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Restructuring through Meta-Power
11-16-2012, 09:46 AM,
#1
Restructuring through Meta-Power
“THE REAL PHILOSOPHERS, HOWEVER, ARE COMMANDERS AND LAW-GIVERS; they say: ‘Thus SHALL it be!’ They determine first the Whither and the Why of mankind, and hereby set aside the previous labour of all philosophical workers, and all subjugators of the past—they grasp at the future with a creative hand, and whatever is and was, becomes for them thereby a means, an instrument, and a hammer. Their ‘knowing’ is CREATING, their creating is a law-giving, their will to truth is—WILL TO POWER. (Nietzsche, BGE)

“They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God's power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archtype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. It is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate — confusion between him who worships and that which is worshipped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man.”
― Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle


Quote:Meta-Power is a concept of having control not simply of individuals, but of the social structures themselves. The idea has stemmed from work by sociologists such as Tom R. Burns and Peter Hall, the economist Thomas Baumgartner, as well as by political scientists such as James Rosenau and Stephen D. Krasner. Its study often uses the language of game theory since at some level, having meta-power over a group of people means that one can control the form of the game, thereby controlling the outcome.

Power and social control are typically conceptualized and investigated in terms of interpersonal or intergroup relationships in which one actor tries to get another to do something, usually against the latter's will (e.g., Blau, 1964, Dahl, 1967; Burns and Buckley, 1976; Weber, 1968). That is, power is on the level of interaction or relationships involving “situated contests between opposing actors” (Hall, 1997). The object of power is more or less direct behavioral control. Such an approach to the study of power captures only a part of the power activities of groups, organizations, and states.

A large, and historically more important part involves attempts to structure or re-structure the social and cultural matrix within which power activities are played out; such structuring may involve the manipulation of institutional arrangements, norms, and values. A given institutional or socio-cultural structure may be viewed as the macroscopic resultant of the application of structural or meta-power to determine permissible or acceptable activities and relationships of individuals and groups to one another and to resources or forms of property.

Since the mid-1970s there emerged a substantial body of work on meta-power or relational and structural control, that is control over social relationships and social structure, the structuring of interaction situations and conditions, for instance the opportunity structures of the actors, their payoff structures and incentive systems, and their orientations, beliefs, and norms vis a vis one another (Adler and Haas, 1992; Baumgartner and Burns, 1975; Baumgartner, Burns and DeVille, 1975; Baumgartner, Buckley, and Burns, 1975; Baumgartner et al., 1975, Baumgartner et al. 1975, 1976; 1977; Burns and Buckley (1976), Chang, 2004; Hall, 1997, 2003; Himmelstrand et al., 1981; Hollist and Rosenau, 1981; Krasner, 1981; among others).

Although structural types of control have specific behavioral consequences and may be used as a means of behavioral control, the purpose of its exercise is generally the long-term structuring of institutional arrangements, key social processes and their outcomes: the individual and collective activities of those whose social relationships are structured. Structural control is used by social groups to ensure the effective functioning of a social system and/or to promote or stabilize their advantages or dominance over others. Among other things, it may be used to encourage cooperative social organization on the one hand, or to produce competition or conflict between actors on the other, and generally, to increase power in relation to others.

There are at least three bases of structural control with respect to such systems: control of action opportunities, control of differential payoffs or outcomes of interaction, and control of cultural orientations and ideology. That is, conditions of social action and interaction are structured with the result that certain social relationships and institutional arrangements are established and maintained. In investigations of the exercise of meta-power, one is also interested in differences among actors in resources, skills, strategies, and so forth, but the main focus is on capacities to mobilize power resources to manipulate the matrix of rules or "the rules of the game," other conditions of interaction, and the distribution of resources as well as normative and ideological orientations. Meta-power entails the capacity to shape and set the limits of lower order power. Clearly, although an actor B may have social power within an interaction situation or "game" (e.g., greater ability than others to select a preferred outcome or to realize his will over the opposition of others within that social structural context (e.g., Dahl, Weber), he or she may or may not have power to structure social relationships, to alter the "type of game" the actors play, the rules and institutions and related conditions governing interactions or exchanges among the actors involved.

The operation of meta-power on a systemic level, for example, capitalism as a complex of meta-power, can be distinguished from that of particular agents, the bourgeoisie, for instance their positional structuring powers (Himmelstrand et al., 1981; Burns, 2006):

Structural meta-power shapes and constrains the social conditions of social agents, their interactions, their opportunities, and limitations. For instance, institutions and institutional arrangements such as those of capitalism and the state entail organizational bias, that shapes opportunities, that provides careers, status, income, limited power over others as well as constrains certain activities and developments. Rules, procedures, and programs generate patterns of social activities, effects, and developments. Institutional selection may operate, for instance, to change the frequency of certain activity patterns or to alter the distribution of resources (concentration, and centralization, e.g. through ratchet effects), to determine the parameters of power, the forms and types of games actors play. A system like capitalism entails generative processes of meta-power (based on accumulative processes which provide the resource base (material, knowledge, social, political) combined with knowledge development to set in motion new economic and socio-technical developments. Major socio-technical systems, once established, operate as legislative bodies shaping and reshaping human conditions.

Agential meta-power is where some agents shape particular structural conditions and institutional arrangements for other actors: to establish a constitution; to carry out substantial reforms, to restructure an industry, to transform social relationships and interaction opportunities and potentialities. The state launches projects, protects workers vis-à-vis their employers, supports (or blocks) the development of nuclear power, and outlaws certain chemicals, and, in general, regulates societal interactions with the environment.

Among the processes and developments in which meta-power researchers are interested, some involve powerful agents, for instance capitalist leaders, using their positions of structural power to mobilize resources in order to develop new systems of production, new products, new institutional arrangements, for example in the shaping of economic globalization. The initiatives may also come from state agencies, for example, to establish an infrastructure (airport, highway system, water system, electricity networks) or a regulatory agency; or, the initiative may come from a dominant political leader or party with a mandate (possibly presumed) to reform or transform social conditions. One or more agents is involved in mobilizing power resources for the purposes of launching a project(s), program(s), and institutional innovations. Such projects may be anticipated – or are experienced – by other agents as having positive and/or negative impacts, or possibly mixed consequences along with negative. Opposition may emerge and try to block or modify the project(s). This is part of the dialectics of meta-power and social change, as analyzed and illustrated in a number of works of dating back to the mid-1970s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta-power


Quote:http://humanitieslab.stanford.edu/MAHB/138
Meta-Power (August 15, 2009) Patrick McGinty, Tom R.Burns, and Peter M. Hall In the social sciences, power and control are typically conceptualized in terms of the capacity or right of one agent ( individual or collective) to get another agent to act in some specified way or even to act against her own will (Max Weber). In various ways, the most prominent contemporary analyses for instance, Peter Blau and Robert Dahl, among others view power as principally one actor's control of the behavior of another actor. This approach to power captures only a limited part of the phenomena. In reaction, Talcott Parsons (1963), redefined power as mobilization of resources to achieve collective goals, and broadened the concept to include cooperative efforts and larger institutional venues. While an improvement, this too missed key aspects involving groups, organizations, and states.

A larger, and historically more important part of power conceptualization concerns attempts to structure or re-structure the social and cultural matrix -- within which interpersonal power activities and collective enterprises -- are played out. This process we call meta-power, the capacity to construct the conditions, rules, and institutional formations under which individual and collective actors mobilize and apply resources to accomplish their intentions. Such structuring may involve the manipulation of norms and values as well as institutional arrangements. A given socio-cultural structure may be viewed then as, in part, the macroscopic resultant of the application of meta-power to determine permissible or acceptable activities and relationships of individuals and groups to one another and to resources or forms of property and authority. Thus, the meta-power conceptualization breaks with the past by extending understanding of power and control over social structures across time and space.

Two prominent sociological conceptualizations and consistent forms of theorizing have set the stage for contemporary usage and development of the meta-power concept. The first is that of the proponents of the actor-system-dynamics (ASD) approach in the social sciences (Baumgartner, Buckley and Burns 1975; Baumgartner, Buckley, Burns, and Schuster 1976; Burns, Baumgartner, and DeVille 1985 (see encyclopedia entry on "system theories"). In general, the ASD approach to studying social phenomenon has supported a number of key theoretical developments, most notably: an appreciation of interaction processes as embedded within rule, cultural, and institutional systems; of the structuring and constructionist capacity of human agency; and of the relationships between systems and their environments. Researchers working with ASD highlighted the concept of meta-power to explain stability and change of institutional arrangements as well as structural transformations of a social system across time and space. A second set of contemporary theoretical concerns about meta-power conceptualization comes from symbolic interactionist meso-level analyses of social organization Hall & McGinty 2002) .

This group began using the concept to explain agentic control of structural phenomenon across time and space . In demonstrating the convoluted and messy nature of an educational policy process, Hall & McGinty (1997) show how some agents shape particular structural conditions and institutional arrangements for other actors, set agendas for organizations, change institutional arrangements and institutional forms, and alter the form and quality of social relationships and future possibilities for types of interaction. Thus, legislators and bureaucrats try to induce behavior of teachers dispersed among thousands of classrooms across the state but are dependent on others to produce the effect. More explicitly Hall (1997) conceives organizations to be structurations of meta-power and specifies five processes that sustain the organization. They are a) acquiring jurisdiction to discipline other agents; b) constructing rules ; c) structuring contexts of interpersonal relationships; d) culturing the organization ; and e) enrolling subordinates as delegates for relational control.

Along similar lines, Carson et al (2009) see agents exercising meta-power in relation to maintaining or changing major public policy paradigms such as those in the European Union relating to climate change, energy, food, or gender. This may manifest itself in several different ways: (1) elite actors in positions of meta-power may undergo a cognitive shift , which results in their adoption and institutionalization of a new public policy paradigm, ; (2) one elite replaces another through democratic election, negotiation, or coercion, bringing with it a new public policy paradigm ; (3) elite groups negotiate a new paradigm and its institutionalization. In all cases, an institutional or possibly a more encompassing societal crisis may set off one or the other of the three mechanisms. Of course, the changes may be driven by purely competitive or power considerations.

Both research programs have been generally associated with qualitative structural analyses of multi-level, multi-site phenomena. This has involved the effective use of case studies, sociologically informed historical or ethnographic methods that produced not only a chronological timeline of events, but could place them in a relevant institutional and cultural context and demonstrate their relationship to multiple phases of development or varying discursive, situational or institutional contexts. For the purpose of investigating of structural control in human groups -- pertaining to the regulation, main¬tenance, and transformation of social relationships and institutional arrangements – there exist at least three dimensions of structural control with respect to social systems: control over action opportunities, control over differen¬tial payoffs or outcomes of interaction, and control over cultural orientations and ideology. These three system properties are mutually interrelated and can usually be separated only analytically. Such structural power, as suggested earlier, shapes and sets the conditions for lower order forms of power. In investigations of the exercise of meta-power, there is also interest in differences among actors in resource control, skills, and strategies; the main focus is on capacities to mobilize power resources with which to manipulate the matrix of rules, conditions of interaction, and distribution of resources as well as normative or ideological orientations. Clearly, although an actor may have social power within an interaction situation or "game" , she may or may not have power to structure or restructure social relationships, to alter the "type of game" the actors play, or, in general, the rules and institutions governing exchanges among the actors involved. The capacity to establish, maintain, or transform social relationships and institutional relationships is precisely what is meant by meta-power.

Agential and Systemic Types of Meta-Power Much of the attention in applying the concept of meta-power has concerned agents exercising meta-power and relational controls, that is, the agential form. But institutional arrangements, socio-technical systems, and cultural formations also operate as types of structural controls, that is, exhibit a form of meta-power.

Agential meta-power Agential meta-power is observable whenever an elite or powerful group of agents shape particular structural conditions and institutional arrangements for other actors: to establish a constitution; to carry out substantial institutional reforms, to restructure an industry, to manipulate or transform interaction opportunities in key social areas. For instance, the state launches major infrastructure projects, regulates and protects workers vis-à-vis their employers (or the opposite), and, in general, regulates social interactions in, for instance, the economy or the polity. The processes in which meta-power researchers are most interested, concern powerful agents, for instance capitalist leaders, using their positions of structural power to mobilize resources in order to develop new systems of production, new products, new institutional arrangements, for instance, in the formation of economic globalization. The initiatives may come also from state agents, for example, to establish an infrastructure (airport, highway system, water system, electricity networks) or a regulatory agency; or, the initiative may come from a dominant political leader or party with a mandate to reform or transform social conditions. Such projects may define new relations, opportunities, or cognitive and normative frames This meta-power agenda has also encompassed Simmelian themes of "third parties" regulating relationships so as to foster cooperation, competition, and conflict was well as particular power and control relations; this form of regulation has been conceptualized in meta-power terms as relational control (Baumgartner et al, 1975). Meta-power was seen to be employed, on the one hand, to encourage cooperative interactions, or, on the other hand, to produce competition or conflict among actors (for instance through promoting or managing resources so as to shape a perception of scarcity of resources). The exercise of meta-power as an attempt to structure social relationships – the idea of relational control – may be used by social agents to ensure the effective functioning of an institutional arrangement, socio-technical system, or other social system as well as to promote or stabilize their advantages or dominance over social systems and their populations. This duality of meta-power utilization – the exercise of power in the interests of the group or community and/or in the interests of the power-wielders themselves points up one of the dilemmas in reforming meta-power relations and mechanisms in contemporary society.

Structural meta-power Structural forms of meta-power shape and constrain social agents' relationships, their opportunity and incentive structures. That is, the operation of institutions and institutional arrangements such as those of capitalism and the state apparatus entail organizational biases, that shape and reshape interaction opportunities, careers, income, status, limited power over others as well as constrain certain activities and developments in predictable ways. Rules, procedures, and programs generate and regulate patterns of social activities, their effects and developments. Institutional selectivity may operate, for instance, to change the frequency of certain activity patterns or to alter the distribution of resources (concentration and centralization, e.g. through ratchet effects), to determine the parameters of power, the forms and types of games actors play. A system like capitalism entails generative processes of meta-power (based on accumulative processes which provide the resource base (material, knowledge, social, political) combined with knowledge development to set in motion innovative economic, socio-technical, and governance developments. For instance, major new socio-technical systems, once established, operate as quasi-legislative bodies shaping and reshaping human conditions. The social structural concept of meta-power demonstrates how institutional arrangements based on rules and formats of control which organize attention, provide definition, encourage and/or limit sensitivity to rules or practices that either in real or perceived ways change the form of the institution and its relationship to its environment. Altheide (1995, ) provides a prime structural analysis of meta-power in the media. Beginning with an analysis of the media as a form and format of social control, Altheide develops the ongoing idea that relational control of institutional forms has the capacity to generate or limit resistance and dissent, subdue criticism, legitimate existing unequal power and exchange relationships, and change the manner in which human social life might be acted out and lived. Thus, meta-power analysis demonstrates that once developed and legitimated, systems of control have the capacity to shape and regulate human awareness, interactions including inter-relational power, and, in general, the conditions of human social life. In a similar vein, Hall and McGinty (2002) note how an existing policy context structures the policy process through a policy regime, the inclusion/exclusion of actors and the distribution of resources among them, a policy paradigm, the set of ideas and values legitimized for policy consideration, and a policy style, the accepted way to develop policy from and content. Thus policies are not created in a vacuum but rather in a context that conditions policy processes. While initially formulated as agentic meta-power the meso-level analysis has a built-in dialectic between conditions-action-consequences. Since there is an ongoing temporal and spatial orientation, analysts can begin at any point but must always be cognizant of the triumvirate. Those subordinated to meta-power in both its agential and social structural forms are not without some ability to deviate, negotiate, and/or resist. In this sense, control is never total because superordinates and institutions depend upon the readiness of weaker agents to accept structural conditions and to implement established norms and social relationships. There are always varying degrees of discretion and opportunity structures for deviation and resistance.

Conclusion What makes meta-power analytically useful is not simply the unique perspective that it provides on power relationships and the manner in which they are defined; other social theorists – most notably the post-structuralist thinkers and feminist scholars – have made similar arguments about the nature of social power: using "power" to accomplish desirable institutional change and the structural impacts of established power structures rather than stressing one actor's power over another (see encyclopedia entries on Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu for examples of this type of thinking). Where the conceptualization of meta-power differs is in its assumptions about the formation and reformation of social structure and social agents' dialectical relationship to these structural conditions. The earliest formulations of the meta-power concept were related to social system stability (morphostasis) and system transformation (morphogenesis) (Baumgartner et al, 1976). This highlighted the significance of meta-power as a capacity to manage long-term historical forces and to exercise control over large-scale social institutional conditions which constrain cultural and ideological productions and the emergence of new institutional forms.

In sum, the meta-power conceptualization encompasses an appreciation not only of elite control of institutional arrangements as well as social norms and values but institutional arrangements operating as meta-power mechanisms: control over the organizing of social relationships as well as the situational conditions of interaction; the establishment and destruction of many opportunity structures; and the definitions, motivations, and even beliefs and values that social actors embed in their interaction situations (Baumgartner et al, 1975; Hall,1997). The concept is applicable to a wide variety of phenomena of interest to sociologists and other social scientists.   References Altheide, David. 1995. An Ecology of Communication: Cultural Formats of Control. New York: Aldine. Baumgartner, Tom, Buckley, Walter, and Tom R. Burns. 1975 "Relational Control: The Human Structuring of Cooperation and Conflict." Journal of Conflict Resolution 19: 417-440. Baumgartner, Tom, Buckley, Walter, Burns, Tom R. and Peter Schuster. 1976. “Meta-Power and the Structuring of Social Hierarchies.“ Pp. 215-288 in T. Burns and W. Buckley, eds., Power and Control: Social Structures and Their Transformation. Beverly Hills, California: Sage. Beck, Ulrich. 2001. "Redefining Power in the Global Age: Eight Theses." Dissent 48 (4): 83-89. Burns, T. R., Baumgartner, T. and P. Deville 1985 Man, Decisions, Society London/New York: Gordon and Breach.

Caporaso, J.A. 1978 “Introduction" International Organization. Special Issue of International Organization on Dependence and Dependency in the Global System”, Vol. 32 (#1) pp. 1-12 Carson, M., T. R. Burns, D. Calvo (eds.) 2009 Public Policy Paradigms:Theory and Practice of Paradigms Shifts in the EU. Frankfurt/Berlin/Oxford: Peter Lang Hall, Peter M. 1997. “Meta-Power, Social Organization, and the Shaping of Social Action.” Symbolic Interaction 20: 397-418. Hall, Peter M. and Patrick J.W. McGinty. 2002. “Social Organization Across Space and Time: The Policy Process, Mesodomain Analysis, and Breadth of Perspective.” Pp. 303-322 in Sing C. Chew and J. David Knottnerus, eds., Structure, Culture, and History: Recent Issues in Social Theory. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Hall, Peter M. & McGinty, Patrick J. W. (1997) "Policy As The Transformation Of Intentions". The Sociological Quarterly 38: 439-467. Krasner, S.D. 1981 “Transforming International Regimes”, International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 25, no.1: 119-148 Parsons, T.1963 “On the concept of Political Power.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 107(3):232-262.
http://humanitieslab.stanford.edu/MAHB/138


actor system dynamics
http://www.eolss.net/Sample-Chapters/C02/E6-46-01-05.pdf

METAPOWER AND OTHER STRUCTURING POWERS
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=Meta-power+elite+theory&source=web&cd=13&ved=0CGgQFjAM&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww-old.soc.uu.se%2Fplugins%2Fpdfdownload.php%3Fid%3D365&ei=C5Q4UPvEGoTLsgaF04HoCQ&usg=AFQjCNEfHYgwO8Ujd098fHBkzbL9midpDw
Quote:CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION
Power and social control are typically conceptualized and investigated in terms of interpersonal or intergroup relationships in which one actor tries to get another to do something, usually against the latter's will (e.g., Blau, 1964, Dahl, 1967; Burns and Buckley, 1976; Burns et al, 1985; Petersson, 1989; Petersson et al, 1989; Weber, 1968). That is, power is on the level of interaction or relationships involving “situated contests between opposing actors” (Hall, 1997). The object of power is more or less direct behavioral control (see Volume VII)). Such an approach to the study of power captures only a part of the power activities of groups, organizations, and states.
A large, and historically more important part involves attempts to structure or re-structure the social and cultural matrix within which power activities are played out; such structuring may involve the manipulation of institutional arrangements, norms, and values. A given institutional or socio-cultural structure may be viewed as the macroscopic resultant of the application of power to determine permissable or acceptable activities and relationships of individuals and groups to one another and to resources or forms of property. We refer to the exercise of such meta-power as relational or structural control, that is control over social relationships and social structure, the structuring of interaction situations and conditions, for instance the opportunity structures of the actors, the payoff structures and incentive systems, the actors’ orientations, beliefs, and norms vis a vis one another (Baumgartner and Burns, 1975; Baumgartner, Burns and DeVille, 1975 (ISQ) , Baumgartner, Buckley, and Burns, 1975 (Social Science Information); Baumgartner et al, 1975 (JCR, Baumgartner, Buckley, and Burns), Baumgartner et al 1975 (Bulletin of Peace Proposals), 1976; 1977 (Alternatives), Burns and Buckley (1976), etc. etc., Chang, 2004; Adler and Haas, 1992; Hall, 1997; Himmelstrand et al, 1981; Hollist and Rosenau, 1981; Krasner, 1981; Russell et al, 2004, among others).
Although structural types of control have specific behavioral consequences and may be used as a means of behavioral control, the purpose of its exercise is generally the long-term structuring of social process and its outcomes: the individual and collective activities of those whose social relationships are structured. Structural control is used by social groups to ensure the effective functioning of a social system and/or to promote or stabilize their advantages or dominance over others. Among other things, it may be used to encourage cooperative social organization on the one hand, or to produce competition or conflict between actors on the other, and generally, to increase power in relation to others.1

Therefore, we take as a research task, preliminary to the eventual analysis of social order, the conceptualization and analysis of control activities in human groups that pertain to the regulation and maintenance of certain social relationships and institutional arrangements. For this purpose, we distinguish three bases of structural control with respect to such systems: control of action opportunities, control of differential payoffs or outcomes of interaction, and control of cultural orientations and ideology.
These three system properties are mutually interrelated and can probably be separated only analytically. In investigations of the exercise of meta-power, one is also interested in differences among actors in resources, skills, strategies, and so forth, but the main focus is on capacities to mobilize power resources to manipulate the matrix of rules, the conditions of interaction, and the distribution of resources as well as normative and ideological orientations. The ability to exercise structural control is a meta-power shaping and setting the limits of lower order power. Clearly, although an actor B may have social power within an interaction situation or "game" (e.g., greater ability than others to select a preferred outcome or to realize his will over the opposition of others within that social structural context (Dahl, Petersson, Weber), he may or may not have power to structure social relationships, to alter the "type of game" the actors play, the rules and institutions and conditions governing interactions or exchanges among the actors involved.
We distinguish the operation of meta-power on a systemic level from that of particular agents:
1. Structural meta-power shapes and constrains the social conditions of social agents, their interactions, their opportunities, and limitations. For instance, institutions and institutional arrangements such as those of capitalism and the state entail organizational bias (REF), that shapes opportunities, that provides careers, status, income, limited power over others as well as constrains certain activities and developments. Rules, procedures, and programs generate patterns of social activities, effects, and developments. Institutional selection may operate, for instance, to change the frequency of certain activity patterns or to alter the distribution of resources (concentration, and centralization, e.g. through ratchet effects), to determine the parameters of power, the forms and types of games actors play. A system like capitalism entails generative processes of meta-power (based on accumulative processes which provide the resource base (material, knowledge, social, political) combined with knowledge development to set in motion new economic and socio-technical developments.2 Major socio-technical systems, once established, operate as legislative bodies shaping and reshaping human conditions.
2. Agential meta-power where some agents shape particular social conditions and institutional context for other actors: to establish a constitution; to carry out substantial reforms, to restructure an industry, to regulate interactions. The state launches projects, protects workers, outlaws certain chemicals, supports (or blocks) the development of nuclear power, etc, and regulates societal interactions with the environment.

Among the processes and developments in which we are interested, some involve powerful agents, for instance capitalist leaders, mobilizing resources to develop new systems of production, new products, new institutional arrangements. The initiative may also come from a state agency to establish an infrastructure (airport, highway system, water system) or a regulatory agency; or, the initiative may come from an elected political leader or party. One or more agents is involved in mobilizing power resources for the purposes of launching a project(s), program(s), and institutional innovations. Such projects may be anticipated – or are experienced – by other agents as having negative impacts, or possibly positive consequences along with negative. Opposition may emerge and try to stop or modify the project(s). This is part of the dialectics of meta-power and social change, as illustrated in the following chapters.

Shaping of Socio-Economic Systems
http://books.google.com/books?id=TfHPoDb4XckC&pg=PA216&lpg=PA216&dq=Meta-power+elite+theory&source=bl&ots=Iwg3KGOAXT&sig=9cVAxV87oGRWmfFxwNwtXuDREX8&hl=en#v=onepage&q=Meta-power%20elite%20theory&f=false

The Shaping of Social Organization: Social Rule System Theory with Applications, by Tom R. Burns
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/sres.3850060210/abstract

One example of Meta-Power would be the creation of the highly structured international order of law and economics established by the post WW2 Liberal Idealists or "Institution Builders". Institutions such as the U.N. and the Bretton Woods system(IMF, World Bank, IBRD) established a new global order , an order which could only have been realized after the world had been brought to the brink by a major global crisis.

WHAT IS ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

"A planned change process, managed from the top, taking into account both the technical and human sides of the organization”
Attribution: http://www.citehr.com/14184-od-interventions.html#ixzz25e80IW00


Culture Creation specializes in organisational development. Creating a culture that will take your organisation successfully into the future
http://www.culturecreation.com.au/

Change management is an approach to shifting/transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state.
Mission changes,
Strategic changes,
Operational changes (including Structural changes),
Technological changes,
Changing the attitudes and behaviors of personnel
http://www.change-management.com/tutorial-change-process-detailed.htm

PERESTROIKA(literally translates as: RESTRUCTURING)

From modest beginnings at the Twenty-Seventh Party Congress in 1986, perestroika, Mikhail Gorbachev's program of economic, political, and social restructuring, became the catalyst for dismantling what had taken nearly three-quarters of a century to erect: the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist totalitarian state.
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/pere.html

Quote:“Leadership refers to the recognized or expected span of authority that a person has in his or her formal role. Meta-leaders…seek to influence and activate change well above and beyond established lines of their decision-making and control. These leaders are driven by a purpose broader than that prescribed by their formal roles, and are therefore motivated and capable of acting in ways that transcend usual organizational confines.” - Dr. Isaac Ashkenazi

Quote:Meta-leadership is an overarching leadership framework for strategically linking the efforts of different organizations or organizational units to “provide guidance, direction, and momentum across organizational lines that develop into a shared course of action and commonality of purpose among people and agencies that are doing what may appear to be very different work.” - Dr. Leonard J. Marcus

Quote:“As we have observed adoption of meta-leadership across complex public and private organizational systems and networks, we note three important advantages: 1)A conceptual framework and vocabulary that describes intentional networking and cohesion to connect the purposes and work of different or even disparate stakeholders; 2) A strategy of action designed to advance coordinated planning and activity; and 3) A purpose and rallying cry for both leaders and followers that inspires, guides, and instructs, setting a higher standard and expectation for performance and impact.” - Dr. Leonard J. Marcus

The initial phase of restructuring is crisis creation, meta-power is crucial in creating major crisis, or the perception of looming crisis, which in turn necessitates restructuring.

Quote:Disaster as opportunity

Marxists have often seen crisis as an opportunity that can create the conditions for revolution. However, crisis is not only a gift to the revolutionary forces, it can be used as a way to restructure society by others also. Fascists used economic crisis to catapult themselves to power. Now, it was time for the neoliberals:

“Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.” (p. 174)

Crisis situations are ones in which people are willing to experiment with new policies, are willing to accept radical solutions, both left and right, as necessary, even inevitable. Chicago School economists called this “the crisis hypothesis.” Not only did Chicago School economists create the policies to implement in times of crisis, but they participated in the generation of crisis themselves by closely collaborating with the imperialist militaries and their proxy dictatorships, but also by their role advising and working for transnational corporations and in the global financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF. Later, the “crisis hypothesis” would inform the U.S. military policy of “Shock and Awe” that was first advanced in the mid-1990s, but formed the basis of the military and economic strategy used against the people of Iraq in 2003. In the 1996 paper that articulated the concept. The paper states that an invading force should “seize control of the environment and paralyze or so overload an adversary’s perceptions and understanding of events so that the enemy would be incapable of resistance.” (p. 184) Disasters, be they a result of war, economy, or nature, are opportunities. An overwhelming crisis can be used to shove any radical reform on a people incapable of mounting resistance.
http://llco.org/the-shock-doctrine-by-naomi-klein/

Quote:Our Crisis Hypothesis

The degradation of many of Earth's subsystems which are necessary to support life has been well-documented. (See Links.) These are symptoms of the dysfunctioning of the global life support system as a result of past and current human behavior.

Considering these symptoms together, along with early indications of additional problems, we have found that the crisis is the result of world human consumption quadrupling every 35 years.

Empirical evidence of this can be shown in graphical form.

Specific problems which have been well-publicized include:

destruction of the ozone layer
massive species extinctions
global warming affecting both land and sea ecosystems
dwindling non-renewable energy resources
growing radioactive and toxic waste
acid rain
ground and fresh water depletion and pollution
ocean water pollution
top soil depletion and mineralization
deforestation
desertification
increase in landfills
air pollution
dwindling human food supply
http://ecocosmdynamics.org/ED/crisis.asp



Some of these problems are real and some are imagined. Of those that are real, most are being over-exaggerated. The remaining problems are not real problems at all but are in fact pure fiction created as propaganda to induce belief in the need for restructuring. Another possibility which occurred to me only recently is that many environmental problems have either been deliberately created, or, the more likely scenario, have been allowed to occur through lack of regulatory enforcement and deregulation as a gambit of ecological brinksmanship to force the public to capitulate and accept neo-feudalism. "Brinkmanship is the practice of pushing dangerous events to the verge of disaster in order to achieve the most advantageous outcome(restructuring)."

Quote:"Effective execution of Agenda 21 will require a profound
reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world
has ever experienced a major shift in the priorities of both
governments and individuals and an unprecedented
redeployment of human and financial resources. This shift
will demand that a concern for the environmental consequences
of every human action be integrated into individual and
collective decision-making at every level."
- UN Agenda 21


Is Ecological Brinkmanship Compromising Scientific Integrity?
Are ecology militants crying wolf when the wolf is still in the woods, not on the doorstep?


Quote:Crisis

The final explanation of the growth of government to be considered here is the Crisis Hypothesis. This maintains that under certain conditions national emergencies call forth extensions of governmental control over or outright replacement of the market economy. Supporters of the hypothesis assume that national emergencies markedly increase both the demand for and the supply of governmental controls. “At the time of economic crisis,” observed Calvin Hoover, “when critical extensions of governmental power are likely to occur … there is little opportunity for a meaningful vote on whether or not, as a matter of principle, the powers of the state should be extended. Instead, there is likely to be an insistent demand for emergency action of some sort and relatively little consideration of what the permanent effect will be.”43

In American history the most significant crises have taken two forms: war and business depression. At the outbreak of war a suddenly heightened demand for governmental provision of military activities leads immediately to displacement of market-directed resource allocation by greater taxation, governmental expenditure, and regulation of the remaining civilian economy. The larger and longer is the war, the greater is the suppression of the market economy. Modern “total” war, widely regarded as jeopardizing the nation’s very survival, also encourages a lowering of the sturdiest barriers—constitutional limitations and adverse public opinion—that normally obstruct the growth of government. In severe business depressions many people come to believe that the market economy can no longer function effectively and that an economy more comprehensively planned or regulated by government would operate more satisfactorily. Hence they give greater support to political proposals for enlarged governmental authority and activity. Though to a lesser degree than during wartime, changes in public opinion during depressions may also stimulate the supply of new governmental interventions by demanding, approving, or at least condoning facilitative reinterpretations of the Constitution. (Note that once constitutional barriers have been lowered during a crisis, a legal precedent has been established giving government greater potential for expansion in subsequent noncrisis periods, particularly those that can be plausibly described as crises.)

Some scholars have rejected the Crisis Hypothesis completely because by itself it cannot explain all of the growth of government; they have in effect rejected the hypothesis because the evidence appears to show that, although crisis may have been a sufficient condition for governmental expansion, it has not been a necessary condition. Judged by this standard, however, every existing hypothesis would be found wanting. Sometimes the Crisis Hypothesis has been rejected because the growth of government, as measured by a quantitative index such as spending or employment, appears less than perfectly correlated with the sequence of crisis episodes. Such a simpleminded basis for rejection of the hypothesis fails to appreciate the various ways in which crisis may promote the rise of government and ignores the possibility of lags between the occurrence of the crisis and the appearance of some of its effects. Some scholars have rejected the hypothesis because it cannot account for the growth of government in all countries, as if no explanation with less than universal validity has any pertinence at all.

In fact, governmental expansion historically has been highly concentrated in a few dramatic episodes, especially the world wars and the Great Depression. A major virtue of the Crisis Hypothesis, a virtue that it alone appears to possess, is that it conforms fairly well to the most prominent contours of the historical experience. To employ the hypothesis to best advantage, however, one must look beyond the crises themselves. One must discover why the expansions of governmental power during a crisis do not disappear completely when normal socioeconomic conditions return. And one must explain why crises led to upward-ratcheting governmental powers in the twentieth century but not in the nineteenth, which had its own emergencies. Accounting for this difference requires that some of the other hypotheses be brought into play as complements of the Crisis Hypothesis.
http://www.onpower.org/about_intro.html
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11-16-2012, 03:35 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-16-2012, 03:40 PM by ZeroCenter.)
#2
RE: Restructuring through Meta-Power
Interesting summary of the current power structures.

Meta (meaning mind) Power (false sense of entitlement)... hmmm...
EXTORTION SYSTEMS OF THE RULING ELITE http://web.archive.org/web/20110426040219/http://www.freedomfiles.org/extortion.pdf

As for me, the future is in the heart overcoming the mind. The contest is unfair because the mind (meta) is limited, while the heart is infinite. Making the victor a foregone conclusion... the "elite" will be transformed and/or left behind.

This is illustrated simply here:
Creating a Heart Based World - Martin - http://vimeo.com/47261611

* What if the solution is simple & free?: http://www.youtube.com/nv3p
* Choose Freedom & Be the Change: http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=36698
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01-01-2013, 10:29 AM,
#3
RE: Restructuring through Meta-Power
Metagovernance

"Metagovernance" is widely defined as the "governing of governing". It represents the established ethical principles, or 'norms', that shape and steer the entire governing process. It is important to note that there are no clearly defined settings within which metagoverning takes place, or particular persons who are responsible for it. While some believe metagoverning to be the role of the state who are assumed to want to steer actors in a particular direction, it can "potentially be exercised by any resourceful actor" who wishes to influence the governing process. Examples of this include the publishing of codes of conduct at the highest level of international government, and media focus on specific issues at the socio-cultural level. Despite their different sources, both seek to establish values in such a way that they become accepted 'norms'. The fact that 'norms' can be established at any level and can then be used to shape the governance process as whole, means metagovernance is part of the both the input and the output of the governing system.
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01-02-2013, 01:17 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-02-2013, 01:20 AM by macfadden.)
#4
RE: Restructuring through Meta-Power
(11-16-2012, 03:35 PM)ZeroCenter Wrote: Interesting summary of the current power structures.
Meta (meaning mind)

Just to clarify: 'meta' means "after, behind," 2. "changed, altered," 3. "higher, beyond;" from Gk. meta (prep.) "in the midst of, in common with, by means of, in pursuit or quest of". I believe you mean 'mente'.

(11-16-2012, 03:35 PM)ZeroCenter Wrote: Power (false sense of entitlement)

I don't think power can be accurately defined as a "false sense of entitlement". Political and sociological power is a fairly complex concept that requires some thought and study even for gaining a very rudimentary comprehension in the basics of the subject.
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01-02-2013, 05:11 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-02-2013, 05:14 AM by Watchdog.)
#5
RE: Restructuring through Meta-Power
In statistics we find "meta-analysis": a method focused on contrasting and combining results from different studies, in the hope (faith - data dredging) of identifying patterns among study results, sources of disagreement among those results, or other interesting relationships that may come to light in the context of multiple studies. I filed this one under: multiple correlations do not imply causation, no matter how numerous, shiny, or clever the methodology.

This thread is somewhat related to http://concen.org/forum/thread-48052-post-253798.html#pid253798, for which I'm still uncertain that the concept is really useful, or just another intellectual diversion, to distract us...
Paix, Amour et Lumiere
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01-23-2013, 09:23 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-23-2013, 09:24 AM by macfadden.)
#6
RE: Restructuring through Meta-Power
Quote:In the social sciences there is a standing debate over the primacy of structure or agency in shaping human behavior. Agency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. Structure is the recurrent patterned arrangements which influence or limit the choices and opportunities available. The debate can be contrasted with the "nature verses nurture" debate, which questions whether a person's physiology ("nature") or socialisation ("nurture") predominates in the formation of an individual's identity. In contrast, the structure versus agency debate may be understood as an issue of socialisation against autonomy in determining whether an individual acts as a free agent or in a manner dictated by social structure.


The debate over the primacy of structure or agency relates to an issue at the heart of both classical and contemporary sociological theory: the question of social ontology: "What is the social world made of?" "What is a cause of the social world, and what is an effect?" "Do social structures determine an individual's behaviour or does human agency?"

For functionalists such as Émile Durkheim, structure and hierarchy are essential in stabilising the very existence of society. Theorists such as Karl Marx, by contrast, emphasise that the social structure can act to the detriment of the majority of individuals in a society. In both these instances "structure" may refer to something both material (or "economic") and cultural (e.g. related to norms, customs, traditions and ideologies).

Some theorists put forward that what we know as our social existence is largely determined by the overall structure of society. The perceived agency of individuals can also mostly be explained by the operation of this structure. Theoretical systems aligned with this view include: structuralism, and some forms of functionalism and Marxism (all of which in this context can be seen as forms of holism -- the notion that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts"). In the reverse of the first position, other theorists stress the capacity of individual "agents" to construct and reconstruct their worlds. Theoretical systems aligned with this view include: methodological individualism, social phenomenology, interactionism and ethnomethodology.

Lastly, a third option, taken by many modern social theorists (Bourdieu, 1977, 1990), is to attempt to find a point of balance between the two previous positions. They see structure and agency as complementary forces - structure influences human behaviour, and humans are capable of changing the social structures they inhabit. Structuration is one prominent example of this view.

The first approach (emphasizing the importance of societal structure) was dominant in classical sociology. Theorists saw unique aspects of the social world that could not be explained simply by the sum of the individuals present. Émile Durkheim strongly believed that the collective had emergent properties of its own and that there was a need for a science which would deal with this emergence. The second approach (methodological individualism, etc.), however, also has a well-established position in social science. Many theorists still follow this course (e.g., economists are very prone to disregarding any kind of holism).

The central debate, therefore, is between theorists committed to the notions of methodological holism and those committed to methodological individualism. The first notion, methodological holism, is the idea that actors are socialised and embedded into social structures and institutions that constrain, or enable, and generally shape the individuals' dispositions towards, and capacities for, action, and that this social structure should be taken as primary and most significant. The second notion, methodological individualism, is the idea that actors are the central theoretical and ontological elements in social systems, and social structure is an epiphenomenon, a result and consequence of the actions and activities of interacting individuals.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structure_and_agency
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