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How can we understand power in politics - Research Paper Example

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Name Instructor Date How Can we Understand Power in Politics? Politics is one of the most influential aspects in the lives of the people. It carries some power that has very much influence on the way people perceive things and react to various situations…
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How can we understand power in politics
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Download file to see previous pages This brings a sharp contention between those who try to understand the sociology behind these behaviours and the political scientists who do not believe and recognize that power can be held. Power in politics is viewed as either held or diffuse and unpredictable. Power is something that is beyond just an aspect of being violent. It has a lot to do with the influence over the people compared to being violent and aggressive despite the two components prevailing in politics. According to Hannah Arendt in her essay ‘On Violence’, there is a clear distinction between the concept of power and violence. Most of the modern theorists have developed arguments that have linked violence with excessive demonstration of power, but Arendt dispels this notion by pointing out that two aspects are not comparable. In fact, she points out that they are directly opposed. The first point that comes out clearly from the arguments raised is that power emanates from the will of the majority and cannot be coerced or influenced by violence in achieving its results. What happens is that the voluntary decision by the people prevails. In case violence is used to capture power, the same shall prevail in losing the power. Bureaucratic regimes are potential sources of violence because they attempt to distance themselves from the people that placed them in the powerful dockets. The missing links with the people stirs up a revolution and the ultimate result is violence (Arendt 42- 46). Another point of view is that power is pervasive and dispersed. It has been argued by some quarters of theorists that the people or groups hold power. Contrary to this view, Michael Foucault, a postmodern theorist observes that power cannot be localized, it can come from anywhere and it is everywhere. He continues to argue that power in politics is constituted through certain aspects of knowledge that is obtained in some scientific truth. It is apparent that every society comes with its version of truth that is shaped by the political and economic ideologies, the media and the education system that is in place. This means that despite the perception that some have taken power as oppressive, coercive and with negativity, there is positivity and productivity thereof. Foucault’s view agrees with that of Arendt by demonstrating that generalizing power in politics in the bad light of negativity, oppression, violence and coerciveness is not right (Foucault 777-790). Power is capable of presenting social discipline among the individuals and adherence to set regulations. It is not true that a subject will adhere to what is required of them just because power is exercised over them. At times, use of power demonstrates rebellion among the subjects. People have learnt how to behave rightly not because they are forced or coerced to do so. Power transcends politics and is more of a social issue; Foucault states that this is the reason why when revolutions occur they do not significantly influence the social order. Politics have several closely related factors; these are power, influence, control and authority. These aspects are often confused but power presents a lot of ambiguity in its understanding. According to Andreas Hillgruber power has a lot to do with influence over people, he notes ‘ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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