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The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be by Moisés Naím

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HOW POWER WORKS

In Chapter 1, I offered a practical definition: Power is the ability to direct or prevent the current or future actions of other groups and individuals. This definition has the benefit of clarity, and better still, it avoids misleading proxies such as size, resources, weapons, and number of supporters. But it does need elaboration. After all, the actions of others can be directed or prevented in many ways. In practice, power is expressed through four different means. Call them the channels of power.

The Muscle: The first channel of power is the most obvious and familiar. Force—or threat of force—is the blunt instrument through which power is exercised in certain extreme situations. The muscle can take the form of a conquering ...

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