The Patterns of Power books

The PatternsofPower books provide an overall picture of the ways in which people, organisations and institutions exercise power over each other.  The writing was initially prompted by a desire to understand how the decision was taken to invade Iraq in 2003, despite the public protests and much advice which opposed it.  It explores the nature of economic forces, moral influence, legal powers, political authority and military power.

The series can be thought of as one book which has evolved over time, and which is available in different formats.  Its approach is to identify common patterns in the use of power, offering a system for classifying them and assessing them in the light of their acceptability to those affected.

The Edition Release Notes explain the evolution of the PatternsofPower books. The latest version, Edition 3a, is available in four formats:

●  The Overview, Kindle version, can be downloaded onto Kindle devices and, by installing the free Kindle application, onto any other computer, tablet or smart phone.  It summarises the book’s concepts and system of classification, with live hyperlinks to the contents of this website.

●  The paperback version of the Overview has the same scope, listing the Internet URLs in its endnotes.

●  The full Kindle version of the book, Patterns of Power, Edition 3a, contains all of the patterns as published in June 2020.  It has internal hyperlinks which enable readers to skip details if they wish to get a quick view of the topics.  It also has more than a thousand live hyperlinks to the book’s Internet research sources.

●  The paperback version of Edition 3a has the same scope, but with the Internet URLs listed in its endnotes.

All the above editions of the PatternsofPower books are subject to registered copyright.  They are available at

This website includes the current versions of their pattern descriptions, which are updated from time to time, and it holds archive copies of earlier versions – as explained in the site’s Information Management policy.  They are organised and numbered according to the book’s chapters and sections.  They can be read sequentially by going to the Book Contents and following the links.  Each page has a link to the next one and some pages also offer links that allow a reader to jump forward, bypassing the detail within the larger sections.