but five great powers are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and eight are in G8.
The world's great powers as of the early 21st century are:
- Italy 
- United Kingdom
- United States
Potential Great PowersEdit
Older Great PowersEdit
Prussia, Austria (still exists as a country), at other point in history Austria-Hungary, and the British Empire (no longer exists on such a large scale, the UK, and the Commonwealth of Nations persists, which includes e.g. Canada and Australia), and more recently the Soviet Union (the Commonwealth of Independent States persists, and Russia the most powerful country there of), which no longer exists.
Peter Howard, B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University (2008). "Great Powers". Encarta. MSN. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. Retrieved 2008-12-20. Cite uses deprecated parameter
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- T.V. Paul; James J. Wirtz, Michel Fortmann (2005). "Great+power" Balance of Power. United States of America: State University of New York Press, 2005. pp. 59, 282. ISBN 0791464016. Accordingly, the great powers after the Cold War are Britain, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the United States p.59
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Ben W. Heineman, Jr., and Fritz Heimann speak of Italy as a major country or 'player' along with Germany, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
- Richard N. Haass, "Asia’s overlooked Great Power", Project Syndicate April 20, 2007.
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- By Stephen P. Cohen, India: Emerging Power, p. 60
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