This major book provides an up-to-date and state-of-the-art overview of the contemporary theory and practice of the most central concept in political science: power. The concept of political power is introduced within a three-part framework: contemporary theories of power; applications of power processes and practices; and the implications of modern power flows across the globe today. The book explores the many structures of power in the contemporary world from theories of its construction and use, to its operation in policy networks, and its wider exercise at different levels in the political process, from the local to the global. Amongst the many themes explored are the reproduction and
Chapter 1: Constitution and Use of Power
Constitution and Use of Power
Towards a New Framework for Conceptualizing Power
Any attempt to grasp the concept of power opens a variety of different and most controversial meanings. One of those oppositions in conceptualizing power is Max Weber's view on the one hand and Hannah Arendt's on the other. To start with these two not only illustrates again the difficulty of clearly understanding one of the most familiar characteristics of our society, but also helps to get some new insights into the nature of power, its constitution and its use in society.
Max Weber understands power as the carrying out of one's will in a social relationship, something which can also be accomplished through violence: “Power” is the probability that one actor ...