This year the APSA Annual Meeting will be held in Seattle, Washington, from September 1st – 4th.

RC36 will have a panel on the question of: Is power zero-sum?

Panel abstract:
Arendt and Parsons have argued that power should not be considered zero-sum and, furthermore, power is not necessarily exercised over subaltern actors, at their expense or contrary to their interests. However, the dominant perspectives in the literature equate power with domination. Lukes sees power as contrary to the interests of B and Foucault argued that power is 'positive', yet also claims that we should resist it, which suggests domination. Yet, most political scientists also recognize that ‘power to’ is essential for agency, especially leadership, and find acceptable the postulation that power has become more sophisticated with the advance of modernity and post-modernity, which suggests the expansion of power. This panel welcomes both theoretical and empirical analysis of power that deals with some of these issues.

Chair: Professor Clarissa R. Hayward

Discussant: Dr. Carol C. Gould


Professor Keith Dowding "Turning power debates into positive sum games"

Professor Joseph S. Nye Jr. "Reflections on positive-sum power in international politics"

Professor Philip G. Cerny “Power and political economy in a globalizing world: Divisibility, diffusion and displacement"

Dr. James H. Read "Is power zero-sum or variable-sum? Old arguments and new beginnings"

Dr. Mark Haugaard "Is power over zero-sum?"