Abstract

Pamela Pansardi, "'Power to' and 'Power over': Two Distinct Concepts of Power?", December 2011

In this paper I analyze the relations between the concepts of power to and power over. The distinction between these two interpretations of power is commonly based on the assumed relational nature of attributions of power over as opposed to the dispositional nature of attributions of power to. I argue, by contrast, that power to refers to social relations and, accordingly, belongs to the same category of social facts as power over. As a consequence, the two should not be thought as distinct concepts of power, but as representing two analytically distinguishable aspects of a single and unified concept of social power.

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