September 17th 2013
What is a state?
A) it is where power is exercised
- context is power is used by scholars in many different ways
- an essentially contested concept, the very definition reflects different views in the
world from the perspectives of people with differing ideologies and claims on behalf of
-1st dimension of power according to Stephen Lukes: 'a' makes 'b' do something 'b'
otherwise wouldn't do
- decision making power: pluralism. the person over whom power is exercised has to
arrive at a conclusion and decision to do something they really wouldn't not want to do
unless if this influence was exercised over them
- according to Lukes, this is a particular image of power not completely innocent. those
in favour of this power have a view of political light that is pluralism. it is an image of
society that sees power as being broadly dispersed in society and not being
concentrated in the hands of the elite or privileged groups of people
- what is about this first dimension of power that would be associated with this pluralism
view of power?
- Robert Dahl: concentrated on where are decision making forums and the dynamics
between a and b, found that New Haven decision makers were always different,
different decisions won by different groups, different outcomes. so although there is no
logical reason why first dimension of power leads to a dispersed image of power, it did
show that there is pluralism
2nd dimension of power: 'a' creates/sustains structures that prevent 'b' from
contesting the status quo
-non decision making 'elitism'
- society is dominating on the minority and extract and use their resources to dominate
over them in society (elitism in political context)
3rd dimension of power: 'a' influences 'b's beliefs and goals. a political system in
which those who have fewer resources don't lose decisions because they don't get to
contest, but neither is it necessary that they have self-identified concerns that are
addressed, they are in a situation where their very beliefs have been affected by a and
they don't have a belief in changing their circumstances
-if 'a' convinces 'b' that something is in 'b's interest, it becomes a problem once you can
distinguish between perceived needs and necessities
- this third dimension of power is called structural power: done in a systematic way to
convince certain people that things are in their interests that aren't in their real interests.
the dominant class/gender uses its influence over the media, economy, society to