chapter  12
18 Pages

Political power

The OED defines power as ‘the ability to do or act’ and ‘control, influence, ascendancy’, while Webster’s Dictionary defines it as the ‘possession of control, authority, or influence over others’. Power can be possessed and exercised in all kinds of social contexts, from an office or factory to national or international society. Political power is power within a political system and in this book we are concerned not with the international system or the tribes of the Amazon rainforest but with the political system of the modern state.