Download Lost Geographies of Power (RGS-IBG Book Series) by John Allen PDF

By John Allen

This unique research explores the adaptation that house and spatiality make to the knowledge of power.Explores the adaptation that area and spatiality makes to an knowing of energy. strikes ahead the incorporation of rules of house into social idea. offers a brand new realizing of the workout, makes use of and manifestations of cultural, fiscal and political energy within the moment 1/2 the 20th century. Illustrated with situations and examples.

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Sample text

Resources move and can be lost or may simply evaporate, but power has none of those qualities. The POWER IN THINGS 37 relationships which give rise to the constraints of domination or the allure of seduction or the assent which authority requires are mediated through relations of proximity and presence. Power is not some `thing' that moves, but an effect that is mediated, and such effects may mutate through relations of successive or simultaneous reach. But that is to run ahead of ourselves. The idea that power may be something other than a capacity, or that power may not be so much distributed over space as constituted by the many networked relationships which compose it, has yet to be fully absorbed by those who remain convinced that power may be possessed or held `in reserve'.

It is also radically misplaced to include reference to Max Weber as someone who subscribed to a conception of power as `simple capacity'. More than most he understood the various combinations of ways in which power may be conferred and the various claims to legitimacy involved. Accounts which proclaim that power is a capacity possessed by individuals, groups and institutions alike can be interpreted in a loose, metaphorical sense or, at the other extreme, as an inscribed relational property. Only in the latter case should Hindess have any cause for concern, although even then quantitative scripts of power are not really what is at issue.

In the context of a wide range of institutions, from the governance of schools and hospitals to the running of multinational enterprises, power may be thought of as more a means to achieve outcomes, and rather less an instrumental ability to get one's way despite resistance. Power, as such, is not considered as merely something which is capable of being held over others; it may also be enabling. In the hands of Hannah Arendt, this understanding of power, as we shall see, was considered as empowering in and of its own right, as a positive gesture in which all those involved benefit in some way, yet only for as long as the effective mobilization lasts.

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