Thirty years ago I published a small book entitled Power: A Radical View (hereafter PRV). It was a contribution to an ongoing debate, mainly among American political scientists and sociologists, about an interesting question: how to think about power theoretically and how to study it empirically. But underlying that debate another question was at issue: how to characterize American politics — as dominated by a ruling elite or as exhibiting pluralist democracy — and it was clear that answering the second question required an answer to the first. My view was, and is, that we need to think about power broadly rather than narrowly — in three dimensions rather than one or two — and that we need to attend to those aspects of power that are least accessible to observation: that, indeed, power is at its most effective when least observable.
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