Power and ethics must at first sight seem strange bedfellows even in a book title. Power corrupts; ethics is designed to improve. Power constrains, enforces, overcomes; ethics liberates, at least in so far as it requires, and as it would therefore promote, the freedom of all those it attracts to its high ground. A book on power and ethics would be expected, then, to cover the wars between these opposing parties, and to plot if possible the victory of the latter over the former.
Not quite so.
The most obvious impression made by the first sight of these terms in tandem can yield, on a little further reflection, to prospects of more positive relationships. It is not altogether unusual to come upon the expressions in literature, or the experience in oneself, of images of desirable goodness for which the power to realise them seems somehow lacking. Then talk of a power for good becomes entirely natural, and, since goodness is that which ethics describes and, indeed, prescribes, power and ethics look more like allies when before this they had looked like natural enemies.
The nature of ethics is a later concern, the nature of power more immediate; and it must already be obvious from the few preceeding remarks that the broadest possible understanding must be sought, resisting the temptation to confine attention to stereotypes and to common impressions, however widespread these may appear to be, even in the higher literature on the subject.