It is fairly clear when reading Mattingly’s article on the landscape of Northern Africa that the power is organized in a very top down fashion. Put simply those in Rome who held power were able to decide what to do with the vast swaths of land in Africa. These senators and eventually emperors had a vested interest in the African landscape as well. This is mostly due to the fact that it was not uncommon for senators and other leaders of note within Rome to have some kind of estate or palace in the rich continent. This having of estates lead to members of the Roman political establishment to carefully pick the governor of the region as someone who would be able to maintain control and the status quo that they had created for themselves and their upper class Roman brethren
With reference to Mann and his socio-spatial considerations power was a for the most part very centralized so that the Romans could really do what they wanted to with the region as a whole. They put a governor in place to oversee the day to day running of the area but the governor was always a Roman themselves. The Romans had conquered the region of North Africa in various campaigns and had brought it into the fold of their empire. This combined with the interests of the upper classes in Rome meant that certain political leaders could exercise a large amount of control over the region from the comfort of their Italian home. However there were those within North Africa that had a certain amount of power of their own. Mainly whoever was appointed governor. Though the governor lived within North Africa one could argue that he was simply the instrument that the centralized Roman government used to carry out their desires for the area.
The Romans were able to enforce this unfair social dynamic on the local people in Northern Africa because of the M part of the IEMP model. The region had been conquered militarily by the Romans and they were able to take advantage of that. Referring back to Mann again, the power within the region was far more intensive than it was extensive. This is because it does not appear in Mattingly’s article that the people were tightly controlled or completely under the thumb of the Romans back in Rome. They were allowed to continue living in the same place but their local leader answered to the Roman governor. The strange part is that the social power had a collective aspect to it. Instead of getting slaves to work the fields for them. Roman nobles would use sharecropping with the natives. They would work the land and get a percentage of what they managed to grow and in exchange the Roman senator would not have to maintain and feed a ton of slaves. It was quite a good system.
Overall the Romans definitely held the lions share of the power after they had managed to conquer Northern Africa. The elite used this power to their advantage but they did put certain systems in place that offered new opportunities for farmers in Northern Africa and they did not push the amount of power that they had to its limit. Things could always have been better and they could have been worse.The military advantage that the Romans held made sure that their rule would not be questioned easily. But for the most part the power was centralized and that was how it was going to stay until the Roman Empire fell centuries later.
Mattingly, David J., ed. Dialogues in Roman Imperialism: Power, discourse, and discrepant experience in the Roman Empire. JRA, 1997.
Mann, Michael. “The Sources of Social Power, Vol. I: A History of Power from the Beginning to 1760 AD.” (1986).