The Patterns of Power Approach

Starting from the position that governance should be acceptable to those who are subject to it, classifies, assesses and explores the ways in which individuals, organizations and governments exert power over each other.  It offers criteria by which to judge who benefits from the ways in which power is used.

The underlying concept, as described in the Patterns of Power book series, is that there are patterns in the way that power is exercised.  These patterns constantly recur – so it is helpful to recognise them, particularly where power has been used to the disadvantage of some of the population. aims to report on abuses of power in this website’s blog posts and to provide resources to help other people to make their own comments.

This website holds all the pattern descriptions, which can be used to understand issues and current events – strengthening the arguments used to hold the powerful to account.  Some ways of using them are described here.

Each pattern description explains one of the ways in which power is exercised and exposes some of the arguments associated with it.  Many include recent examples and references to other literature on the subject, and they include links to Internet source material where possible.  The policy on choosing sources is available here.