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Title: Ableness and ability: Morriss on power and counteractuals
Authors: Dowding, KM
Issue Date: 1990
Publisher: Brunel University
Citation: School of Social Sciences, Department of Government, Working Paper No. 10, 1990
Abstract: Peter Morriss's logical ability/ableness distinction breaks down under analysis but a similar normative distinction is important for understanding power and liberty. The breakdown is demonstrated under the test case of the power of a pivotal voter in a committee. Brian Barry argues that a pivotal voter has power as ableness not ability, but the paper demonstrates that a pivotal voter has neither. Under standard measures the 'power' of the pivot is due to the chance ordering of all committee members' preference schedules. Rather than power, each has a resource which, when certain conditions obtain, can be powerfully utilized. The power of the pivot depends upon the realization that those conditions obtain thus the power index literature requires modification.
ISBN: 1-872166-70-9
Appears in Collections:The Brunel Collection
Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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