Power

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  • Power - Power, Politics and the State
    • What is power?
      • Force? Coersion? Leadership? Control?
      • Power as agenda setting - Controlling the parameters of discussion
        • eg. In lobbying for stricter gun laws and achieving legislation, the public exercises their power over government.
      • Power as Thought control - The ability to blind someone from being able to see his or her real interests
        • eg. In educating people to assume that poverty is unrelated to gun crime, those who benefit from inequality prevent the development of anti-poverty programmes.
          • Tries to establish a fake world which hides the real world
      • Robert Dahl - A has power over B to the extent to which A can get B to do something that B wouldn't otherwise do
      • Foucault - Power needs to be considered as a productive network which runs through the whole social body.
    • Competing views on what power is
      • Feminists - Male + Female power relations are what dictate the definition of power.
      • Marxists - Focus on economic power relations
      • Religion - Power to suggest how an individual should live
      • Militarism - power through physical force
    • Problems with defining power
      • Problems with ownership of power - Where does power lie?
      • Power can be as difficult to define as politics itself
      • Where is power expressed? - In government? Society? In the home?
      • Conceptual problems - What is it to own power as opposed to expressing it?
        • Are all types of power equally important in politics? Economic power? Military power?

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