At its core, political or social power is a System’s ability to influence the behaviour of other systems.
This means power is a relational property of systems. One level up, out of power relationships systems of power emerge, i.e. constellations of relationships between people, resource, institutions and social positions that are object to:
Systems of relationships themselves can in tum become related (the earlier relationships now becoming the relata in a new relationship), thus evolving into systems of ever higher level relationships with creative new properties of their own.Juarrero (1998), 240–241
These systems have power in a very literal sense: they influence
their components’ (people’s, institutions’) behaviour by acting as
i.e. reducing their degrees of freedom.This is a) close to the idea of structural power and b)
connects a systems view of power with the republican conception of
freedom as non-domination.
It is therefore more than just metaphorical to speak of power as an actor itself.
- Juarrero (1998): “Causality as Constraint”