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Steven Lukes: Power

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Claire Gill

on 17 August 2015

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Transcript of Steven Lukes: Power

The Theories of Steven Lukes
Power: A Radical View
The 3 faces of power
Non-Decision Making: The Secretive Face
This is power exercised behind closed doors.
Governments can use this type of power to decide what will and what will not be discussed.
Manipulating Desires
Lukes claims that power can go further and be exercised via manipulation.
Decision Making: The Open Face
This form of power describes a situation where power can be seen to be used.

For example...
Government proposes a new law

For example...
Scottish devolution 1979-1997
Tony Blair's
"Sofa Government"
Lukes argues that the power to set the political agenda is important.
As a result, power is as much about
limiting choices
as well as making them.
Lukes' theory suggests that people in power can persuade us that the decisions we make are in our best interests and are what we want
Traditionally, British governments form policy in Cabinet, leading to 'collective responsibility'.

TB favoured an 'inner circle' approach which meant only some people had access too all information.

This was highlighted as a problem by the Butler report into Iraq.
EU Referendum
John Major's government of 1992-1997 was plagued by anti-EU campaigns, including a call for an EU referendum.

This was not put onto the agenda until 2015 - why?
Feminists would argue that the idea of women staying at home to raise their children is presented as being in their (and their children's) best interests when actually it is a means to keep women down.
Your Task
Elitist Power
Pluralist Power
State surveillance

Independence Referendum?
1. Summarise Lukes' theory of power
2. Choose ONE of the types:
find an example of it for a case study
Give the class a short overview of the case study and explain why you think it demonstrates the type of power you have chosen
Full transcript