Frameworks of Power

“Both a comprehensive historical and theoretical overview of the concept of power, and a substantive and original contribution to debates in that literature…Clegg has succeeded remarkably well on both counts. First, his book is a wide-ranging and nuanced overview and critique of theories of power stretching from Hobbes to Foucault. Second, Clegg spends the last third of the book presenting an alternative conception of power that is both theoretically sophisticated and powerfully insightful. Clegg provides insightful and evocative critiques of many of the standard debates on power, although his reading of Gidden's structuration theory should be of particular interest to communication scholars.”–Communication Theory “This book can be read in a variety of ways. The early chapters will serve very well as a more-than-just-a-textbook guide to the existing paradigms of power analysis, while the later sections sketch out an extremely stimulating agenda for further work…. Clegg has done an excellent job in bringing out the relevance of recent French work on power….”–The Sociological Review “This important book reopens the debate about power in modern society. The book starts where Steven Lukes and Anthony Giddens left the controversy several years ago, but Clegg redirects the debate, by reconceptualizing power as an organizational phenomenon. Organization provides the “framework of power,” and without knowledge of this framework power cannot be adequately conceptualized. As such, this book invigorates both the debates on power and the entire field of organizational studies.“–Gary G. Hamilton, University of California, Davis “I have read the manuscript and find it most impressive. Using the giants of the past–Hobbes and Machiavelli–as a starting point, Clegg presents an integrated framework with the giants of the present–Giddens and Luke. In the process, Clegg makes some important original contributions to the development and use of concepts related to power.”–Richard H. Hall, SUNY, Albany “An ambitious book, spanning the theoretical issues of sociology from the most micro to the most macro dimensions of analysis. Clegg's work is on the frontier of current thinking in the social sciences.”–Randall Collins, University of California, Riverside “This is just what I was looking for: a thorough, balanced, and above all, readable account of the central concept of politics which takes us from Hobbes through all the major writers to Foucault. It is an admirable clear statement of the classics, and an attempt to go beyond them. It will immediately go in the ‘essential reading’ part of my graduate and undergraduate course lists.”–Ken Newton, University of Essex “Provides a wealth of information about the modern approaches to power on a theoretical plane. It is well written and extremely well documented and provides a very useful guideline to the development of modern thinking in this area.”–The Alternative Newsletter: Newsletter of the Section of Alternative Dispute Resolution Association of American Law Schools “The book not only provides an interesting and readable discussion of major texts on power in social theory, but also it provides an interesting framework for the analysis of power that deserves further attention.”–Accounting Auditing and Accountability “This book should be of substantial interest to communication scholars.”–Quarterly Journal of Speech “Should be widely adopted as a teaching text: no alternative is so up-to- date, or so adept in identifying and interpreting recent developments. This is a book which has put itself at the service of the literature, and as an analysis of the literature, rather than of what the literature itself purports to analyse, it must be considered a success.”–Sociology What are the different frameworks for understanding power which have been developed within the social sciences? In particular, how has classical sociological literature as well as the literature of the last decade discussed the variety of approaches to power? In Frameworks of Power, Clegg provides a comprehensive account of the different approaches to understanding power and, in the process, presents a fresh synthesis. This innovative overview opens with the classic literature on power as expressed by Machiavelli and Hobbes. Clegg then addresses more recent analyses. Included are the works of American political and social theorists, such as Robert Dahl, Peter Bacharach, Morton Baratz, and Talcott Parsons; the British sociologists, Steven Luke, Anthony Giddens and Michael Mann; the German critical theorist, J_rgen Habermas; and the increasingly important contributions of the French school, Michel Foucault, Bruno Latour and Michel Callon. Out of this discussion emerges a new model of “circuits of power,” drawing on important recent advances in the sociology of science and the sociology of organizations. This approach is then applied to key questions of comparative historical sociology: the emergence of the modern state in Western Europe. The first to incorporate diverse frameworks for the analysis of power in a single volume, Frameworks of Power will be essential reading for scholars in the fields of sociology, political science, and organizational studies.

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