Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: April 07, 2011 | Print ISBN: 9781412927482 | Online ISBN: 9781412994088| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Consensual Power, Theories Of
Contrary to the commonsense everyday view of power, in which power is thought of in terms of coercion or the threat of violence, most routine political and social power is based on some level of consent. To make sense of this consensual base, it is necessary to analyze power both from a sociological empirical stance and a normative philosophical one. The literature on power is essentially scalar regarding consensus and conflict. At one end of the scale, theorists such as Max Weber, Michael Mann, Robert Dahl, and Steven Lukes view power purely in terms of conflict. At the other end, Hannah Arendt, Talcott Parsons, and Barry Barnes represent the consensual end of the spectrum. Theorists such as Anthony Giddens, Stewart Clegg, Keith Dowding, Mark Haugaard, Peter Morriss, and Michel Foucault encompass both consensual and conflictual aspects of power. In thinking about consensual power, two aspects have to be clearly distinguished. ...