On the margins of power

Cerella, Antonio (2019) On the margins of power. Philosophy in a Time of Crisis,


Power is everywhere. Everyone speaks of power. We are told that the majority has the power to make decisions that are binding upon the whole. Professors have the power to decide the academic fate of their students; or, more simply, my wife has a strange power over me. In all of these examples, the word ‘power’ denotes an asymmetrical relationship between two or more actors. In effect, in the modern Western world ‘power’ has been traditionally described as a coercive force. As we shall see, however, this power of coercion should not be understood merely as a physical force, but above all as a relational dynamics of individuation.

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