Power and rational choice

Steven Lukes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Addressing why those subject to domination seem to acquiesce willingly, Dowding and I disagree. Dowding appeals to luck; I claim it is likely to be power. Dowding’s view, at its strongest, views power narrowly: having power is having the capacity intentionally and observably to mobilize resources to advance one’s interests. My three-dimensional view embraces the various means by which power relations are reproduced and which they in turn reproduce, sometimes through inaction, in unconsidered ways and across generations. Power is often hidden, unobserved, even inaccessible to agents and observers alike and can be at its most effective when least observable.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)281-287
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Political Power
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 2021


    • Luck
    • acquiescence
    • domination
    • intentionality
    • structural racism

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science


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