Measurement of power, probabilities, and alternative models of man

Measurement of power, probabilities, and alternative models of man Starting from Max Weber’s definitions of power we discuss the meaning of his concept Chance and its relationships to the probabilistic notions that play a central role in definitions of indices of measuring voting power. Using Martin Hollis’s distinction between two models of man—plastic and autonomous—we argue that the common measures of voting power when interpreted in terms of probabilities seem to be in better conformity with the model of plastic man than with the model of autonomous man. The paper elaborates on the probability interpretation with applications to the modelling of power measures with a priori unions and to the concept of “real voting power” based on relative frequencies of historical events. Power as potential—which in our view is what Weber very likely meant—remains an elusive concept, but one that should be amenable to game-theoretic analysis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

Measurement of power, probabilities, and alternative models of man

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0033-5177
eISSN
1573-7845
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11135-009-9237-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Starting from Max Weber’s definitions of power we discuss the meaning of his concept Chance and its relationships to the probabilistic notions that play a central role in definitions of indices of measuring voting power. Using Martin Hollis’s distinction between two models of man—plastic and autonomous—we argue that the common measures of voting power when interpreted in terms of probabilities seem to be in better conformity with the model of plastic man than with the model of autonomous man. The paper elaborates on the probability interpretation with applications to the modelling of power measures with a priori unions and to the concept of “real voting power” based on relative frequencies of historical events. Power as potential—which in our view is what Weber very likely meant—remains an elusive concept, but one that should be amenable to game-theoretic analysis.

Journal

Quality & QuantitySpringer Journals

Published: May 23, 2009

References

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