With the increase in the depth and breadth of of digital technology, nation states and economies are more interlinked than ever before, even though their political systems may be polar opposites.
Economies flourish and decline with global trade and wars, natural disasters and rebellion in one nation can be felt by another and its citizens on the other side of the planet.
There are some players however that naturally rise to the top of the world stage, in large part because of their economic or military might or both.
Nations perpetually observe each other, scanning their political and military status quo to ensure their own economic health and sovereignty.
Listed below are the countries, apart from the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the European Union, who are frequently the target of column inches and media coverage in assessing the balance of the military, economic and political power across the globe.