The formal state, in its dictatorial or belligerent mutation, represents power at its
crudest – African nations, caught in an unending spiral of dictatorships and civil wars,
are only too familiar with this exegesis of power. Equally familiar, to many, are the
daylight or night- time shock troops of state, storming the homes and offi ces of dissidents
of a political order, carting away their victims in total contempt of open or
hidden resentment. …
(Source: Climate of Fear by Wole Soyinka, Profi le Books, 2004)
Source: p 181, Mastering the National Admissions Test for Law, Mark Shepherd
The linked definition refers to a text, so how does this use make sense?
Maybe what they meant is “this reading of power”, “this way to understand what power is”, “this way to define what (state) power is”.
That is, some governments see state power as equal to power wielded within the bounds of law, but other goverments see state power as equal to power to act in any way possible way in order to maintain state domination.
The word exegesis often refers to the process of interpreting something, but here, the word is used in the sense of “the product of exegesis” or “the exegetical view on something”.
Thus, we can say, for example, that Louis XIV‘s exegesis of state was “L’État, c’est moi” (“I am the state”).