Social power comes in various forms, for it is built up and managed within institutional arrangements as different as governmental institutions and churches. These forms often contend with one another for supremacy, but also reach more or less stable accommodations. This brief book, after arguing for a differentiated conception of social power, discusses the relationship between on the one hand political power (as embodied in the state) and on the other hand "creative intellectuals" (as the carriers of ideological / normative power) and business elites (as the carriers of economic power). The last chapter raises the question, to what extent, under contemporary circumstances, police forces represent, vis--vis the state itself, a relatively independent locus of coercive power.
Contents: I. Homo Potens. - II. Creative Intellectuals and the State. - III. The Political Role of the Economic Power.
Gianfranco Poggi teaches at the Istituto Universitario Europeo of Florence.