John Hoffman; Paul Graham; Dawson Books's Introduction to political concepts PDF

By John Hoffman; Paul Graham; Dawson Books

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That force is not the only attribute of the state. Indeed his definition makes it clear that the force of the state has to be ‘legitimate’, monopolised and focused on a particular territory. Nevertheless, as Weber himself says, force is a ‘means specific to the state’ (Gerth and Wright Mills, 1991: 78; 134). The other factors are important but secondary. Force is central to the state, its most essential attribute. The Centrality of Will Those who see morality or right as the heart of the state are often called ‘idealists’ because they consider ‘ideas’ rather than material entities to be central to reality.

Is the housewife a citizen? She may have the right to vote and stand for parliament, but at the same time she may feel compelled to do what her husband tells her, and have limited power over her own life. Nancy Hartsock, a US academic, wrote a book entitled Money, Sex and Power (1985). Yet one of the most central questions in the debate about citizenship is whether the unequal distribution of resources distort the power that people exercise. Are we already citizens or can we only become citizens if resources are more evenly spread both within and between societies?

Is the use of force the same as power? We will try to argue that while the two ideas sound similar, in fact power requires compliance, whereas force does not. Of course, it is easy to think of examples where the two come very close to one another. In the proverbial case of the person with a gun who demands your money or life, you have a ‘choice’ in a technical sense, but the ‘power’ exercised involves a threat of credible force, so that in reality your choice is illusory. In this case we would prefer to speak of coercion rather than power.

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