Interpreting the Relations of Domination: The Plasticity of the Authoritarian Exercise of Power

  • Béatrice Hibou
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)


The problematic of intentionality is all-pervasive in analyses that seek to define the rational interpretation, the meaning or the cause of a situation of domination. Following Max Weber and the importance he puts in the transformation of meanings to understand social relations, this chapter rather emphasizes the importance of taking into account the multiplicity of meanings, which requires not that we seek the reason for the rule, but try to understand how it operates, through what practices, what dispositifs, under what circumstances and by means of what imaginaires. The fact that the same decision, the same situation, the same behavior or the same event is never perceived, experienced or interpreted in the same way is fundamental if we are to understand the mechanisms by which power is exercised, and room for maneuver invented.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Béatrice Hibou
    • 1
  1. 1.CERI-SciencesPoParisFrance

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