The concept of power
Article first published online: 17 JAN 2007
Copyright © 1957 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 2, Issue 3, pages 201–215, 1957
How to Cite
Dahl, R. A. (1957), The concept of power. Syst. Res., 2: 201–215. doi: 10.1002/bs.3830020303
- Issue published online: 17 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 17 JAN 2007
- Manuscript Received: 3 APR 1957
What is “power”? Most people have an intuitive notion of what it means. But scientists have not yet formulated a statement of the concept of power that is rigorous enough to be of use in the systematic study of this important social phenomenon. Power is here defined in terms of a relation between people, and is expressed in simple symbolic notation. From this definition is developed a statement of power comparability, or the relative degree of power held by two or more persons. With these concepts it is possible for example, to rank members of the United States Senate according to their “power” over legislation on foreign policy and on tax and fiscal policy.