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Power

  • By: Derek Eysenbach
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

In the simplest terms, power refers to the capacity to get work done—an effective means to an end. In physics, power is defined by units of work over a period of time. However, in terms of political philosophy, dozens of theories contribute to understanding how different subjects hold influence on one another. In simplest terms, power can be understood through a typology based on coercion or co-optation. In terms of environmental politics, more abstract theories of power come into play, including theories on the fundamental political relationship between society and nature, contested political relationships with nature within society, and the complexities behind the dynamic understandings and interpretations of human–environment relationships. Power, it should be noted, is not a tangible “thing” that can be captured. ...

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