What is Power [Government]? – Definition, Types & Sources

Spread the love

What is Power in Government Studies? – Definition, Types & Sources



Definition of Power

The ability or capacity to do something or act in a particular way.

In other words, Power is the capacity to affect another’s behaviour by the threat of sanction.
The sanction may be negative other positive. Thus, a political leader may have the ability to control the actions of others by promising those who oppose him.

However, sanctions are used if there is non-compliance.

Forms of Power

There are various types and forms of power, in which few are listed below;

Political Power
The elected President or Prime Minister of a state possesses political power. It’ is the power derived from the people and the constitution.

Economic Power
An individual in possession of economic resources could use such to influence issues in a state. He can also command respect and has the ability of controlling people’s emotions, actions etc.

READ  Why Study Government? - Importance Of Studying Government

Military Power
The armed forces, army, navy and airforce control the instruments of violence in a country. These instruments can easily be manipulated to overthrow a civilian government and for the defence of the state against external aggression.

Physical Power
It’s the application of force in compelling obedience. The outcome of this application could bring discomfort other even disastrous end.


The Acquisition and Exercise of Power
Sources of Political Power

The list below are the various sources of Political Power;

The Constitution
The Constitution specifies how powers should be acquired and how it should be exercised. Through elections, power held by the people is transferred to a body called government.

Through Coercion
Power may be acquired through the use of force, e.g. the military. Most developing countries in Africa, Latin America ext have experienced change of government through coup d’etat.

Through Charisma
Power can be acquired through intelligence or a person’s charisma.

The Economic Resources
This may include money and property. An individual can acquire political power and comment the respect of other people.

READ  Attributes Or Characteristics Of Government

Through Position of Authority
Authority and power are complementary. So, position of authority confers power on the person exercising it.

Through Inheritance
This is based on the. Hereditary and it mostly with the royal family. Powers are acquired, the the kingship or queenship is vacant.

About the Author: RaMaDan

“The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *