Rationality and Power

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Rationality and Power
Rationality and Power (book).jpg
Author Bent Flyvbjerg
Country United States
Language English
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Publication date
Media type Print
ISBN 0-226-25451-8
OCLC 300447950
320.4489/5 21
LC Class JS6185.A53 F5913 1998

Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice is a 1998 book by Bent Flyvbjerg, who focuses on "the application of critical theory to urban and community development".[1] Flyvbjerg deploys a form of social science he developed in Making Social Science Matter (2001).


Flyvbjerg focuses on the study of how power influences rationality and democracy. He builds his theory and method based on power studies he observed in several people such as Machiavelli and Max Weber. He specifically highlights Machiavelli's power studies in Florence as a source of influence for the choice of in-depth case studies to understand the dynamics of power and how power enables and constrains rationality and rational government. Flyvbjerg also develops and identifies "ten propositions about rationality and power" that can be used when researching.[2]


Stewart Clegg states that the book "exemplifies in many ways what is distinctive about Flyvbjerg’s work, as densely textured, ethnographically detailed, and theoretically acute".[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Davidson, Heather; Evans, Scott; Ganote, Cynthia; Henrickson, Jorie; Jacobs-Priebe, Lynette; Jones, Diana; Prilleltensky, Isaac; Riemer, Manuel (2006). "Power and Action in Critical Theory Across Disciplines: Implications for Critical Community Psychology". American Journal of Community Psychology. 38 (1): 45. doi:10.1007/s10464-006-9061-4. 
  2. ^ Kirkeby, Inge Mette (20 March 2011). "Transferable knowledge: an interview with Bent Flyvbjerg". Architectural Research Quarterly. 15 (01): 13. doi:10.1017/s1359135511000315. 
  3. ^ Clegg, Stewart (2008). "Bent Flyvbjerg: power and project management – an appreciation". International Journal of Managing Projects in Business. 1 (3): 428–431. doi:10.1108/17538370810883855. Retrieved 15 November 2012.