Chapter Structure and How the Book Works

Chapter 2 summarises the Patterns of Power methodology.  It looks at the meaning of governance, what people require from it, and what is likely to make it more acceptable.  It also describes subsidiarity: the way in which power is distributed, geographically and hierarchically.  The chapter finishes with a worked example of the book’s method of analysis.

The five dimensions of power are then investigated in more detail, each in its own chapter; they have a similar shape:

Each of these five chapters begins with a brief summary of the nature of that dimension of power, followed by a description of its particular chapter structure: the way in which it has been divided into numbered segments.

Each segment has its own contents list, linking to the numbered sections into which it has been divided: the pattern descriptions.

Each section is a brief stand-alone essay which describes a pattern of power.  They include examples of recent experience, arguments which are commonly associated with them, and the views of some other commentators.

The earlier sections in each chapter form a foundation for the analysis of contentious points in later sections.

These five chapters constitute a survey of the patterns of power in today’s world, categorising and clarifying the major issues.  Much of the reference material of the bigger sections is now only available in online sub-sections, to allow for more flexibility in updating.

Links are provided at the end of each dimension summary so that readers can easily skip directly to the next chapter if they want to, without engaging with the detailed pattern descriptions that comprise over half of the book.  The full Edition 4 book includes the latter in both its electronic and paper formats, whereas the Overview version of the book points to online copies of them.

Chapter 8 analyses the decision to invade Iraq – which prompted the realisation that a consistent analysis approach was necessary, as described in the edition release notes above.  It therefore provided an appropriate illustration, and a test, of how the method works.

The closing chapter draws upon the survey of patterns of power, to identify where renegotiation might lead to better results against the four suggested measures: acceptability, negotiability, inclusiveness and prudence.

Endnotes identify the Internet source material used, in the paper versions of the book, but the electronic versions use hyperlinks.  Footnotes are used for paper references and some additional argument.

The Internet references were live at the time of writing; they provide quick access for readers of electronic formats of this book who are online – so that news articles and speeches can be read in their entirety.

Any individual reader may disagree with the book’s evaluations of some of the patterns of power.  This is inevitable, because acceptability is ultimately a personal matter.  The book will hopefully be updated and improved as readers comment and offer further relevant material.  Emails to editor@patternsofpower.org will be welcomed.

The Overview book connects to the latest version of the pattern descriptions – but archived copies of earlier versions are retained for use by people who wish to quote a specific reference.   The link structure and the archiving policy are described at http://www.patternsofpower.org/patterns/info-mgt/.

The organisation’s blog is at http://www.patternsofpower.org/blog/; it forms part of the reference material for the book.  The blog posts allow comments to be submitted and some of these will find their way into updated versions of the pattern descriptions, and hence into later editions of the full-length book.  Acknowledgements will be made to people whose comments are incorporated in the book.

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This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/Structure.htm