Ottawa Guide for . . . To revert to the analogy of physics: power, like energy, must be regarded as continually passing from any one of its forms into any other, and it should be the business of social science to seek the laws of such transformations.1 50 thinking politics Power, for Russell, is defined as the capacity to produce intended effects. It is, in short, the ability to get what one wants. Figuring out how people get what they want, individually and collectively, is the job of social scientists. Ottawa Guide 2016.