Mexican Law Review Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas
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    Jorge CARPIZO*

    Original Text (Spanish) PDF

    I. Definition of power. II. Its basis and legitimacy. III. Various tipologies of power. IV. A proposed typology of power. V. The interrelationship among the various types of power. VI. The mass media is a real power.


    1. Power is a social phenomenon that cannot be conceived of in isolation, but must be seen in terms of the group.1

    Power outside society is unimaginable because it always manifests itself through social relationships. At the same time, a society or group without power cannot exist since it needs the energy given to it and established by the minimal, indispensable rules to be able to live as a group. Permanent anarchy is not a valid possibility. The presence of power is indispensable for any group or association. It is incorrect to compare the idea of a group to that of power as a manifestation of the liberty-authority antithesis, since power is needed to maintain order, and liberty is not possible without there is no power.2

    There is no society or group without power. Society implies power and vice versa. One cannot exist without the other. This is the basis of Aristotle’s statement in the sense that man is a political animal; a statement that is usually translated, and rightly so, as man is a social being.

    Power is something as natural and necessary as living in society. Anyone who has power can attribute this to his living with others and will maintain his power, or perhaps increase it, as long as he is at the service of others and responds to their interests.3

    The phenomenon of power is found in the most diverse areas of society. As a result, there is a plurality of powers that take on a hierarchical structure and a pyramid configuration and these in turn are interrelated.

    2. The word power comes from the Latin potere, which means authority as well as command. According to Camilo Velazquez Turbay, power comes from possum, pôtes, posee, potuit, from potis and sum. Potis means capable of and sum, to be or exist. As a result, the original meaning of power is "he who is able in and of himself".4

    3. What is power? There are a variety of definitions based on diverse notions. Let us recall a few of these.

    a) For Max Weber, power is "the chance of man or a number of men to realize their own will in a social action even against the resistance of others and whatever the basis of that probability may be".

    Weber differentiates between power and domination. The latter concept implies the probability that a command will be obeyed, that someone efficiently commands another. In a structure of dominancy, its members are subject to a relationship of obedience to the authority because of the imposed order. Domination constitutes a special case of power.

    Power is a command that is based on facts; it is a force that is imposed even against another’s will and regardless of the reason for it. In turn, a legal order, a structure that allows one to command others, is indispensable for domination.

    In living in society, everything fluctuates, and as a result, both power and domination imply a variety of possibilities, which can be modified according to the various circumstances and conditions.5

    b) For Hans Buchheim, power "is the reserve of possibilities that are given objectively to a person by virtue of the attitude and behavior of others, understood as subjective capacity."

    According to Buchheim, force is the capacity a person has to wield social influence for that same reason; thus, power is the strength that is obtained as a result of living with others. This author, following Hannah Arendt, points out that force is an individual trait; in contrast, power necessarily takes place in a group. That is to say, a person’s force turns into power when the others "take it into account".

    The quid of power can be found in an equation of interests in which the person with power has the ability of influencing society and others –either voluntarily or involuntarily– support him because he –expressly or implicitly– suits them or because resistance is not possible.6

    c) For Arnold M. Rose, power implies adopting decisions by which those making them have the potential to exercise control.

    In his explanation, the notion of control is very important and he states that both concepts express more or less the same thing.

    Rose refers to the distinction between power and influence. The first is based on the sanction that can be imposed; the second, on the respect or esteem it inspires.

    This writer points out that power has two sides: a supply and a demand side. The supply side consists of the existence of some people or organizations which are able to control others. In contrast, demand side is explained as the requirement of all societies, or organizations, if they are to continue to exist, to "have some means of ordering the relations of men to achieve at least minimal needs".7

    d) Para Bertrand Russell, power is "The production of intended effects by some men on other men". With this definition, it is important to be able to determine who makes the decision that affects the other members of the community or association.8

    e) Wright Mills’ thoughts on the subject go along the lines of the previous definition, as seen when he states that "Power has to do with whatever decisions men make about the arrangements under which they live, and about the events which make up the history of their times. Events that are beyond human decision do happen; social arrangements do change without benefit of explicit decision. But in so far as such decisions are made, the problem of who is involved in making them is the basic problem of power".9

    f) The key concept in Nicos Poulantzas’ research is that of class struggle; therefore it is understandable for him to use it in attempting to establish the essence of power. The author of "State, Power and Socialism" points out that the power in social classes lies in the ability of one or several classes to satisfy their specific interests; thus, power delimits its battlefield: relationships of force and those between one class and another.

    One class’ ability to impose its interests is at odds with the ability and the interests of other classes. As a result, the sphere of power is relative and is not something that can be possessed or measured, but refers to the unequal domination-subordination relationships between social classes.

    Power establishes unequal links between relationships of forces. Power is a relationship that occurs between struggles and practices, between exploiters and the exploited, between the domineering and the dominated.10

    g) For Luis Sanchez Agesta, power is an energy that projects itself on social life, because of the obedience men give it, obedience that responds to persuasion, fear or acceptance of a higher chain of command.

    This energy refers to the organization of material force, and also to spiritual aspects that influence social life and the behavior of others, as is the case of some books that have proposed political reorganization of society.

    For the Spanish professor, power is: a natural fact because it is found in every country and in every era. It is based on consent because there is always a shifting proportion of persuasion and coercion in every act of power. It is energy because the will of anyone who exercises power influences the behavior of others. The basis of this energy lies in the "commanding person’s capacity of persuasion or coercion and in the rational foundations and psychological motives for which obedience is given".

    Power is also beneficent in that it is an arbitrator of possible conflicts and a guarantor of peace. This author puts forth other traits of power, but they really correspond more to one type or class: political power.11

    h) For Norberto Bobbio, power is "an individual’s capacity to influence, condition and determine the behavior of another individual."

    Power relationships imply the skill of leading by imperative orders that create the command-obedience relationship, which is found in parent-child, employer-employee, teacher-student, commander-soldier, etc., relationships.12

    i) For the famous French essayist Georges Burdeau, power is a force at the service of an idea.

    Therefore, power has two elements: a force and an idea, although historically what is permanent in the phenomenon of power is the force of the idea itself and not the external force that is placed at its service. Those who wield power pass on or die, what endures is the idea.

    Power is "a force born of social awareness, destined to lead the group in the search for the Common Good and able, given the case, to impose the attitude it commands on its members".

    Along these same lines, power manifests itself as a means; if it were suppressed, then power would be an end in itself. Self-sufficient power would imply an inadmissible contradiction because it would lead to the destruction of power itself.

    Power is not a simple phenomenon of a mechanical nature because the idea of it being an embodiment of values cannot be disregarded; recall that since primitive society, power has been enveloped in a magical aura, in rites and ceremonies that essentially live on today.

    For Burdeau, power, since its creation, includes three aspects: it is a legal phenomenon; it is a psycho-sociological phenomenon, and it is a historical phenomenon.13

    j) I believe power is a relationship in which a person, a group, a force, an institution or a norm conditions the behavior of another or others, independently of its will and its resistance.

    Power is the way of ordering, leading, guiding, or the possibility of imposing oneself.

    In every power relationship, there is inequality between the one that orders and the one that obeys. The one that orders has the political, physical, psychological, social or economic means to impose himself, based on his will, a norm or a custom.

    Let us view elements of the notion of power more precisely:

    1) It is a social phenomenon; it is a relationship between people. For a man living in isolation –like Robinson Crusoe– power is not an issue.

    2) In a power relationship, between the one that orders and the one that obeys there is conditioning of behavior or of will.

    3) This relationship of power is of an unequal nature; one is in a hierarchically higher position.

    4) The one that orders has the means to impose himself; it does not mean that he necessarily has to use these means, but they are within his reach if needed.

    5) These means can be of a most diverse kind, such as coercion, force or those of a social, psychological and economic nature.

    6) To a very large extent, the use of said means of imposing oneself is not necessary because the power of the one that orders is expressly or tacitly acknowledged. He is obeyed for many reasons: out of fear, respect, influence, persuasion, self-interest, convenience, fear of losing social standing, to "earn a place in heaven" or not to lose it.

    7) As a social phenomenon, power is fluid. It constantly changes the relationship between the one that orders and the one that obeys. It changes according to circumstances of time and space, and to the behavior of the main social figures.

    8) It has always existed because it is an indispensable element of social life; it is its energy. As a result, it is a historical fact that is even found in the most primitive associations and throughout the centuries.

    9) It is a reality, partly, though not exclusively, a factual and mechanical phenomenon, but it is not the law of the jungle or the law of the strongest or of the most powerful. Therefore, important elements of and for power are its basis, legitimacy and ends.

    Power is indeed a reality and a relationship, but not all power is legitimate. Lack of legitimacy or its abuse is a cause for ousting, disobedience and insubordination. Thus, power is not only a factual relationship, but it also implies elements of assessment so that said relationship can stretch over time.

    10) The one making the decision is very important because he must be legitimized by prestige, ancestry, customs, legal principles or the benefit of consensus.

    11) In exchange for obedience, something is expected in return: personal benefits, the assurance of existence, peace, order, security, protection and acknowledgement of civil, political and social rights, knowledge or attaining a happy eternal life.

    12) There are concepts close to that of power, such as control, force –which refers to an individual trait– or influence or manipulation, in which coercion is not manifest.


    1. The ultimate basis of power is its mere existence, necessity and convenience. A society without power cannot exist. Power is indispensable for establishing order, the rules of the game in a society or an association. Permanent anarchy –as I said before– is not a real possibility. In order to grow and live as a human being, man requires freedom and without order, it does not exist.

    Burdeau states that:

    It is not power that begets obedience. It is our spirit that, aware of the need for order, creates Power… This is so true that if the community disintegrates due to its inability to conceive an order acceptable to all, Power itself is dispersed to survive only under the tragically caricature-like form of mob violence.14

    For Buchheim, the basis of power is found in an equation of interests, and its practical use is guided by the principles of reciprocity and balance.

    The principle of balance implies a practical need, an ethical quality, and it is an assumption of human beings living together; for example, the English checks and balances.

    The principle of reciprocity is comprised in the golden rule: "Do unto others as they would do unto you" or in its negative version: "Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you".15

    2. All power tends to justify itself. It looks for legitimacy and consensus. For example, the legitimacy of patriarchal power is to contribute to the physical, intellectual and moral development of the child; that of the teacher’s power is to transmit knowledge and educate youth; that of political power is the democratic election of its rulers and the protection and defense of human rights; that of religious power is to assist people in attaining alleged eternal happiness, living by divine rules; that of the power of the mass media is to give truthful, objective and responsible information to society and the freedom of speech; that of economic power is the creation of wealth that is useful to society.

    All power pursues an end.16 It has an objective drive, there is domination or an order given towards a goal, a concrete result is looked for or wished for. This goal, which is or attempts to be ethically neutral, should be tied in with the principle of legitimacy.

    The role of power is to establish norms and to watch over existing uses, customs and traditions.

    The role of political power is to enforce social order and, because of that and for that, to create judicial order.


    With what has been presented so far, it is clear that there are various types or classes of power. Each one has some peculiarities of its own. Since ancient times, there has been a concern to develop them further to clarify and explain what power is, its different manifestations and the relationships among the different types.

    1. Near the beginning of Politics, Aristotle states that nature has created some has created some creatures to rule and others to obey. Those who are gifted with sense and foresight should rule as masters and those who have the body to effect such foresight should obey as slaves.

    The "Macedonian" developed a typology of power that has had a strong influence throughout centuries. He based it on the social group –the association– in which that power is exercised: a) the power of the husband and father over his wife and children, b) el power of the master over slaves and c) the power of the ruler over the subjects, that is, political power, as used in the polis.

    For Aristotle these differences are found in nature, which has created two different parts in the soul: one is by nature the ruler and the other, the subject. This is the true basis by which the freeman rules the slave, though differently in the way a husband rules the wife and the father, the son. The basic elements of the soul exist in all of them, but to a different degree:

    The slave has no will at all; the wife has it, but it is without authority; the child has it, but it is immature. So it must be necessarily supposed to be with moral virtues. All should partake in them, but they are present in different degrees and only in such manner and degree as is required by each for the fulfillment of his duty.17

    It is also instructive to observe how the previous paragraph by the great Greek philosopher coincides with Hindu philosophy, which is based on the idea of castes and determinism of human existence.

    Aristotle states that the worker is up to a certain point a limited slave that lives far from his master.18

    Man by nature leans to a political community, since he has to live in community. Otherwise, he would be a beast –a savage– or a god. There is, he states, a power belonging to the master, who should hold prudence as a virtue and his acts of commanding should be based on laws founded on reasoning so that he may be obeyed. The ruler-subject relationship should not be arbitrary or unfair, but should be precisely based on good laws.19

    2. John Locke, in the classic Second Essay Concerning Civil Government, sets out to analyze and distinguish the different types of power that exist: that of a magistrate over a subject, that of a father over his children, that of a master over his servants, that of a husband over his wife and that of a lord over his slave. Since many of these powers converge in a single person, he sets down his typology of power in four relationships:

    1) Father-child.

    2) Master-servant.

    3) Lord-slave.

    4) Ruler-subject.20

    Paternal power is the power by law that parents have over their children to be able to educate and form them so that they are most useful to themselves and to others. This power ends when the child attains legal age, and it is not an arbitrary power, but one that is limited specifically to said goals and has no legislative power over live and death.21

    The master-servant relationship takes place between people from different conditions. Although at a glance it seems to fit in a paternal relationship, it is different because a freeman becomes a servant by "selling (the master) for a certain time the service he undertakes to do in exchange for wages he is to receive." It gives the master but a temporary power over the servant regarding what is contained in the contract, and clearly has nothing to do with an arbitrary or absolute power.22

    The lord-slave relationship takes place when prisoners, taken in a just war, are subjected to the absolute and arbitrary power of their masters, who can even take away their lives because the prisoners have been excluded from civilian society. Locke clearly states his rejection of this type of relationship because it is a power not granted by Nature, since no one has arbitrary power of his own life. As a result, he cannot forfeit something he does not have. This is a despotic power that lords use to their own benefit.

    The ruler-subject relationship, which Locke refers to as magistrate-subject, is born when one or a number of men decide to enter into society, relinquishing his executive power of the law of Nature and, therefore, resigning it to the public, thus establishing a political or civil society. Man is subject to "those laws under which he is and therein not to be subject thus to the arbitrary will of another, but freely follow his own".23 Man places this power in the hands of the community. Those ruling do it to ensure the well being of the members of the community and to preserve their property.

    Locke explains that he refers to property regarding that which men have both for their persons as well as their goods.24

    Locke’s typology has had special historical importance because it has allowed for differentiation between good and bad government. Within the last one, he includes paternal rule –the one who behaves as a father to his children– and to despotic rule, in which he behaves as a lord over slaves.25

    Ever since 1690, this illustrious English essayist had already defined political power with such precision that even today his concept is still useful as a good approach to understand it. He stated that:

    Thus, I understand political power to be the right of making laws that are penalized by capital punishment, and, as a result, laws penalized by less severe punishment, and of regulating and protecting property; and the right of using the State forces to enforce said laws, and to defend the State from any kind of foreign injuries; and all of this solely with a view of the public good.26

    3. We already know the difference Max Weber establishes between power and domination. His typology is based on the concept of domination and he dedicates several pages to that in his work entitled Economy and Society.

    To summarize, it can be said that Weber speaks of three pure types of legitimate domination: a) rational-legal domination b) traditional domination and c) charismatic domination.

    Obedience is secured for the most diverse reasons, such as: self-interest, practical reasons, custom, fear, affection or respect, among others. Domination based only on them would be unstable; it is also and essentially necessary for it to be based on legal reasons, on reasons of legitimacy.

    1) Rational-legal domination is based on norms, which are created and modified according to the procedures stipulated in a statute.

    Obedience is given, not to the person as such, but to the norms that designate the bearer of powers of command and to what degree he is to be obeyed. In turn, on issuing an order, the one who rules obeys a law or regulation that has been created according to the procedures that the legal system specify and that stipulate the official’s jurisdiction.

    The purest type of rational-legal domination is expressed in bureaucracy, in which "the principles of office hierarchy and of levels of graded authority mean a firmly ordered system of super- and subordination in which there is a supervision of the lower offices by the higher ones. Such a system offers the governed the possibility of appealing the decision in a definitely regulated manner ".27

    In addition to bureaucracy, in rational-legal domination we find the elected official, the management carried out by parliaments and numerous collegiate bodies within the government and administration of the most diverse kind. And, of course, we also find the modern structure of the State, the county, private capitalist enterprises, associations of a utilitarian nature or organizations that have a large and hierarchically articulated team.

    2) Traditional domination is founded upon the dignity of he who rules because of a belief in the sacredness of the statues that legitimize him and the lordly powers that have existed since ancient times. He is obeyed out of loyalty.

    The "lord’s" orders are based on tradition, and if he should break with it, his legitimacy would be in doubt. However, beyond the norms of tradition, the "lord’s" will is only limited by his sense of fairness and mercy, but he can be carried away by likes or dislikes and in keeping with criteria and personal interests.

    In traditional domination there is an administrative body composed of relatives, friends or vassals that are connected by ties of loyalty. The bureaucratic concept of "competition" does not exist.

    The most important difference between rational-legal domination and traditional domination consists in that in that this last one does not have formal rules, statutes that that stipulate who should be obeyed and the extent of said obedience.

    The purest type of this type of domination is represented by patriarchalism, the paterfamilias, the village chief, the father of the nation or any example of "superiority" that successfully assumes legitimate domination based on tradition, although Weber himself states that this last type does not possess a description as precise as the others.

    This distinguished author observes that in traditional domination two modalities exist in turn: the purely patriarchal structure of administration and the class structure.28

    3) Charismatic domination is based on the leader’s exceptional qualities –the charisma–, his supernatural gifts, his heroism, his magical skills or his intellectual or oratory power and not a traditional authority.

    The leader’s domination lives on while he has the support of his god, both his physical as well as intellectual personal strength, or the faith of those who believe in him, or the primary conditions that favored the triumph of the charismatic figure. In other words, his domination last as long as his charisma lasts.

    The pure types of this class of domination are the prophet, the warlord hero and the grand demagogue.

    The administrative body is chosen for charisma and personal devotion and not: a) for its professional skills, as in the case of the official in rational-legal domination; b) for its class, as in the modality of class structure in traditional domination, and c) for its domestic dependence or for any other personal form, as in the modality of a purely patriarchal management structure in traditional domination.

    In charismatic domination there is no notion of competition or of class privilege either. In its management –though this expression may be a euphemism in this class of domination– there are no rules whether formal or traditional, but personal decisions which is why they generally contain a high degree of irrationality. The "lord" or "sage" –understood here as the prophet, the warlord or the demagogue– pronounces his sentence based on a new order based on the prophet’s inspiration, the warlord’s sword or the demagogue’s revolutionary "natural law". "Without a doubt, charismatic authority is one of the greatest revolutionary powers in history, but in its absolutely pure form, it is completely authoritarian and dominating".29

    4. Wright Mills observes the phenomenon of power in the United States of America in the middle of the 20th century and he concludes that there are three levels of power: the political order, the military order and the economy. Other institutions of power such as religion, education, family, the labor union, small businesses and farmers adapt or are subjected to these levels of power which are the ones that make the decisions that make history.

    And in these three levels, those who really decide are the elite, the peaks of these powers.

    Mills holds that the elites grow closer to each other every day, even coinciding at times. Economic power on one and political power on the other does not exist with a military organization that does not have importance for politics or business.

    As each of these domains has coincided with the others, as decisions in each have become broader, the leading men of each –the high military, the corporation executives, the political directorate– have tended to come together to form the power elite of America.

    In this country there is the long-time tendency of business and government to become more closely connected, but as of World War II, neither can be seen clearly as a distinct world, corporate men came to dominate political control, to later move into full direction of the economy of the war effort.

    The economy is dominated by a few hundred corporations, administratively and politically interrelated, which together hold the keys to economic decisions.

    The power elites work together because their interests can more easily be realized this way.

    Mills differentiates high levels of power from middle levels. In the first level, decisions are made about war and peace, slump and poverty which are problems of international scope. In the second level, decisions never refer to more important issues related to national or international life. He places politicians, such as Congressmen, in this second level, in the middle level.

    For this U.S. sociologist, a small economic elite has control of the power of that country. It controls the government mainly through three means: the Constitution, its contributions to political campaigns and his closeness to politics, even holding offices or advisory positions.

    Mills, then, examines the influence and the power of the public –the masses– and of public opinion; he states that the influence of publics or of masses is decreasing and such influence is guided by the means of mass communication. For the mass media, mass society is a simple media market exposed to its broadcasts. As a result, public opinion itself is weakened and is determined by the mass media.30

    For the author of The Power Elite this is the true state of power in the United States of America. Reality is there, even though one may not agree with it and this writer does not because for him a democratic state requires that there be free and democratic associations standing between families and smaller communities and society –masses, the public, the people– on the one hand, and the state, the military, the corporation on the other. Unless these do exist, there are no instruments for the exertion of public will. It is above all the labor movement –independent and politicized– on which the democratic regime should be founded.

    Arnold M. Rose speaks to us about the hypothesis of the manifold influence of power in contrast with the power of the economic elite. He bases his hypothesis on that society is made up of many elites and of a group of the population that is classified in organized groups, the public and the masses. The bulk of the population have at their disposal associations, groups and publics, stratified with varying degrees of power and individuals operating on the basis of common interests that are less susceptible to control than they are according to Mill’s economic-elite-dominance hypothesis.31


    There are six classes or types of power:

    1) Native power.

    2) Political power.

    3) Paternal power.

    4) Economic power.

    5) Ideological power, and

    6) Associative power.

    1. Native power is the one found in the people, or however one may wish to call it: society, the masses, the public. Of course these concepts are not interchangeable among themselves.

    If man cannot live in isolation, he has to live in society; society needs order to exist. Society is the ultimate source of that order.

    Brute force, the force of the bayonets, can –and it is a historical fact– subjugate a people. Jean Jacques Rousseau referred to this situation when he said that a man can be enslaved by force and if he accepts to do so not to perish, he does well; but when he acquires the strength needed to break the chains and is successful, he does better. Man is liberty and his destiny is found in liberty. Liberty is to man what sovereignty is to the people.

    A people cannot be indefinitely subjugated to an arbitrary power or one that does not come from it, this is also a historical fact.

    Constitutional law refers to constitutional power, to native power, to the power that belongs to the nation,32 to the power that belongs to the group,33 to the power that adopts the concrete group decision on the manner and form of its own political existence;34 to the constitutional power that is one and the same as the people, to the bearer of this power that can only be the people. Any other possibility moves away from democracy to establish itself as an oppressive power, which is contradictory because man creates and accepts an order to ensure his freedom. Order that does not ensure this freedom will sooner or later perish because it goes against native power, which is the people.

    This native power manifests itself in various aspects:

    a) By establishing order, usually through a norm or a custom. In other words, by establishing the rules of the game that allow one to live and to live with others in peace, liberty, security and with mechanisms to settle the controversies that arise from living together.

    b) By directly deciding the issues that most interest the community through mechanisms such as the referendum, the plebiscite or people’s initiative.

    c) By electing those who will rule.

    d) By demonstrating massively in the streets, whether to support a measure or to pressure for the change of a decision. Sporadic demonstration of some thousands of people may not have much of an effect, but hundreds of thousands protesting every day proves to be great pressure that will probably reach its goal.

    e) By organizing civil opposition, such as that of no taxes or a prolonged general strike.

    f) By breaking this order to create a new and different one, whether peacefully, as happened in the Czech revolution called the "Velvet Revolution" or with the fall of the Berlin wall, or violently, as happened in the French, Mexican or Russian revolutions. There is no army that can do anything if hundreds of thousands of men, women, children and elderly people stand before it. Moreover, it becomes more difficult each day for an army to be determined to fire indiscriminately against civilian population to uphold an arbitrary order that has lost legitimacy.

    Thus, native power is not a purely theoretic concept that serves as a hypothesis to explain reality, to lucubrate about the power phenomenon, but it is power itself, power by antonomasia, because it is the one that decides the order –understood as the rules of the game– and the one that decides to break with it when it does not serve it, and instead of guaranteeing freedom, it limits or suppresses it outright.

    Therefore, there is no greater power, it is the summum of power, it is that of society, that of the people, or if one wants, that of the masses: it is native power that allows its own social convenience. It can be manifested as reality or through a socially accepted norm or custom.

    2. Political power is the power of the State. It is the guarantee for living together in order, peace and security. It is the order of effective and homogenous behavior. Its effectiveness is found in the possibility of imposing "obedience to its norms in a legally organized, co-active procedure". Its homogeneity lies in that it be a central planning power that has means for normative regulation.35

    The ultimate feature of political power is legitimate monopoly of coercion, the possibility of legitimate use of physical force.

    In most cases, legal provisions are complied with voluntarily. If not, life in society would be almost impossible. But in the case of non-compliance there is the possibility that they will be imposed even by force, regardless of the individual’s will. Ultimately, political power comes down to the police, the army and prison, but using them is not the norm. However, they are there for when their use becomes necessary, but this should comply with legal principles.

    This political power, it must be stressed, does not act on whim or will but is regulated by legal principles. In this sense, political power is one in the same as the law, jurisprudence, the establishment of the rules of the game in society. Political power is not arbitrary since it should adjust its behavior to the norm. All the country’s inhabitants have the power to directly or indirectly participate in the creation of laws and, as a result, to know exactly what political power can and cannot do. The Constitution stipulates the subordination of power to the law, it creates State agencies and it lists their attributes and limits. They cannot legitimately exercise functions unless they are within the regulating channels that govern them and that are stipulated by the Constitution itself. If State agencies go beyond said laws, they are breaking foundation and basis of their own legitimacy and there are procedures to compensate the violated law.

    The fundamental role of political power is to create the legal system. This role is fulfilled in either a democratic, authoritarian or totalitarian system.36 However, the assessing element has special importance: the jurisprudence must be fair, must tend to fulfill an idea of justice, if it wants to last, because if it is perceived as an unfair order, a fight to change it through pacific or violent means will ensue. Thus, justice constitutes a value, and a pragmatic element as well. It is the essence itself of the survival of that jurisprudence.

    Therefore, political power should not be arbitrary, but should be subject to rules. It should be a government of norms, of laws and not of men, although the men that hold that political power create them, execute them and settle controversies according to them. As a result, political power is usually manifest in government functions: legislative, executive and judicial. Currently independent agencies live alongside them like, in some countries, those of an electoral nature.

    Within the executive agency are the various military branches that we can generically call the army, which should be subordinate to the titleholder of the executive branch –a civilian– and whose functions are regulated by the Constitution itself. The army cannot be used beyond what constitutional law authorizes.

    If the fundamental function of political power is to create the legal system, then these laws are of a general nature and apply to every inhabitant of the nation that places himself under the conviction of the law. This is the reason it is said that political power is a complete power to differentiate it from other social powers, which are partial or sectorial because their scope is fragmentary and limited since their power corresponds to a sector or social group and not to all of society.37

    The other social powers are legally regulated by laws established by the political power according to the procedures stipulated in the Constitution. In principle, they should not act outside that normative framework and it is the legislative and judicial authority that grants, in principle or in theory, a level higher than political power above the other social powers, because of that trait of inclusiveness or universality that is identified with society.

    3. Paternal power is the one that mainly takes place between parent and child. The parent protects the child, supplies him with food, clothing and shelter, but especially education to strengthen him as a human being, so that he may fulfill himself as such and look for his own destiny and happiness. This power ceases when the young person reaches legal age. The father is authorized to impose punishment –disciplinary power- as long as it is for specified goals and does not violate any legal principle. That is, it is not an arbitrary power, and much less one of life or death. It is a power limited to the goals it pursues.

    It is clear that the basis and the scope of this power are found in jurisprudence even though it is impregnated with moral values.

    4. Economic power is that which holds ownership of the means of production and has the capacity to obtain a profit, which accumulated, allows it to influence the economic process in general.

    Mainly, economic power is manifested in a variety of ways among which two stand out: a) large companies and b) financial and insurance corporations.

    Economic power pursues profit. It is seen as the amassing of wealth even in the most democratic countries, which results in the fact that a few families or people make important economic decisions: investments, creation of jobs, capital flows, speculation of currency.

    In turn, companies, businesses, banks and insurers organize themselves into federations and confederations to defend their interests and extend their influence and force against other powers.

    The different economic processes are legally regulated. In principle, economic power has to conform to the norms but there are fields in which regulations are almost non-existent or deficient, or the above-mentioned economic individuals have enough power to achieve legislation subject to their interests.

    5. Ideological power is the one that, by developing and emitting knowledge, images, symbols, values, cultural norms and science in general, exercises psychological coercion, and makes society, the group or a person act in a specific way.

    Norberto Bobbio states that ideological power is based on possessing "certain forms of knowledge of doctrines, facts, and even information, or codes of conduct, that are inaccessible to the majority, to exercise influence over the conduct of others and to cause the group to act in a certain way instead of in another".38

    That is, the means ideological power uses is knowledge, psychological coercion or both: they are the instruments that have been used by priests, scientists, writers, the mass media, teachers and the associations that bring them together.

    Ideological power manifests itself mainly through: 1) religions, 2) schools, 3) the mass media and 4) writers, intellectuals and scientists.

    1) Religions use psychological coercion to condition human behavior under the premise of eternal salvation and happiness. Historically, religions and their administrative structures –the churches– are one of the greatest and strongest powers of mankind, truly dominating men, judging and burning "heretics", organizing "holy wars", bending wills, "spiritually" putting pressure to obtain monetary donations, manipulating and fanaticizing the masses, condemning attitudes or works such as books and authors. Man is afraid of the great beyond and, moreover, he takes comfort in deficiencies and injustices by thinking of a future paradise.

    2) Schools form the child and young person, teach them how to use language, to write and to reason, instill values and a sense of existence in them, and transmit knowledge to them that will train them to perform an occupation, technical work or a profession. School decidedly influences the mind and feelings of children and young people, that is, in their future. The teacher has the authority to impose punishment, to reward and to give grades within the frameworks of statutes and regulations.

    The teacher’s attributes are not arbitrary. He cannot or should not carry out any act that is not legally permitted and has to subject himself to the system that governs teaching, whether it is established by law or by custom. The teacher has to respect the dignity of the child or young person, who are not "things" but human beings.

    One very important aspect is that the coercion that a parent or a teacher may use must be based on the law. In this way, the State governs the other social powers.

    3) The mass media contributes in determining society’s way of thinking to a large extent by establishing the agenda of the political, social and economic issues to be discussed, by creating or destroying the reputation of an organization, person or group of people.

    The mass media provides information and elements so that the person and the public can build, think over and form their opinions.

    The media are often intermediaries between society and political power.

    Frequently, the media "selects" what news they allow, its position, its emphasis, and it sometimes happens that they distort or invent news, as occurred in the alleged Timisoara killings and in Patrick Poivre d'Arvor’s interviews with Fidel Castro.

    The media conditions, with more success every day, individual and social conduct, and many of them handle information as a simple commodity that must be sold regardless of objectivity and regardless of the fact that it may refer to an essential part to a human being. One of the aspects of the media’s power is the manipulation that is done through the news.

    4) Writers, intellectuals and scientists determine a good part of society’s ideals and their force is based on knowledge, which has political importance. They persuade or dissuade people and society, and help reach consensus or dissension:

      ...with ideas power can be upheld or justified, attempting to transform it into legitimate authority; with ideas, authority can also be destroyed, trying to reduce it to simple power, to discredit it as arbitrary or unfair. With ideas the bearers of power can be hidden or exposed. And with more hypnotic though frivolous ideas, attention can be drawn away from problems of power and authority and social reality in general.39

    6. Associative power is found in organizations that bring together those that are united by a same objective or to defend common interests. The organization has possibilities of being effective in getting or attaining the proposed goals or in obtaining benefits for its members.

    Participation in said organizations is generally, and should be, voluntary. Their purposes and interests are of a most varied kind, and in this area we find the different pressure and interest groups that exist in society.

    Within this framework, I highlight three types of associations because of their importance: a) political parties, b) labor and field worker unions and c) non-governmental organizations. What characterizes them is their ability to influence decisions and attain objectives or benefits even against the will of other parties or organizations.

    a) Political parties strive to obtain political power. Depending on the party system in the community and of the percentages they obtain in elections, even as opposition parties, they can influence decisions, be part of them by means of negotiations or ally themselves to form part of the government itself.

    Political parties can in turn exercise power over their own members, affecting member rights such as expulsion from its bosom or the suspension of party privileges.

    Another form of political parties’ control, influence or power is manifested in their statutes, ideology, manifestos and electoral programs.

    b) Labor and field worker unions that act as pressure groups are organizations that by their own force can obtain benefits for their members. They are organizations of the masses whose mobilization can have a positive or negative impact on the political, economic and social system.

    Precisely because they are organizations of the masses they can incite or pressure to obtain political and economic decisions that benefit them.

    The principal labor and field worker union leaders form part of a country’s power elite.

    In turn, the workers and field workers that form part of these organizations, especially when individually, feel the power of those at the top of their unions, which can affect them positively or negatively in such aspects as being admitted to a job, job stability, work and social benefits, as well as promotions.

    c) Non-governmental organizations are associations that pursue very different ends, such as protecting and defending human rights, gender equality, the environment, animals, etc. Over the last two decades, said organizations have proliferated and have gotten stronger because many of them have a good structure; their issues and action programs, their research and conclusions interest wide sectors of society and they receive support from society.

    Thus, "their activism" can influence to alter, refine, modify, reject or repeal the decisions of other powers, such as the political and the economic ones.

    The effectiveness that these organizations reach is directly proportional to the importance of the problems that they take on, to the extent of the social backing they obtain for each concrete case and the prestige they achieve with their everyday activities.

    A large part of this effectiveness depends on the spots they obtain in the means of communication and on the support of public opinion.

    7. The proposed typology of power that is developed in this essay can be summarized in a chart that gives us a unified view of it. Therefore:

    1) Native power

    Is the one that resides with the people, it is power of origin or constitutional power, it is the power that creates jurisprudence.

    2) Political power

    Is the power of the State. Its distinctive trait is found in the legitimate monopoly of coercion and in the possibility of legitimate use of it. Political power is generally manifest in government functions:

      a) Legislative
      b) Executive
      c) Judicial and
      d) those carried out by independent agencies.

    3) Paternal power

    Parent - child

    4) Economic power

    a) Large companies and
    b) Financial and insurance corporations

    5) Ideological power

    a) Religions
    b) Schools, including universities
    c) The mass media and
    d) Writers, intellectuals and scientists

    6) Associative power

    a) Political parties
    b) Labor and field worker unions and
    c) Non-government organizations, which are aimed at protecting and defending:
      I) Human rights
      II) Gender equality
      III) The environment
      IV) Animals, etc.


    These different aspects of power are not isolated behaviors, but many are found linked or closely related among themselves, but in a hierarchical or pyramid manner, depending on the circumstances of time and place. In most countries, the elite of many of these powers coincide, thus their power accumulates and is reinforced.

    Not all powers, due to their own nature, have the same scope. In this aspect, the most important observation is that while native and political powers are inclusive and universal in that they are one and the same as the creation of legal principles –and the second, also of their enforcement-, the other powers are partial and sectorial, with specific ends and objectives, even though they also try to take over political power to add it to theirs and thus obtain a summum of power that allows them to influence or determine the other powers. The relationships among powers are changing and fluid, according to circumstances of time and place, although trends can be found. Within this framework one must be careful with statements that try to generalize.

    History is full of examples of the close relationships among the different types of powers. Extraordinarily close relationships between political power and religious power are recurring cases throughout history. Let us cite some examples: Spain and the Inquisition, France and the monarchy before the 1789 revolution; England, especially since Henry VIII, and Mexico until the middle of the 19th century.

    Part of the history of the Western world from the 10th to 16th centuries was the war that the Catholic Church waged to create a theocracy, first trying to subjugate the empire and later, several European kingdoms.40

    In our times, religions’ administrative organizations –the different churches– conserve enormous influence in various countries. This influence gives them the ability to pressure and obtain concessions and privileges from the political power. Several countries in Latin America and of the Islamic world can be cited as examples.

    In Great Britain, the head of its church is the king, and until the Chinese invasion in the middle of this century, the Dalai Lama united both political as well as religious power in his person. One recent and extraordinarily interesting case is the revolution that overthrew the government of the Shah of Iran and instated a theocratic regime in that country.

    There are many studies on the relationships of political-economic powers, on how businessmen hold very important political positions and vice versa. Mills points out, referring to the United States that "For all generations, 40.4 per cent of the elite are derived from businessmen alone. And 45.7 per cent of the eminent businessmen held political offices during the course of United States history."41

    Furthermore, there are several ways in which businessmen pressure and influence political power: contributing economically to political campaigns, making gifts or giving "retainers" to politicians, ceasing to invest or create jobs, taking capital out of the country, financing anti-government protest or interest groups, threatening that their companies will leave the country, anti-government campaigns in the mass media, many of which belong to them or they have influence on the media because of the advertising they contract.

    Farm worker and labor unions are in a relationship of mutual influence with their undertaking, in which the latter is generally the strongest, but the union acquires more importance by negotiating general working conditions, the possibility of a strike breaking out and how it is handled when it does take place.

    The strike, furthermore, can be directed against political power when it is carried out in an entire production area or when the end it seeks is political, as in the case of a general strike to overthrow the government or to obligate it to make a given decision.

    Just as writers, intellectuals and scientists influence on public opinion and can play an important role in shaping it, it sometimes happens that their words are not completely free because they are conditioned by other powers, on receiving benefits or economic gratifications; out of fear, referring to religious power; or out of a thirst for honor and privileges.

    Every day it is more evident that different non-governmental organizations can affect the decisions of the political and economic powers because their causes have prestige in society and not taking them into account could lead to a high political cost for the government. Thus, a factory can even be shut down at the request of environmental groups. Currently, the organizations that stand out are those that protect and defend human rights, gender equality and the environment.

    In most cases, the ones that hold power are designated for their own benefit and their own interests. Attitudes driven by altruism, ideas of the common good or solidarity are not very frequent although they do exist. In society, there is a game of acceptance, resistance, negotiations and eventually confrontations among the powers. Depending on the time and place, one power predominates over the others. Often political power is the one that predominates because of its trait as universal, because it is the one that establishes legal principles and can rely on the physical force of the army and the police, but it is a historical fact that in some countries, in different eras, the predominant power has not been political but religious or economic because they have made and make political power subject to its interests and to its commands.

    One characteristic of our times is that almost universally the power of the mass media has become stronger and competes with political power.

    Thus, in society there is a plurality of powers, many of which are closely related to each other and that compete and aspire to accumulating more power to find themselves in the situation of determining or influencing the other powers. It is very good that there are different social powers for the preservation of human beings’ dignity, freedom and security. Among them it is indispensable to have –as in the division of powers– checks and balances, defined jurisdictions and limits established by a legislation created according to the contents and procedures established in a Constitution that truly deserves that name.


    1. The mass media is a power because it has the instruments and mechanisms that give it the possibility of imposing itself; because it conditions or can condition the conduct of other powers, organizations or individuals independently of their will or their resistance.

    Specifically, individuals are found facing the media in an unequal situation, in which it is very difficult to defend themselves, so much so that the media can even unleash a psychological battle that persuades the individuals to commit suicide. One of the most well known cases is that of the ex French Prime Minister Pierre Bérégovoy.

    It can even incite assassination, by making aspects of a person’s private life known, as in the Schmitz-Amedure case.42

    The instruments the media uses to exercise their power are of an ideological or psychological nature. Just think of the effects that publication of news that is false, but that seriously affects a person’s prestige, reputation and honor, or of completely legal aspects of his private life that should not transcend the confines where the acts took place has on the person, his family, his work and his social circle.

    The instruments that the media uses are defined within the typology of power as a type of ideological power, since through psychological coercion, knowledge or both, they make the other power, the group or the person behave in a certain way.

    For many decades, much has been discussed about the scope and true weight of the power of the mass media, if it is omnipotent or if it is not, and to what degree it really is a power.43 In that respect, I believe the conclusion that Gregory Derville reaches, after much reflection, is correct: its power is neither nonexistent nor exorbitant, but of a variable nature, depending on the circumstances, on the type of means, of the public which it addresses, etcetera.44

    Modern democracy cannot be conceived without free and independent mass media that lives alongside other powers and contributes to the checks and balances that should exist among them.

    The ultimate foundation of the media is freedom of expression –a very important human right-. On one occasion I wrote that: "defense of the freedom of expression is an obligation of every human being, because rights and freedoms should be defended. Freedom of expression: yes! A thousand times yes. A million times yes. But freedom of expression with ethical responsibility and acknowledging other human rights."45 Precisely because of that, because unlimited powers should not exist and because a democracy cannot be conceived if a person or group is irresponsible, it is necessary to have legislation on the mass media that makes its independence compatible and guarantees freedom of expression with ethical responsibility and through acknowledging other human rights.

    2. The mass media is certainly not all-powerful because there are other powers in society that fight against subjugation, because among the first one there is competition –thus plurality of media is indispensable in a democracy– and because public opinion is not completely manipulable since there are other forces between it and the public that tinge the products emitted by the media.46 Furthermore, it must be taken into account that in several different countries, because of exaggerations, yellow journalism, distortions and even falsehoods in the information, the media and journalists have been losing credibility, as also happens with politicians.47

    However, influence and penetration –the true power– of the media has grown over the last decades, first with radio, then with television and later with computers and telecommunications. Thus, it is possible to point out several aspects, that are evidently not of an absolute nature, that strengthen the media as a true power:

    1) The establishment of a country’s agenda –to which McCombs and Shaws referred– since the public obtains most of its information from the media, those that do not pay the same attention to all the topics and thus go on guiding public interest especially towards certain topics.

    The media state that its only role is to give information, but many of them also look to persuade and manipulate. The media enjoys special prestige while the public thinks it is only informing and that begins to deteriorate if the public realizes that it is not so.

    It cannot be ignored that between the media and the public there is a reciprocal influence about its inquietudes.

    2) The spiral of silence, according to Elizabeth Noëlle-Neumann’s theory, by which dominant ideas or those that become dominant, whether true or false, are easily sustained in the media without the danger of being marginalized. Minority positions become cautious –or are completely ignored by the media– in expressing their points of view. Thus, public opinion is deprived of opinion and analytical factors that could be shared by wide sectors of society. "The tendency to express oneself on one hand and fall silent on the other engenders a spiral process that gradually establishes a dominant opinion."

    3) The current that exists in several western countries of privatizing and de-regulating the mass media, as well as the concentrating process that has been carried out in several countries and the appearance of new technology increase its "power".48

    4) The politician needs the media as never before to make himself known, to make his messages heard, to create and sustain popularity and to attenuate criticism against him and his acts as much as possible. Nowadays, as it was well said by De Virieu, a politician should be a professional in conviction and also –simultaneously– a professional in communication.

    5) It is a "hidden" power in that it apparently does not show itself as a power, as happens in the case of a politician. It "hides" itself in the human right of freedom of expression and cancels out public response. Even now much of the media is opposed to the right of response from the person affected.

    6) Polls –and I am decidedly in favor of them– allow the media to question the policies of the government, of politicians and of the other powers in general. Accordingly, the media fights and demands to have the privilege of irresponsibility and in several countries they have obtained it due to the lack of legislation or a legal system that regulates it. Every day –and good!- there are more checks and balances among the powers, but for the media what there is, is licentiousness, abuse, irresponsibility and the subjugation of human rights.

    3. Reference to the means of mass communication as a fourth power is common. The expression is incorrect but valuable in what it wants to convey.

    It is incorrect because in speaking of a "fourth power" it refers to the equivalent of political power, that is, to the three "powers": Legislative, Executive and Judicial.49 We already know that the media is not a political power but an ideological one, even though people in the media, as it happens with economic or religious power, also crave political power. The most relevant case in this regard is that of Mr. Bertoluchi, the principal owner of Italian television, who by using his stations became the Prime Minister of Italy. With more frequency, media owners and journalists are seen in political campaigns to attain public office. There is no doubt that power calls power, that one that already has a good dose of power desires to increase it even by entering fields that are not his own and that harm very important aspects for media professionals: impartiality and objectivity.

    The mentioned expression is valuable because it accounts for a very widespread idea that is held as true: the mass media is a real power. The same thing happens to this expression as to popular sayings: they are the result of every day experience over long periods of time and become part of popular wisdom. In this way we can accept this expression, that is technically incorrect, but full of meaning.

    The existence of a government is indispensable for the creation of legal principles that guarantee individual freedom and security, but it must be a government in which there are checks and balances to prevent arbitrary acts and the oppression of the individuals themselves. The exact same thing happens with the mass media, its existence is indispensable to be informed and to strengthen democracy, but there must be checks and balances to prevent arbitrary acts too, because if not, as in the case of the government, its also results in the oppression of individuals.

    I believe this fundamental idea is found in several currents of philosophical, judicial and religious thought: Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you. This thought has been expressed well by Norberto Bobbio, in referring to liberalism:

      The only form of equality that is not only compatible with liberty as understood by liberal doctrine, but is also demanded by it, it is equality in freedom: this means that each person must enjoy of as much freedom as long as it is compatible with the freedom of others, and he can do anything that does not harm the freedom of others.50

    Therefore, independence and freedom of the mass media is indispensable, as indispensable as its respecting individual freedom and human rights.

    4. Between the power of the mass media and economic power there are multiple connections, and sometimes very close ones. Oftentimes, businessmen are, in turn, owners or major stockholders of media companies, they have a friendly relationship, or large companies can have influence on the media because of the amount of advertising they contract.

    It also happens that large companies acquire mass media companies as an efficient instrument to pressure political power so that it espouses resolutions correlated to their interests.

    It has been highlighted that United States newspapers have the tendency to back companies more than any other sector of society. This aspect can be exemplified with an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal: "When you sell America’s mightiest million you are taking a mighty step toward America’s 184,000,000 – anything."51

    Under this heading, it is important to ask some questions: who are the principal owners of the media? What other companies or businesses do they have? Who controls the media? How are the media’s finances? What sector or sectors tend to benefit from the different media?52

    Furthermore, for many means of information, news is only one more commodity, and the public should be offered what it demands, a commodity that is also governed by the law of supply and demand, information therefore devoid of its essential structure: veracity, objectivity, impartiality, responsibility and a sense of ethics.

    Currently, the mass media is described as one of the great social powers of an ideological nature that tends to determine and control public opinion, though it not always can –fortunately–; it is fighting to subject even political power, in a confrontation similar to –though more subtle than– that which took place at the end of the Middle Ages among the empire, the papacy, feudal lords and kings. The result of this confrontation was the birth of the national and sovereign State.

    * Researcher at the Legal Research Institute.
    1 Hans Buchheim, Politica y poder, Trans. Carlos de Santiago, Barcelona, Alfa, 1985, p. 10.
    2 Georges Burdeau, Tratado de ciencia política, Trans. Brunilda Gordon, Mexico, UNAM, 1984, Book I, vol. III, p. 23.
    3 Hans Buchheim, op. cit., endnote 1, p. 13.
    4 Camilo Velazquez Turbay, El poder politico, Bogota, Universidad Externado de Colombia, 1986, p. 21.
    5 Max Weber, Economia y sociedad, Trans. Jose Maria Echavarria, Juan Roura Parella, Eduardo Garcia Maynez, Eugenio Imaz and Jose Ferrater Mora, Mexico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1969, p. 43, 171 and 695-701.
    6 Hans Buchheim, op. cit., endnote 1, p. 9-15.
    7 Arnold M. Rose, La estructura del poder. El proceso político en la sociedad norteamericana, Trans. Luis Lechón, Buenos Aires, Paidos, 1970, p. 60-67.
    8 Ibid., p. 65.
    9 C. Wright Mills, Poder, política, pueblo, Trans. Julieta Campos, Mexico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1964, p. 3.
    10 Nicos Poulantzas, Estado, poder y socialismo, Trans. Fernando Claudin, Mexico, Siglo Veintiuno Editores, 1979, p. 177-183.
    11 Luis Sanchez Agesta, Principios de teoría política, Madrid, Editora Nacional, 1979, p. 83-88.
    12 Norberto Bobbio, El filosofo y la politica [Anthology], Trans. Jose Fernandez Santillan and Ariella Aureli, Mexico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1997, p. 135-137.
    13 Georges Burdeau, op. cit., endnote 2, p. 25-35.
    14 Ibid., p. 86-87.
    15 Hans Buchheim, op. cit., endnote 1, p. 12-28.
    16 German J. Bidart Campos, El poder, Buenos Aires, EDIAR, 1985, p. 31-32.
    17 Aristotle, La politica, Trans. Patricio de Azcarate, Madrid, Espasa-Calpe, 1962, p. 28-41.
    18 Ibid., p. 48.
    19 Ibid., p. 85-86, 103-113 y 181.
    20 John Locke, Ensayo sobre el gobierno civil, Trans. Amando Lazaro Ros, Buenos Aires, Aguilar, 1963, p. 28-29, 191-195.
    21 Ibid., p. 87, 107-108.
    22 Ibid., p. 106-107.
    23 Ibid., p. 81, 109-111 y 158.
    24 Ibid., p. 195.
    25 Norberto Bobbio, op. cit., endnote 12, p. 136.
    26 John Locke, op. cit., endnote 20, p. 29.
    27 Max Weber, op. cit., endnote 5, p. 706-707.
    28 Ibid., p. 708-710.
    29 Ibid., p. 711-714.
    30 C. Wright Mills, op. cit., endnote 9, p. 6-16 y 45-47.
    31 Arnold M. Rose, op. cit., endnote 7, p. 24-28.
    32 Maurice Hauriou, Principios de derecho publico y constitucional, Trans. Carlos Ruiz del Castillo, Madrid, Reus, 1927, p. 318.
    33 Emmanuel J. Sieyès, ¿Qué es el tercer Estado?, Mexico, UNAM, 1983, p. 112.
    34 Carl Schmitt, Teoria de la Constitucion, Mexico, Editora Nacional, 1961, p. 86.
    35 Reinhold Zippelius, Teoria general del Estado, Trans. Héctor Fix-Fierro, Mexico, UNAM, 1985, p. 57.
    36 See Georges Burdeau, op. cit., endnote 2, p. 39-46, 66-67 and 267.
    37 German J. Bidart Campos, op. cit., endnote 16, p. 32-33.
    38 Norberto Bobbio, op. cit., endnote 12, p. 139.
    39 C. Wright Mills, op. cit., endnote 9, p. 475.
    40 Jorge Carpizo, La Constitución mexicana de 1917, Mexico, Porrúa, UNAM, 1998 151. See George H. Sabine, Historia de la teoria poiítica, Trans. Vicente Herrero, Mexico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1965, p. 174-176.
    41 C. Wright Mills, op. cit., endnote 9, p. 100.
    42 Time, 17 May 1999: p. 31.
    43 See Gregory Derville, Le pouvoir des médias. Mythes et réalités, Grenoble, Presses Universitaires de Grenoble, 1997, p. 15-53.
    44 Ibid., p. 146.
    45 Jorge Carpizo, Derechos humanos y ombusdman, Mexico, Porrúa, UNAM, 1998, p. 117.
    46 See C. Wright Mills, op. cit., endnote 9, p. 447.
    47 In its April 1999 issue, Este Pais magazine published a revealing survey about values and beliefs in Mexico.
    48 Gregory Derville, op. cit., endnote 43, p. 61-70.
    49 Al respecto, see Jorge Carpizo, La Constitución..., cit., endnote 40, p. 187-194.
    50 Norberto Bobbio, Liberalismo y democracia, Trans. Jose F. Fernandez Santillan, Mexico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1996. p. 41.
    51 Arnold M. Rose, op. cit., endnote 7, p. 120-122.
    52 See Gregory Derville, op. cit., endnote 43, p. 74.

 Copyright 2012 Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, UNAM