Compare and Contrast of the Three Faces of Power

1821 Words8 Pages
Some theorists believe that ‘power is everywhere: not because it embraces everything, but because it comes from everywhere… power is not an institution, nor a structure, nor possession. It is the name we give to a complex strategic situation in a particular society. (Foucault, 1990: 93) This is because power is present in each individual and in every relationship. It is defined as the ability of a group to get another group to take some form of desired action, usually by consensual power and sometimes by force. (Holmes, Hughes &Julian, 2007) There have been a number of differing views on ‘power over’ the many years in which it has been studied. Theorist such as Anthony Gidden in his works on structuration theory attempts to integrate basic…show more content…
Luke’s one-dimensional view of power is centred on this concept and in order to develop understanding as to how power is achieved and maintained within society, an analyses of decision-making in the public arena must be made. It also contests that the group that holds and maintains power can be determined by looking at who succeeds when there is political conflict. (Lukes, 1974:12) It emphasises the importance of the observed behaviour of those in power and analyses the effects on the wider community when making decisions (Lukes 1974:25) Lukes spends a lot of time discussing Dahl’s theory of power through his own theory. The power held by a specific group may be either, ‘overt’ or ‘covert’ but the triumph of power is at the point is during the decision-making process and when these decision have been made, especially, those of the controversial nature of ones centred around the most conflict (Lukes, 1974:13) The one dimensional view of power proposed by Lukes is the most straightforward of the three dimensions. In a way, it is also the easiest to observe, as the power structure through decision-making is more translucent and has a lot of clear definable features.
The two-dimensional view or second face of power discusses the non-decision making and how the group or individual controls what is put on the political agenda. This form of power is power through agenda setting. The perspective of the

More about Compare and Contrast of the Three Faces of Power

Get Access