Power (politics)

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This article is about Power (politics). For other uses of the term Power, please see Power (disambiguation).

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