Political Power Essay

1256 Words6 Pages
Political Power My thesis is, governments, politicians, corporations, unions, advocacy groups, as well as citizens all yield forms of political power, such as hard, soft and derivative power, for many different objectives. To understand political power, you must first understand power, and politics. Power, as defined on page 3 of the text book, states that it is a way to control persons, or institutions behavior, by persuasion of coercion. Politics is a process in which a community selects a leader, empowers them, with decision making, action taking ability for common goals, and reconciles conflicts within the community. Through political participation, we empower leaders we hope will have policies for the general good, betterment of society, the public interest in mind. The text discusses different forms of power, one of them being hard power. Hard power being the use of military force, threat of force, or other coercive measures. Governments have used hard power throughout history. One example cited in the text is Nazi Germany. They used hard power to take over Europe. But military might alone did not get them to their objective. Governments continually use hard power to defend their citizens, deter aggression from other states, to nudge states to go along with our policies. Some would argue a more effective and moral use of power would be that of soft power. Soft power, in relation to a government, is the ability of one country to get other countries to see the world the way it does, and to want what it does. Countries have gone along with the United States throughout history because of soft power. One example would be for actions we have taken, such as liberating Europe during WWII. We earned the respect and admiration of the world for this. Another example of soft power would be for the institution of democracy, and the idea of freedom. These examples
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