Misinterpreting Dahl on power

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7 Scopus citations


Dahl’s critics have often called attention to important aspects of power relations – e.g. the suppression of issues and consciousness control. The critics, however, have not always portrayed Dahl’s views as accurately as one might wish. Distinguishing between an abstract concept of power and operational definitions adopted for purposes of specific research projects is fundamental for Dahl. Furthermore, Dahl’s concept of power implies nothing about the preferences of B, is not zero-sum, does not necessitate compulsion, may or may not be subtle or visible, is not confined to material resources, and may be either direct and immediate or indirect and long term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-227
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Political Power
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 4 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


  • faces of power
  • interests
  • power
  • preferences
  • zero-sum


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