HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government


Many public leaders and activists—politicians, advocates, social movement leaders, and even ordinary citizens—seek to alter patterns of asymmetric power in order to achieve liberation from domination. How should such people think about the operations of power? This article sketches a mental map to guide decisions about where to allocate energy and resources in order to achieve liberation. In the field, so to speak, such decisions depend on judgement and context. Thus, a prudential article of this sort cannot provide right or wrong answers in concrete situations. To be successful, such a conceptual framework must help actors engaged in projects of liberation direct their attention to avenues of constructive action.


Fung, Archon. "Four Levels of Power: A Conception to Enable Liberation." Journal of Political Philosophy 28.2 (July 2019): 131-157.