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This course examines the central issue of how power is distributed between the state and society, how it is institutionalised and how it is exercised. It examines competing definitions of power and then applies theories of power to contemporary Ireland. These include pluralist, Marxist, radical, corporatist, totalitarian and feminist theories of power as well as theories of citizenship, participative democracy and social capital. In exploring the interdependent relationship between the state and society it examines various arguments for the state and/or society to have a more minor or more central role in modern societies and economies. A key theme is the relationship between power and wealth inequalities and who benefits from political decisions. We also examine how the state society relations have been impacted by globalization.