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

Power, Ideology and Legitimacy

Power, ideology and legitimacy

This chapter analyzes two processes whereby relations of domination are sustained through the perceptions of social actors. We shall examine how systemic structures are routinely sustained by an actor's knowledge of social life, often despite the fact that these structures confer differential power resources upon these self-same actors. We want to analyze how this takes place both when the individuals involved are not fully aware that the structures in question entail relations of domination which disadvantage them and when they are aware that this is the case. In particular, we will analyze the phenomenon which, in the Marxist tradition, has variously been called ‘false consciousness’ and ideology, and we shall analyze the process by which legitimacy reinforces power ...

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