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The four dimensions of power

Understanding domination, empowerment and democracy

By Mark Haugaard

The four dimensions of power

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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1037-4
  • Pages: 248
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: June 2020
  • BIC Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory, Society & social sciences / Society & culture: general, Society & social sciences / Political science & theory, Politics & government, Political science & theory, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
  • Series: Social and Political Power

Description

In this accessible and sophisticated exploration of the nature and workings of social and political power, Mark Haugaard examines the interrelation between domination and empowerment. Building upon the perspectives of Steven Lukes, Michel Foucault, Amy Allen, Hannah Arendt, Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu and others, Haugaard offers a clear theoretical framework, delineating power in four interrelated dimensions.

The first and second dimensions of power entail two different types of social conflict. The third dimension concerns tacit knowledge, uses of truth and reification. Drawing upon genealogical theory and accounts of slavery as social death, the fourth dimension of power concerns the power to create social subjects. The book concludes with an original normative pragmatist power-based account of democracy.

Offering lucid and entertaining illustrations of complex theoretical perspectives, this book is essential reading for undergraduates, postgraduates and academics, while offering an indispensable guide for activists wishing to understand domination, resistance and empowerment.

Reviews

'The Four Dimensions of Power is eminently readable as an introduction to the central power debates for the student, yet stimulating and provocative for the specialist.'
Stewart Clegg, Distinguished Professor, University of Technology, Sydney

'Hugely impressive. Haugaard embraces a wide range of issues and of relevant thinkers and theories and skilfully deploys the various analytical distinctions that have surfaced in discussion of power-all within a framework that gives the reader the sense of moving both forward and deeper. The product of many years of reflection, this readable book achieves something very important indeed.'
Steven Lukes, Professor of Sociology, New York University and author of Power: A Radical View

'Power is one of the most important and yet complex concepts through which we make sense of social and political life. And no-one rivals Mark Haugaard in analysing equally carefully and vividly the many dimensions of power. The magnum opus of one of the most powerful and imaginative social theorists of our time.'
Rainer Forst, Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy, Goethe University Frankfurt

'Pushing the standard actor-agency model toward Wittgenstein, Schutz, Austin, and cultural theory, Haugaard produces a dazzling new map of the subtle and complex intertwinings that political and social power consist of.'
Jeffrey C. Alexander, Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology, Yale University

Contents

Introduction: Conceptions of power and an overview
1 The first dimension of power: Violence, coercion and authority
2 The second dimension of power: Conflicts over structures or deep conflict, and dominant ideology
3 The first and second dimensions of power contrasted: Deep versus shallow conflict and resistance
4 The third dimension of power: Practical consciousness knowledge, consciousness raising, the natural attitude and the social construction of reasonable/unreasonable
5 The third dimension continued: Conventions, reification, the sacred and essentialism
6 The third dimension continued: Descartes' error, reification of truth and fallible truth
7 The fourth dimension of power: The making of the social subject
8 The fourth dimension continued: Social death through slavery, death-camps and solitary confinement
9 Normative analysis of the four dimensions of power: A pragmatist approach: what is power for?
References

Author

Mark Haugaard is Professor in the School of Political Science and Sociology at the National University of Ireland, Galway

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