Power is a relational term. It can only be understood as a relationship between human beings in a specific historical, economic and social setting. It must be exercised to be visible.

  1. Power is control of, or access to, those institutions sanctioned by the state. (Definition by Barbara Major of People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, New Orleans)
  2. Power is the ability to define reality and to convince other people that it is their definition. (Definition by Dr. Wade Nobles)
  3. Power is ownership and control of the major resources of a state; and the capacity to make and enforce decisions based on this ownership and control; and (Alternative definition to #1)
  4. Power is the capacity of a group of people to decide what they want and to act in an organized way to get it.
  5. Power (in terms of an individual), power is the capacity to act.