Patterns of Power: Books

The Patterns of Power books are available, in paperback and as e-books, at  The e-books are in Kindle format which, by using the free Kindle software, will work on personal computers, on Android-based tablets and mobile phones, and on the iPad.

Booksellers will be able to sell the paperback versions by setting up arrangements with

They were written as a result of an attempt to understand how power is being used – prompted by a desire to see why America and Britain invaded Iraq in 2003. It seems that decision-makers in today’s global society repeat earlier mistakes, despite the evidence of experience. Power is not being used for the benefit of those who are subject to it.

The books identify common patterns in the ways in which people, organisations and institutions exercise power – either inside or outside the structures of economic, moral, legal and political governance. The characteristics of each pattern have been described in a repository of reference material, which is available online and which offers links to its Internet sources where possible. This reference material includes recent news articles, the opinions of respected writers and commonly-encountered arguments.

The books assess these patterns of power in terms of whether they are likely to prove acceptable to all the people affected and lead to favourable outcomes. They illustrate this approach by analysing the invasion of Iraq, and they use their findings to suggest ways of improving governance.

It is hoped that they will be used to provoke and inform debate on the uses and abuses of power, so that leaders will be held more accountable in future. People can use them as tools to assess how power is being used and to make their own arguments when holding politicians to account and pressing for change.

The shorter book, Patterns of Power: Overview, summarises the analysis and offers links to the current reference material in the online library; in the electronic form of the book, these are live Internet hyperlinks.

The original book, Patterns of Power: A Rough Guide, has now been updated and made easier to read and refer to.  It has been republished as Patterns of Power: Edition 2. It includes a copy of the online reference material as at the time of publication.

They share the following introduction: