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(p. 304) 14. Power 

(p. 304) 14. Power
(p. 304) 14. Power

David Owen

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date: 24 November 2020

This chapter examines the roles that the concept of power play in the understanding of politics as well as the different modes of power. Recent political theory has seen a variety of views of power proposed, and these views have significantly different implications for conceptualizing the scope and form of political activity. Two main views concerning power are the locus of contemporary debate. The first, ‘agency-centred’ view, emerges in the Anglo-American debate that follows discussions of community power in American democracy. The second, ‘non-agency-centred’ view, emerges from the post-structuralist work of Michel Foucault. At stake, in the debate between them, are how we distinguish between injustice and misfortune, as well as how we approach the issues of freedom and responsibility. The chapter explores this debate and presents a case study on racialized inequality in America, along with Key Thinkers boxes featuring Foucault and Steven Lukes.

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