power structure

the system of authority or influence in government, politics, education, etc.: The state elections threatened to upset the existing power structure.
the people who participate in such a system: She hoped to become a part of the power structure.


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World English Dictionary
power structure
1.  the structure or distribution of power and authority in a community
2.  the people and groups who are part of such a structure

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
But the rural power structure has changed little since commune days.
How benign and kind the regime is depends on where one stands in the power
Some observers speculate that as the civilian power structure weakens, the army
  will play a larger role.
Still, certain truths have emerged with some clarity from the enduring opacity
  of the country's revolutionary power structure.
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