Disciplines: Political Science, Sociology

Theory of individuals' and groups' ability to achieve their ends.

In social relations, power is exercised by persons or institutions acting in such a way that their interests or wishes prevail over those of others. They are thus responsible for the consequences. There is dispute, however, over the extent to which they need to be aware of these consequences for it to be usefully said that power is being exercised.

David Miller et al., eds, The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought (Oxford, 1987)


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