Theories of Power, Poverty, and Law: In Commemoration of the Contributions of Peter Bachrach Conference Paper uri icon


  • A while ago we lost Peter Bachrach, one of the pre-eminent academic figures of the twentieth century. After he died on December 14, 2007, a group of his former students and colleagues gathered at the APSA annual meeting in Boston to celebrate his life and career. The audience included family members, academic grandchildren, and admirers of his work. The speakers' themes included power, poverty, activism, legal theory, and equality, and this symposium grew out of the panel. This range and variety of topics indicate the scope and depth of his impact. His 1962 APSR article, Two Faces of Power, co-authored with Morton Baratz, is the most frequently cited article in the history of the political science profession. Although I suspect this distinction would have amused Peter, terms like faces of power, nondecision, and deciding not to decide are familiar even to those who don't know Bachrach and Baratz's work on power (Bachrach and Baratz 1962, 1963). These writings taught scholars to listen for what is not said and look for what is not shown. That was a crucial lesson for feminist legal scholars like my classmate and fellow panelist, Elizabeth Schneider, and me. Copyright © 2010 American Political Science Association.

author list (cited authors)

  • Baer, J. A.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • January 2010