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* It seems universally translated as “initiative”, except (sometimes) when not used in a military context — examples below.
n. right to take the initiative
| 一切战争的敌我双方, 都力争在战场、战地、战区以至整个战争中的主动权。（毛泽东《抗日游击战争的战略问题》）
【Military Mandarin Lexicon】
initiative; freedom of initiative.
| 夺取和保持主动权 (seize and maintain the initiative).
In partnership with the international forces, we have begun to take back the initiative from the Taliban in some key parts of the country.
The initiative was wrested from him by the Hungarian General Staff.
The aggressive campaign gave Roosevelt the initiative that he had seemingly lost.
Any army which, losing the initiative, is forced into a passive position and ceases to have freedom of action, faces the danger of defeat or extermination.
When the enemy is making a converging attack from several directions, a guerrilla unit can exercise initiative only with difficulty and can lose it all too easily.
* Non-military usage:
Without more creative thinking and deft action, Bangkok risks losing the initiative.
该计划不是等待捐资者提出项目建议，而是掌 握 主动权 ， 正 在制定一份 以后向捐资者建议的高度优先项目清单。
Rather than waiting for donors to suggest projects, this programme seizes the initiative, and develops a list of high priority projects that are then suggested to donors.
传统上，孩子们都将教师和家长视为学习的源泉；Marvell SMILE Plug等互联性设备使学生能掌握学习的 主动权 ， ” 加州桑尼维尔市Ellis小学五年级老师Claudia Olaciregui说。
Children have traditionally looked to teachers and parents as sources for learning; connected devices like the Marvell SMILE Plug empower students to take their education into their own hands,” said Claudia Olaciregui, a fifth-grade teacher at Ellis Elementary School in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Enterprises should have the right to make their own decisions and act independently.For instance, they should have the right to decide how many people they will employ and what should be increased or reduced.
As a definition, "initiative" is problematic. First, it can mean several things. Second, the specific sense that's relevant here isn't even defined in some English dictionaries, such as
[One dictionary that *does* define this specific sense is Encarta (sense #4): "favorable position that allows somebody to take preemptive action or control events". ]
Adding the label (initiative) doesn't make it entirely clear either, I feel.
More examples (TP) ~
"To date Taiwan has always been a price taker in international politics, not a price leader with the power to call the shots. Whatever price others set, we generally just have to take it or leave it, and we have paid a great deal in terms of political, human and economic resources to get where we are today."
Bianco president Coco Fang concurs with this opinion and says: "The only chance we have in mainland China is with own brand products." It may seem on the surface that the way to go is as agents for well known foreign products, but managing someone else's brand is not particularly profitable and firms have little freedom of action, having to make do with little more than paving the way for others.
Taking back control
Hence Ho sees the downloading craze that has swept the world in recent years as a cultural movement by users to reclaim autonomy from record companies.
“It’s always better to be a leader than a follower. Only the leader can take the initiative. Otherwise you’re forced to respond to others’ actions,” says Chen. Innovation is like surfing: if you don’t keep on top of the wave, you’ll go under.
Xue Miaozhen, the teacher responsible for planning the activity, pointed out that giving students the opportunity to stand at the front of the classroom and teach while teachers misbehaved at students’ desks intentionally upended conceptions about the classroom, offering students both a multilayered learning experience and a better understanding of the challenges that teachers face.
# 主動權 主动权 [zhu3 dong4 quan2] /(military) initiative/
+ 主動權 主动权 [zhu3 dong4 quan2] /initiative (as in "seize the initiative")/advantageous position that allows one to call the shots/