Power, Authority and Legitimacy

Topics: Max Weber, Authority, Prime minister Pages: 2 (617 words) Published: October 25, 2012
Power and Authority, Legitimacy
By Stacey Ellis
The idea of Authority is to look at two other concepts that give authority its meaning, such as power and if that is legitimate. In order to have Authority over something or someone you must have its power and how it is able to influence the person this can be used through manipulation or threats towards them, but the power that has a legitimate purpose is if the threats and manipulation is not needed. If you have a government and they are ruling a country, you are bound to have the people agreeing and following their new rules and legislations but obviously not everyone is going to want to and have a negative feeling towards the regulations. But as they are following and doing what they are told this is because they accept this power and authority of the government to be legitimate and with this the government have their authority. The German sociologist Max Weber who expanded the idea of how a society can run had distinguished three different types of authority which are Traditional authority and domination, Charismatic authority and Rational-legal authority. Traditional authority meaning belief being founded customs and traditions and the authority such a monarchy with a line of heirs can then go on to anticipate their rules and such to be obeyed by the countries people. Charismatic Authority is mostly depending on what the people think of a certain leader such as do they have a likeable and an attitude to be able to lead, take for example Winston Churchill, Hitler and so on. Rational-legal authority is where you will have a democratic government and they have the rational-legal authority through the ballot box/voting. If the authority has the power this can give them the power to make people do what they want even if the people don’t agree or wish to take part. This is where they have the power to influence and control, but this can be enforced through manipulations and threatening but if the people...
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