Power & Economic Geography


Economics divorced from consideration of of the exercise of power is without meaning and certainly without relevance. (J.K.Galbraith, The Anatomy of Power, p.xiii)

Supporting & Related Pages:


Max Weber: Power (Macht) is the opportunity within a social relationship to carry out one's own will despite resistance.

K. Boulding: Change in the future state of the universe brought about by a decision. (Ecodynamics, pp.234f) ["We can think of the total power of the human race as measured by the degree to which it can change the future"]

J.K.Galbraith: "Private economc power is held in check by the countervailing power of those who subject to it. The first begets the second. The long trend towards concentration of individual enterprise in the hands of a relatively few firms has brought into existence not only strong sellers ... but also strong buyers... (Galbraith, American Capitalism, 1957)




Blowers, A. The Limits of Power: The Politics of Local Planning Policy. Oxford: Pergamon, 1980.

von Böhm-Bawark, E., Macht oder ökonomisches Gesetz? Zeitschrift für Volkswirtschaft, Socialpolitik und Verwaltung, Band 23, 1914, pp.205-71.

represents two theses:
  1. Power (Macht) does not work outside and against, but within and via economic principles and laws.
  2. The distributional effect of power is temporary (i.e. distributions enforced by power means cannot be lasting)

Galbraith, John Kenneth. The Anatomy of Power. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983.

Harrison, B., "Concentrated Economic Power and Silicon Valley," Environment & Planning A 26, 1994, pp.307-28.

Hoggart, Keith. "Community Power and Local State: Britain and the United States," Ch.5 in D.T.Hebert and R.J.Johnston, eds., Geography and the Urban Environment. Chichester: Wiley, 1984.

"power has two principal dimensions -- a decision dimension and a structural dimension ... which are conceptually distinct, because patterns of power relations in one dimension can (potentially) be different from those in the other dimension." (p.152)

Hunter, F., Community Power Structure. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1953.

Very influential in developing the community power literature.

Rothschild, K.W.,ed., Power in Economics. Penguin 1971. [incl. papers by Perroux, Preiser, Galbraith, Hunter, Baran & Sweezy, etc.]

Sassen, Saskia, Electronic Space and Power, Urban Technology. 4(1), April 1997, 1-17.

Weber, Max. The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. New York: Free Press, 1947/1964. (Power/Macht: p.152)

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