Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/Great power/1

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Great power[edit]

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · WatchWatch article reassessment page
Result: Delist. The case has been made by multiple reviewers, including the original GA reviewer, that this article needs work and renomination. The case to keep or revert is too weak. Good luck to editors keen on restoring GA status. Geometry guy 22:59, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi. On August 19th of 2008, Great power became listed as a Good Article. However, some editors believe that the person who reviewed the article might be biased as his or her country might be one of the countries listed as a current great power. To put an end to this, I figured it would be best to have a community review of the article to fix this problem. Deavenger (talk) 16:22, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Good call. This looks like a case where reliable secondary sources are needed in abundance. Comments below please. Geometry guy 23:19, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Delist. The article fails criterion 1 and is weak on criterion 2. There are numerous criterion 1 problems. The writing is sub-par. Too often the prose is abruptly interrupted by ill-placed quotations. In places the prose falls flat; for example, As noted above, for many, power capabilities were the sole criterion. In other spots the style is archaic and awkward to the modern reader: This approach restricts analysis to the post-Congress of Vienna epoch; it being there that great powers were first formally recognized. Dozens of footnotes lack proper formatting. The lead is marginal; it's scant at best, incomplete at worse.

I am also concerned that the article relies on substandard sources and synthesis to cobble together lists of great powers. See, for example, the lists of Great Powers circa 1900 and listing as of 1919. Some sources aren't particularly reliable (Blacks' Academy? Citizendium?) Is it just me, or does this article feel like it needs an infusion of better sources? Majoreditor (talk) 03:01, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Comment: I was peripherally involved with the assessment of this article during its GA nomination, and feel that the current version could use some significant stylistic work. My suggestions:

  • Increase paragraphs' length: Many paragraphs throughout the article seem rather skeletal. For example, while the lead is technically in line with WP:LEAD#Length, its aesthetic quality and contextual information would be improved by filling out the two introductory paragraphs to four to five sentences each.
  • Eliminate special formatting for quotations: This is a corollary to the previous suggestion. In the 'Characteristsics' section, quotes should be incorporated into paragraphs rather than carved out into a separate area of already-sparse subsections. Doing so would help the quotations supplement the paragraphs rather than vice-versa, which seems to be the current situation.
  • Expand lists' lead sections: Another suggestion closely related to the first. The lists which comprise most of the subsections in 'Change of great powers' should have their corresponding lead paragraphs expanded. Not only would this add needed qualification as to why each entity is a member of its respective list, it would also afford the opportunity to move appropriate references to the end of clauses in prose rather than their current unsightly position appended to the end of each item in the list. The subsections 'Great powers c. 1880' and 'Current great powers' look particularly cluttered by this. As another way to cut down on unnecessarily redundant citations, instead of citing the same source four times to account for each country named in a list, citing it once (after grouping the countries together in a sentence, for example) should be sufficient.
  • Fix citation positioning: Citations belong after punctuation, and there should be no spaces between the beginning of a citation and the punctuation it proceeds. On a quick glance, I counted over half a dozen examples of where this could be fixed.

Feel free to insert replies between each of my bulleted paragraphs as appropriate. With regards to the perennial allegations of POV pushing made in this article's talk page, I would suggest future attempts at WP:RFC in addition to this review. Cheers, Emw2012 (talk) 04:03, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Delist. Declaration - I have been contributing to article's talk page recently. The structure in the version that existed about 18 months ago, with each possible candidate country having its own detailed NPOV section, was better imo, and should be reintroduced. Attempting to formally list today's great powers is stirring up hornets' nests among nationalists who think their country should be listed. The current world order of a single superpower and many lesser powers has rendered the term 'great power' difficult to define. Expert opinion is divided. Viewfinder (talk) 10:20, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

I assigned "Good article" status in August 2008, and Deavenger has invited me to comment. I consider the prose reasonable, although I accept that there is room for improvement. Majoreditor points out some problem areas. The sourcing is (I think) quite good. The article is well-referenced throughout, with in-line citations. [However the Citizendium source has crept in after my review.] I don't see a problem with "Black's Academy" as a source. Full formatting of references is not a requirement for GA status. The content appears to be neutral and accurate, as far as I can judge from the sources. [However Deavenger implies that I have been accused of prejudice because I am British.] Unfortunately the main problem that has arisen since my assessment appears to be an intense discussion about neutrality/accuracy, documented on the Talk page. On this basis, I am now reluctant to describe the article as "stable". It certainly doesn't seem to fit the community's consensus for a stable, neutral, accurate article. Therefore it would be better to delist the article. Sadly because of the ongoing arguments, I suspect that it will never achieve community consensus for a "Good article". Axl ¤ [Talk] 17:09, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Delist. But hopefully, me and other members will get this back up to a good article in a month or so. Problem is, there's lots of nationalism going on in the articles falling under PIIR. For instance, in the superpower article, it is commonly accepted by academics that U.S is the only superpower. However, many people think Russia should be added, and bring sources that just say, Russia invaded Georgia, it's a superpower, and academics go, no, it's not. In the great power article, the term great power is commonly used to call certain current day powers like Russia or China based on many factors. Some people would bring in sources for their country like CIA Factbook, use the facts of that, and call it a great power, which is synthesis. Also, some editors want to get rid of current great powers. This is something I highly disagree with. 1. Many academics call these countries great powers, there are plenty of sources calling modern day states great powers, many sources are provided within the great powers page. 2, getting rid of them to stop nationalistic arguing is wrong. There are plenty of people who would like to think their country as a superpower. Does that mean we should get rid of any mention of what's a current day superpower, of course not. Should we get rid of the South Ossetia War page to avoid nationalistic debates, of course not. Expert opinion is divided, the article even states "While some nations are widely considered to be great powers, there is no definitive list, leading to a continuing debate." But, there are still plenty, plenty, plenty of academics that use the term great power to refer to modern day states. Deavenger (talk) 03:05, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep or Revert Well I must say that I am surprised that people directly involved can input here... That doesn't seam objective, rather the opposite actually. I would say that this is a good article with good sources on a subject that sometimes elicits strong emotions. I can understand if people wish to remove the Citizendium source (though is it not peer reviewed?) but all other statements are backed up by well verified sources and they have been academic in nature. Due to the disputed nature of the subject I also believe that older versions like the one Viewfinder proposed is a bad step since that version is pure WP:OR. If the current version fails I say that we merge or replace it with the version that gained it the GA status. Much was changed to pass the GA criteria Talk:Great power/GA1. But one thing I would like to say is the article has actually been rather stable since the GA status was reached. The discussion have been kept on the talk page and usually with new editors not spilling out into the article itself. Wikipedia:Good article criteria says a good article must be Well-written be Factually accurate and verifiable (it provides references to all sources of information... contain[ing] no original research) be Broad in its coverage be Neutral be Stable (it does not change significantly from day-to-day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute) and be Illustrated from what I can tell this article passes all of those criteria. Have I been mistaken? -- Phoenix (talk) 08:13, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
This version is pure WP:OR? Come off it Phoenix, there are more than 100 sources (although for example "India is the newest Great power on the world stage, according to some" was not properly sourced). I was not proposing to revert literally, but revert to its general structure which seems to me to be more NPOV when addressing the currect Great Power issue, including for example sections about Italy and India. Moreover, referenced material about likely future Great Powers could be added without breaching WP:BALL. Viewfinder (talk) 11:18, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Then please give us the sources listed in that version... or any source that passes WP:OR WP:NOTCRYSTAL and WP:SYN. So far they have not appeared. The version you pointed at is a very good example of Synthesis of published material which advances a position. -- Phoenix (talk) 12:13, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Are you telling us that none of the references listed at [1] pass the above guidelines? Viewfinder (talk) 13:06, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Um guys, since this is the article assessment, can you talk about what sources are WPOR or not on the Great Power talk page or even your own talk pages. Deavenger (talk) 13:40, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Reply to Phoenix. GAR is something like GA's high court, and as such input to a community reassessment from any involved party is valuable, just as the prosecution and the defense provide input in a trial. To forbid such input would be Kafka-esque. The input of each editor may be subjective, but the community attempts to reach an objective viewpoint through consensus application of the GA criteria to the current state of the article. Geometry guy 17:17, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - I strongly disagree with the proposition that we should bring back the sub par version Viewfinder is suggesting. I tend to agree with Phoenix that we should keep the listing and improve the article per the above feedback or revert to the GA-listed version and work on stylistic/prose improvements as necessary. I would also agree that this article has been rather stable since it has reached GA status and the truth is that only a few editors such as Viewfinder and IP users who suggest the term is archaic and irrelevant or propose to add a country based on synthesis of sources. These dissenting views have largely occurred and (have been addressed) on the Talk page and not on the article itself which is the measure of stability as far as GA is concerned as Phoenix has noted. With all due respect, the evidence provided suggests that the term is notable and the listed great powers are verifiable. Though the article remains far from being a FA, it is still a relatively well-written article that retains for the most part the quality of the GA-assessed version. Nirvana888 (talk) 18:48, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
"With all due respect" Nirvana, I am not advocating bringing back that version, but something with structure more similar, with a current powers section including NPOV sub-sections about candidate countries. There are sources that directly contradict the Encarta POV. Like this: [2] "The UK and France have declined from their former great power status". The article has been relatively stable because we do not like edit wars, but the talk page shows that there is discontent among many users, both registered and IP. Viewfinder (talk) 19:28, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. I agree with Majoreditor's analysis. The article is just too loose, with too much synthesis of source material. Much of the opinion here needs to be attributed (qualified) so that the article does not advocate its own view as to what a great power is. One example illustrates several issues: "Another important criteria throughout history is that great powers have enough influence to be included in discussions of political and diplomatic questions of the day, and to have influence on the final outcome and resolution." According to whom? The sentence is loose and uncited, and "criteria" is plural.
The article hasn't changed that much since the GA version, so I don't see the benefit in reverting to that. It has changed substantially since 18 months ago, but I don't see the advantage of that structure (in fact, individual sections on each great power are magnets for POV pushing), but even if it were preferable, reverting to it would require delisting the article and renominating it at GAN.
My suggestion would be to shorten an tighten the article to focus on how the term has been used by historians and other reliable sources throughout history. Geometry guy 17:17, 24 December 2008 (UTC)