PRV, first published as a short book some thirty years ago in the context of an ongoing debate, makes several contentious claims in an extremely brief compass. It offers a definition of the concept of power, claiming both that the concept is ‘essentially contested’ and that the conceptual analysis proposed is superior to those criticized; and it claims to provide a way of analysing power that goes deeper and is at once value-laden, theoretical and empirical. As indicated, these claims face a series of difficulties and objections (not least that they are mutually incompatible) that many critics have pressed and pursued. In considering these claims, difficulties and objections, the question before us is: what in the foregoing presentation, reproduced as Chapter 1 of this volume, is to be abandoned, what qualified, what defended and what developed further?
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