The Journal of Political Power (JoPP) was originally launched in 2008, when it was simply called the Journal of Power. It is the premier outlet for original, high impact and world-class research on the concept of power, variously defined, from across the social sciences.

Aims and scope: Since Aristotle’s classification of political systems, power has been one of the most central and debated themes of the social sciences. Yet, despite its centrality, there has been little consensus on what constitutes the essence of power.

The contemporary scientific power debates began in US, post WW2. Essentially, Robert Dahl argued that power should be equated with its exercise, while Bachrach and Baratz, argued that power is also manifest through structural bias. In turn, Lukes argues that relations of domination are sustained by the social consciousness of social actors. Essentially we move from the actions of the powerful to analysing the ways the dominated often acquiesce in their own domination.

Under the influence of Foucault, many theorists have maintained that in the contemporary world power does not have a centre. Rather, there are networks of power that shape conditions of possibility for social agency. Essentially, social actors are caught in epistemic and social ontological webs of power that determine the conditions of possibility of social action. However, against that position, many followers of Lukes argue that this makes everything power, and thus meaningless.

Another current debate concerns whether power should be considered essentially dominating. Some theorists argue that power consists of power-to, power-with, as well as power-over. Power-to and power-with are a condition of possibility for freedom. Furthermore, they argue that power-over also has emancipatory aspects.

It is part of the raison d’etre of the Journal of Political Power to capitalize on these and other consequent debates on power. Aside from theoretical debates, the Journal of Political Power is a primary outlet for those doing empirical work on relations of power and powerlessness.



Editor: Mark Haugaard, email:

Reviews editor: Kevin Ryan, email: Kevin


Submissions should be sent directly to the editors, as JoPP does not use an online platform. For the formats to use, please consult the Routledge website:

Journal of Political Power