Power is a term that has seen much talk and debate. The significance of the word has been examined and created by numerous individuals from fluctuating strolls of life; scholastics, rationalists, legislators, and numerous others. It is a term whose comprehension is important to how we, as people, see and live in our social world, as it is an idea that administers our regular living in a few routes; some of which we are not by any means mindful of. Steven Lukes, characterizes Power as far as, what he calls 'Dimensions', these Dimensions are approaches that can be utilized to think about power relations and the theory of power as a whole. Steven Lukes argued that in order to properly understand the theory of power one must recognize the three dimensions of power, this essay will critically discuss this argument.
The concept of power is ambiguous, and to this day it continues to evolve, and yet every individual possesses, to some extent, a degree of power. Power is relational (A influencing B) the ability to affect others through observable conflicts or behaviour. Many authors and scholars like Robert Dahl and S Lukes reached this conclusion by observing social norms and social structures, through their observations they realized that power has more to do with influence than force. Lukes (1974:71) expands on this argument when he says that some occasions or choices might be affected in a wide range of various ways although some are more vivid then others, this is why he sees it necessary to analyse always the forms of power in play when power is exercised. M Lorenzi (2006:87) says that each of the three dimensions of power contains a unique value and understanding and appears to get a handle on just a piece of the puzzle of power in policy making. Be that as it may, since policy making at its centre is constituted by this battle between contending interests, it is basic to comprehend the theory of power, its dispersion, method of influence and its effects, how do the powerful enforce the compliance of the people they rule?
As a result of his argument that the study of power requires an acceptance and analysis of the three dimensions of power, Lukes then proceeds to analyse the three dimensions of power, starting with One Dimensional power. One dimensional power is a more direct form of power, one that includes instructions given and action performed as a result of those instructions. Robert Dahl puts it like this, “A has power over B to the extent that he can get B to do something that B would not otherwise do.” (Dahl 1957:203). So basically this form of power has cause and effect in it, the reason person A does something is because person B influenced him to do it, A Teacher or lecturer instructing his/her students on what to homework to do and how to do it is a perfect example of one dimensional power. As the students would not have to do any homework had it not been because of the direct influence of the teacher or lecturer.