Power (politics)

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In politics, power refers to an individual or group's capacity to control the administration of resources within a society — that is, to determine "who gets what, when, and how."[1] Power may be obtained with legitimacy (i.e., the consent of the governed), or by taking it by coercion; the drive for power may be a personal need or sense of responsibility.


  1. This definition of politics is from Harold D. Laswell, Politics: Who Gets What, When, How. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936