City Research Online

15 Theses on Power

Susen, S. (2014). 15 Theses on Power. Philosophy and Society, 25(3), pp. 7-28. doi: 10.2298/FID1403007S


This article seeks to contribute to a critical understanding of the multifaceted nature of power, emphasizing its capacity to shape the development of society by permeating constitutive aspects of human reality. To this end, the article proposes an outline of a multidimensional approach to power. It does so by identifying and examining several – arguably universal – features and functions of power. On the basis of 15 theses, it is argued that, within the social world, the power of power derives from the fact that it is (1) ubiquitous, (2) productive, (3) relational, (4) intangible, (5) habitual, (6) discursive, (7) corporeal, (8) polycentric, (9) performative, (10) normative, (11) spatial, (12) temporal, (13) disciplinary, (14) circular, and (15) transcendental. By way of conclusion, the article provides a comprehensive summary of the main insights gained and challenges arising from such a multidimensional approach to power.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Institut za Filozofiju i Drustvenu Teoriju Beograd 2014
Publisher Keywords: ability, agency, capability, capacity, complexity, control, disempowerment, domination, emancipation, empowerment, influence, power, society
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0.

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