A Broad Definition of Agential Power

Journal of Political Power 11 (1):79-92 (2018)

Pablo Gilabert
Concordia University
Can we develop a definition of power that is satisfactorily determinate but also enables rather than foreclose important substantive debates about how power relations proceed and should proceed in social and political life? I present a broad definition of agential power that meets these desiderata. On this account, agents have power with respect to a certain outcome (including, inter alia, the shaping of certain social relations) to the extent that they can voluntarily determine whether that outcome occurs. This simple definition generates a surprisingly complex agenda for substantive research. It is quite fruitful for both descriptive and normative purposes-or so this paper argues. The broad account of agential power offered here is partly developed through a critical engagement with Rainer Forst's important recent account of "noumenal power."
Keywords power  agential power  noumenal power  critical theory  Rainer Forst
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Noumenal Power, Reasons, and Justification: A Critique of Forst.Sameer Bajaj & Enzo Rossi - forthcoming - In Ester Herlin-Karnell & Matthias Klatt (eds.), Constitutionalism Justified. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Forms of Power.Thomas E. Wartenberg - 1988 - Analyse & Kritik 10 (3):3-31.
Legal Power: The Basic Definition.Lars Lindahl & David Reidhav - 2017 - Ratio Juris 30 (2):158-185.
Power in the Structure of Power Relations.Ivan Buraj - 2010 - Filozofia 65 (5):417-427.
The Power of Tolerance: A Debate.Wendy Brown & Rainer Forst - 2014 - Columbia University Press.
The Technological Construction of Social Power.Philip Brey - 2008 - Social Epistemology 22 (1):71 – 95.
Noumenal Power.Rainer Forst - 2015 - Journal of Political Philosophy 23 (2):111-127.
Nietzsche's Concept of Will-to-Power: A Critical Study.Pujarini Das - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Hyderabad
Rethinking Power.Amy Allen - 1998 - Hypatia 13 (1):21 - 40.
The Power of Power—Questions to Michel Foucault.Norbert Ricken - 2006 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 38 (4):541-560.
The Power of Power—Questions to Michel Foucault.Norbert Ricken - 2006 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 38 (4):541–560.
Power, Soft or Deep? An Attempt at Constructive Criticism.Baumann Peter & Cramer Gisela - 2017 - Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy 6 (10):177-214.
Facetten der Macht.Peter Koller - 1991 - Analyse & Kritik 13 (2):107-133.


Added to PP index

Total views
80 ( #94,306 of 2,237,391 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
30 ( #21,851 of 2,237,391 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature