What Is Power? Definition, Meaning, Forms And Sources

Table Of Contents

1. Meaning Of Power
2. Forms Of Power
3. Sources Or Means Of Acquiring Powers
4. Means Of Exercising Power

Meaning Of Power

Power is the ability to control the actions of others through the possessions of means of sanction. By exercising power, others are forced to change their actions against that will.

Sanction on the other hand is an instrument of power used to influence the action of other. It could be physical, social and political power.

Forms Of Power

There are four forms of power and this include:

1. Political Power: This types of power resides in the three arms of government derived from the constitution. It is exercised by a government in controlling the affairs of the state.

2. Physical Power: This involves the use of physical force to compel obedience and it may cause injury, pains or even death.

3. Economic Power: This involves the use economic resources in controlling the action of others. Those who control economics resources sometimes influence government policies and this is visible in capital state.

4. Military Power: This type of power is exercised to those who control the instrument of suppression E.g Armed Forces. It can be used to forcefully change government and defend the territory of a state against external attack.

Sources Or Means Of Acquiring Power

Means of acquiring powers are as follows:

1. The Constitution: In democratic state, the constitution determine the method of acquiring power through elections that are held periodically.

2. Inheritance: This is seen in traditional societies. Those born in royal families have the right of ascending the throne vacated by their ancestors and this gives them some element of power.

3. Position Of Authority: One’s position of authority can confer some elements of power on that person. Such power ceases to exist when he/she vacates such position.

4. Coercion: Power can be obtained through the use of force especially military force. E.g Coup d’etat.

5. The Use Of Charisma: Many people acquire power through their personal influence and capacity to fair devotion and this goes with persuasion.

6. Control Of Economic Resources: Those who control economic resources use such opportunity to acquire political power. This is with the principle of economic determination.

Means Of exercising Power

Political power is the power transfered to a leader from the people through voting in an election. It is administered in accordance with the provision of the constitution.

The constitution contains rules and regulation referring how power in a state are shared and exercised, therefore, political power must be exercised in line with the provision of the constitution of a given state.

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