Heinrich Popitz’s Phenomena of Power

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Given the new translation of Heinrich Popitz’s book into English, it is perhaps appropriate to structure remarks around some comparisons to leading figures in Anglophone discussions of power. It is these discussions that will hopefully be invigorated by an infusion of Popitz’s approach that the new translation will afford. I will start by drawing comparisons specifically to Steven Lukes, Michael Mann, and Dennis Wrong, exploring the fundamental divisions or “building blocks” of each one’s theory of power in contrast to Popitz’s. From this basis I will focus on three prominent themes in Phenomena of Power: “fear”, “recognition”, and “domination” (or the rule of the many by the few), themes which continue to invite comparisons and reflections on the distinctive nature of Popitz’s contribution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
JournalInternational Political Anthropology Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2017


  • recognition
  • domination
  • fear

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