power vacuum

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power vacuum (plural power vacuums or power vacua)

  1. A lack of centralised political authority, especially following a conflict, revolution, change of power etc.
    • 2008, Rory McCarthy, The Guardian, 23 July 2008:
      A few hours before the attack, Yuval Diskin, the head of the Israeli security agency the Shin Bet, had told a parliamentary committee that there was a "power vacuum" in East Jerusalem and he also called for the demolition of the homes of people involved in terrorist attacks.
    • 2010, Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22, Atlantic 2011, p. 184:
      the old order had irretrievably vanished like breath off a razor blade, and there was a good old-fashioned power vacuum or, as we used to say in factional meetings, a “situation of dual power.”