There have been various attempts so far in grasping the phenomenon of power in sociology. However, many attempts so far still have many problems in terms of conceptualization of power. In other words, the concept of power continues as an ‘essentially controversial concept’ in the sense that the discussion on the criteria for the correct use of the concept has not ended. So why is this happening? One big reason is that the individual attributes and the collective attributes that first arise from the accumulation of several individuals are not separated and confused in the process of conceptualizing power phenomena, it is impossible to determine which social phenomena specifically perceived as power phenomena by each power theory. Therefore, in order to determine the power phenomenon, a standard for that decision is necessary. This criterion is insufficient just to conceptualize as an individual attribute or to conceptualize as a collective attribute. Once we have separated individual and collective attributes, we need to relate them to create a decision criterion. So, how do we understand power while studying law? The word ‘power’ appears only once in Article 1, Paragraph 2 of Korean Constitution. It is not known for what reason, but studies that have discussed the concept of power in law are quite rare. The impression that it has been put off by the realm of politics cannot be erased. Therefore, the necessity of actively developing the discussion of the concept of power in legal study was raised. In addition to reviewing the theory of power by Steven Lukes and Niklas Luhmann, the point in this article is about Carl Joachim Friedrich’s ‘concept of substance’ and ‘concept of relation’ in order to faithfully review the theory of power. It is indispensable to miss a review of those dogma. In this paper, while evaluating the extremes reached in previous studies, I will try to discuss the possibility of developing the intellectual heritage behind them, focusing on the two discussions, Lukes and Luhmann. Although the theory of power between the two is worthy of review and at the same time a convergence point and a “reach point” of two different concepts, there have been no academic attempts to compare the two so far. Since the power theory of both sides has a different structure, a comparison will clarify the general aspects of the same problem of power phenomenon.
The explanation of power is still insufficient, but for the first time, the directly related parts in this article mainly reviewed what was discussed by Bachrach and Baratz. In understanding the nature of power, pluralism is concerned with how power is actually exercised. For pluralists, power appears as a result of participation in decision making, and therefore, it was thought that the researcher could scrutinize precisely after making a specific decision. In addition, it was decided to find an answer to the problem raised in this paper through a review of “Power and Society,” the culmination of Lasswell’s theory of power.
Lukes and Luhmann’s discussion contained a number of issues as a theory of power. In the case of Lukes, he was discussing the power to “distort” the individual preferences of the actors without theorizing the “real interests” in the three-dimensional view. In the case of Luhmann, since the sharing of the code of power is returned to the ability of a symbol, it ignores the difference between multiple actors and easily takes the logic that the code is consistently shared between multiple actors. The problem facing the two people can be formulated as a problem that the whole theory of power has. It is a problem in which the decision of the power phenomenon cannot be reduced to an individual attribute or a collective attribute. The full reduction to personal attributes requires a criterion of judgment beyond the individuality of the actor because it tries to leave the sympathy of the power phenomenon thoroughly to the subjective judgment of the parties. The inability to present that standard makes it possible, so to speak, “fantastic power.” I had doubts about what Lasswell understood as a relational conception from an early age because Lasswell considers not only power and wealth, but also respect and affection. However, I agree with Lasswell’s argument that his concept of power is the concept of relations as Friedrich calls it.