Power is a central concept in many disciplines in the social sciences, including political science, sociology, social-psychology, organization studies, urban politics and planning. Where the term is less often used, such as in economics, it has been reduced to other concepts. Despite, or perhaps because of, its ubiquity, it has been analyzed in numerous and diverse ways in different discourse communities. This encyclopedia provides an authoritative and comprehensive coverage of the use of power in those different discourses, enabling the different language communities to learn from each other. It provides a compendium of the concepts that build the ways in which power is conceptualized and provides analyses of related concepts. It also provides a sourcebook for those interested in studying power and cross references the many insights that have been provided by theorists over the years. There are various levels at which power has been used in the social sciences. Formal models of power use power indices, cooperative game theory, and non-cooperative game theory. Some of these definitions are very technical but here are explained clearly and simply.
Other more diffuse accounts of power are defined, discussed, and analyzed and their implications for social research drawn out. The nature of power has been debated conceptually, methodologically, and empirically at the personal, organizational, social, urban, national, and international levels. Those debates are discussed and appraised. Particular applications of power studies to, for example, the role of parties in coalition governments, the nature of prime ministerial versus presidential power, power in organizations, and within personal relations will all be covered. There are entries on individual theorists of power and their influence on the discipline. The encyclopedia will give a comprehensive coverage of the use of power in the social sciences. The encyclopedia will provide a one-stop point of reference for the diverse and complex ways in which power has been used, as well as providing a reference for debates central to the issues of power in different contexts. It will also provide a point of reference for related topics and show how these are related to power.