The Power Helix

Are there two types (or faces) of power? Is there a lifecycle whereby power changes from one form to another over time? I propose that power has two aspects, always inherently linked; and subject to rotational inertia so that one aspect or the other may be foregrounded for some time…but it will inevitably recede and the other come to the fore.

Coercive Power

It’s easier in the short term to use force and strength and violence than to harness the consensus of many people.

Theories of Power

In two papers with colleagues, I lay out two-factor theories that describe how some people want power for the pleasures it offers, and others because it enables progress toward important goals; and that analyze how power can lead to more agency or more aggression based on the power holder’s balance of resource control and capacity for volitional influence.