You are here

Three Faces of Power
Share

Three Faces of Power


May 1990 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Three Faces of Power offers the best of Kenneth Boulding: bold, innovative perspectives on past and present concepts. His creative analysis lays the groundwork for important future debates about power. Boulding explains that power can be divided into three major categories: threat power; economic power; and integrative power. Turning general deterrence theory on its head, he argues that the greatest error is to regard threat power as fundamental, for it is not effective unless it is reinforced by economic and integrative power. His conclusion has wide-ranging application to everything from the nuclear weapons debate to intimate personal relationships. Power. The word alone evokes images of great empires, of human misery, of personal triumphs and failures. Yet power has been--and continues to be--one of the most misunderstood concepts known to mankind. Now, in a fascinating new volume, Kenneth Boulding marshalls his remarkable intellectual talents to explore and analyze the nature of power. Three Faces of Power offers the best of Kenneth Boulding: bold, innovative perspectives on past and present concepts. His creative analysis lays the groundwork for important future debates about power. Boulding explains that power can be divided into three major categories: o Threat power, destructive in nature and applied particularly to political life. o Economic power, resting largely on the power to produce and exchange items--and on the constantly changing distribution of property ownership. o Integrative power, based on such relationships as legitimacy, respect, affection, love, community, and identity. Turning general deterrence theory on its head, Boulding argues that the greatest error is to regard threat power as fundamental, for it is not effective unless it is reinforced by economic and integrative power. His conclusion has wide-ranging application to everything from the nuclear weapons debate to intimate personal relationships. Three Faces of Power provides a refreshingly optimistic and challenging call to a world future secured through the power of human interaction and knowledge. It will prove essential reading for students and academics in all areas of the social sciences, especially peace studies, political science, sociology, family studies, communication, organizational studies, social psychology, and international relations. "With deft strokes of wit and delightfully apt analogies Boulding shares his profound insights into the most important component of human relations--power; its manifestations in brutal exploitation, in give and take relations among equals, and in mutually nurturing cooperating human beings. Boulding's inimitable charm shines through the plain language of common experience on every page of this book for everyone." --Anatol Rapoport, University of Toronto "Original, as always." --Future Survey "This book is vintage Boulding. Few people writing today in social science, much less in economics, give evidence of the broad erudition which Boulding invariably displays. He chooses examples of the points he wishes to make with breathtaking leaps through history and culture. The reader who dips into this book by Boulding is in for a challenging and thought-provoking experience." --The Journal of Economic Issues "Innovative and fascinating." --The Futurist "This is an immensely charming book, easily readable, written in a plain, almost folksy prose-style....It glides effortlessly over its topic." --Organization Studies "The value of reading this book is that of personal discovery. Besides the many glittering economic ideas and suggestions lying about like diamonds in a field, his essay provokes self-knowledge. You as an economist will know a lot more about yourself and the failures and successes of your profession after reading this book." --American Journal of Agricultural Economics "Three Faces of Power is Kenneth Boulding's innovative and thought-provoking study of power, in which he categorically rejects the traditional importance of threat (destructive) power. Instead, he offers a bold, new thesis: 'It is integrative power that is the most dominant and significant form of power, in the sense that neither threat power nor economic power can achieve very much in the absence of legitimacy, which is one of the more important aspects of integrative power.' . . . Well written and provocative, Three Faces of Power is both scholarly and down to earth. Undeniably, Three Faces of Power will stimulate much discussion about power, but, equally important, it is an eloquent plea for peace." --International Journal on World Peace

 
Introduction
 
The Nature of Power
 
Power as a Social Structure
 
The Objects of Power
 
The Pathologies of Power
 
Personal Destructive Power
 
Personal Economic Power
 
Personal Integrative Power
 
The Dynamics of Personal Power
 
Organizations for Destruction
 
Economic Power in Organizations
 
Organizations For Integrative Power
 
The Dynamics of Organizational Power
 
Power in Physical and Biological Evolution
 
Power in Societal Evolution
 
Power and the Future

Preview this book

For instructors

To inquire about the availability of this title for review (print and/or digital), please contact your local sales representative or call (800) 818-7243.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9780803938625
$77.00