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Power: Political power is the ability to influence or control the behavior of others in the political sphere. It can be exercised through formal institutions, such as the government, or through informal means, such as persuasion or coercion. See also Coercion, Persuasion, Government, Governance, Society, Politics, Democracy, Ideology.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Republicanism on Power - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 169
Power/Republicanism/Dagger: The law only ensures the citizen 's freedom, (...) when it is responsive to the citizenry and when the republic itself is secure and stable enough for its laws to be effective. Sustaining freedom under the rule of law thus requires not only public-spirited participation in public affairs and a willing- ness to bear the burdens of a common life - the
civic virtue of the republican citizen - but also the proper form of government. This usually has been some version of mixed or balanced government, so called because it mixes and balances elements of rule by one, by the few, and by the many.
>Rule of Law/Republicanism
, >Freedom/Republicanism.
Republic/Pocock: As J. G. A. Pocock (1975)(1) and others have noted, writers from Polybius and Cicero to Machiavelli and the American Founders celebrated the mixed constitution for its ability to stave off corruption and tyranny.
Monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, according to these writers, are prone to degenerate into tyranny, oligarchy, and mob rule, respectively; but a government that disperses power among the three elements could prevent either the one, the few, or the many from pursuing its own interest at the expense of the com- mon good. With each element holding enough power to check the others, the result should be a free, stable, and long-lasting government.
Republicanism: To be sure, republicans have sometimes struggled to reconcile their faith in mixed government with their distrust or even hatred of hereditary monarchy and aristocracy. But this struggle, as in the case of the American Founders, has led to a reinterpretation of balanced government as one that relies upon the checks and balances of separated powers or functions of government. Whether mixed in the older sense or balanced in the newer, though, the point is
Gaus I 170
to resist the corruption of power by preventing its concentration.

1. Pocock, J. G. A. (1975) The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic
Republican Tradition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Dagger, Richard 2004. „Communitarianism and Republicanism“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004

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