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The Affluent Society Revisited$
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Mike Berry

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199686506

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199686506.001.0001

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The Idea of Power

The Idea of Power

(p.151) 12 The Idea of Power
The Affluent Society Revisited

Mike Berry

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the central part that ‘power’ plays in Galbraith’s analysis of modern capitalism. I draw on ideas largely implicit in The Affluent Society and those developed more explicitly in his later work, notably in The Anatomy of Power, published in the early 1980s. This life-long concern with power, its uses and abuses, helps to explain Galbraith’s particular view of the proper way to study and apply economics in the public realm. It also explains his marginalized position in the discipline and his broader influence outside it. This chapter stresses the limitations of Galbraith’s substantive analysis of power, and notes its antecedents, but credits him with consistently tackling this central element of economic reality ignored by orthodox economists.

Keywords:   Power, organisation, Conditioned power, property, asymmetric power

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