- by Gersi Mirashi
- March 10, 2023
How to Conceptualise Power?
by, Klementin MILE, PhD
This article aims at clarifying the medial concept of power, by making use of the work of the eminent German sociologist and social theorist Niklas Luhmann. It will be argued that this medial concept of power has clear theoretical advantage over other attempts at conceptualising power. This is so in that the medial concept of power manages to overcome the challenges of philosophical critique, especially the charge of ontological burden and essentialist presuppositions. On the other hand, the medial concept of power manages to position itself in the interface between sociology and political science, proving useful for both disciplines, something that other concepts of power cannot do. The article starts with Luhmann’s critique of the classical theories of power, by identifying eight problems. Then some consideration is given to the analysis of power as medium, where the main ideas of Luhmann and Foucault seem to converge. Next, in order to further clarify the medial concept of power, the article deals with the question of influence, which ought to be distinguished from power. After this, the article takes a sociological twist, by giving an account of the transformation of power in modern society.
How to cite: Mile, K. (2021). How to conceptualise power? Polis, 20(2), 44–55.
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