Essays academic service


The distribution and exercise of political power

What are political resources? Are they different from power resources?

What is politics?

Resources are anything that can be used to influence an outcome. Resources are used, but it is not power itself. Resources are distributed unequally. Political inequality refers to structured differences in the distribution and acquisition of political resources. Power is an attribute of people.

Access Check

Most distributional theorists argue that power is relational. Resources are never strictly defined and can take the form of anything actors can do within an interaction.

  • This brings us to the second problem — the limitation of the analytical framework we established for understanding politics;
  • For example, romantic relationships have elements of power, where each participant has a range of actions or range of resources at their disposal to get what they want despite the resistance of the other;
  • Anyone can learn for free on OpenLearn but creating an account lets you set up a personal learning profile which tracks your course progress and gives you access to Statements of Participation and digital badges you earn along the way.

Resources are actions available to the participants in the interaction. These resources are valid because they are an integral part of the interdependent relationship.

  • Those who make effective use of such political money possess and exercise greater political power than do most members of society;
  • Resources are used, but it is not power itself;
  • Resources are anything that can be used to influence an outcome;
  • Political Resources and Political Inequality:

The nature of the interdependent relationship reveals the types of actions resources available to each participant. For example, in capitalist economies, ownership of land and wealth is a valid resource. Employers have power over their employees because the employees are dependent on the employer for their economic livelihood. Power is an attribute only of relationships, not people themselves.

  • Are they different from power resources?
  • Thus, the narrow—broad spectrum, although a useful organisational tool, can only take us so far;
  • Course content Course content What is politics?
  • Alternatively, we might considerably broaden the definition by arguing that politics takes place whenever and wherever power is exercised;
  • What is the relationship between political resources and economic resources?

The interdependency approach is different from the distributional approach because it assumes that each actor in the interaction has equal power resources. Employers can only make employees work because employees agree to work.

Create your free OpenLearn profile

For example, romantic relationships have elements of power, where each participant has a range of actions or range of resources at their disposal to get what they want despite the resistance of the other. But this behavior is not political. How to measure political inequality?

If political inequality is the unequal distribution of political resources, then the measurement of political inequality is dependent on the measurement of political resources.

Defining and Measuring Political Resources

Sorokin 1959 [1927] defines political stratification this way: To Sorokin, authority, prestige, honors and titles are political resources. Authority position seems to be the main determinant of who has power and who does not.

Some go broader and define political inequality in terms of the level of democratization. Measuring political inequality with level of democracy assumes that the introduction of political rights and civil liberties leads directly to reduction of inequalities. But, as Verba et al 1978 point out, for democracy to reduce inequality, rights and liberties are not enough; citizens must also be engaged in political participation see also APSA 2004.

Thus, it is not democracy alone that matters, but what citizens do with the rights and liberties allowed by democracy. Democracy cannot be a measure of political inequality or political resources. What would be a measure of political resources?

One plausible measure of political resources is experience in political affairs, which is obtained through political participation. Democracy as a measure of political inequality does not shed much light on the link between economic and political inequality, i.

Democracy does have a relationship to economic outcomes, but it is not equivalent to political inequality. As Verba et al 1978 point out, for democracy to reduce economic inequality, rights and liberties are not enough; citizens must also be engaged in political participation see also APSA 2004.

  1. The values are political resources. Anyone can learn for free on OpenLearn but creating an account lets you set up a personal learning profile which tracks your course progress and gives you access to Statements of Participation and digital badges you earn along the way.
  2. More- over, some groups within the U. Democracy as a measure of political inequality does not shed much light on the link between economic and political inequality, i.
  3. Course content Course content What is politics?
  4. Political inequality refers to structured differences in the distribution and acquisition of political resources. For example, romantic relationships have elements of power, where each participant has a range of actions or range of resources at their disposal to get what they want despite the resistance of the other.
  5. Effective use of the money and effective leadership are also required. Control of such values by a political actor places it in a position to shape and control the bahavior of other political actors by offering them an allocation of these values or by threatening to withhold from the political actors the things which they value.

The relationship between participation and redistributive policies is further complicated by within-nation social stratification. Political participation is stratified, such that the advantaged tend to participate more than the disadvantaged. Economic distributive policy reflects the interests of the advantaged precisely because the advantaged are more politically active. Political non-participation of the disadvantaged leads to an increase in economic inequality, or maintains its status quo.

Participation and Political Equality: