Polsby (1963) notes that Power can be conceived as the ability of one actor to do something influencing another actor, which changes the possible pattern of specified future events. This can be conceived most easily in a decision-making situation (cited in Lukes, 2004, p17-18).
Taking a look at this definition from a context of the Occupy Nigeria, which held its first major protest on January 2, 2012 after the removal of fuel subsidy by the immediate past president of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan. The mass action witnessed a massive shutdown of law and order in the Nigerian society and in this blog post I would be critically analysing how power was used to influence a mass protest in the past government meanwhile, when the present government hiked the fuel price no protest was witnessed.
The most shocking turn out of event for me was when the present government removed subsidy and there was not a single mass action just like the occupy Nigeria of 2012 against such action.
In my observation, the allies of the present government can be said to have ‘’Hidden Power’’ which they used to influence a mass action against the past government. Gaventa described Hidden power as ‘’setting the political agenda”for attain their campaign purpose. (2006, p29).
Since the campaigning structure of the present government in the past administration was to increase participation through the grievance which had stemmed from relative deprivation, frustration, or perceived injustice they got the love of the people as they were been perceived and seen to be the party of the people. Though, working with some mechanisms in the past government, it achieved what it wanted by the winning the 2015 elections. So they used their power to influence the people to oust the past government. (Berkowitz, 1927; Gurr, 1970; Lind and Tyler 1998 cited van Stekelenburg and Klandermans, 2013).
Gaventa, J. (2006) Finding the Spaces for Change: A Power Analysis. IDS Bulletin, Volume 37 Number 6.
Lukes, S. (2005) Power: A Radical View. Second Edition. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 14-38.
Van Stekelenburg, J. and Klandermans, B. (2010) The Social Psychology of Protest. Sociopedia.ica.
Jacquelien van Stekelenburg and Bert Klandermans(1997)The social psychology of protest; VU University, The Netherlands, 1-5
Selcher, Wayne A. Political Liberalization in Brazil: Dynamics, Dilemmas, and Future Prospects. Boulder: Westview Press, 1986.
Mettenheim, Kurt . The Brazilian Voter: Mass Politics in Democratic Transition, 1974-1986. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995.
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