What's Wrong with Domination?

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This article examines the concept of ‘domination’ as it is treated in the second edition of Steven Lukes’ (2005) Power: A radical view. It argues that Lukes’ conception of domination is preoccupied with the condition of being dominated, neglecting to adequately define dominance and the relationship of domination. This conceptual imbalance is closely related to intrinsic problems of distinguishing between domination and ‘social control’ more generally. The conclusion offers a provisional, disaggregated ‘ensemble’ of concepts for talking about different modes of domination with different attendant moral implications, suggesting a need for a less monolithic conception of domination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-49
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Power
Issue number1
Early online date26 Mar 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • power
  • domination
  • social control
  • social critique
  • Steven Lukes

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