• Politics is the social institution that distributes power, sets a society’s goals, and makes decisions • Government is a formal organization that directs the political life of a society Max Weber’s Transformation of Legitimate Authority in 3 ways 1. Traditional Authority
• Power legitimized by respect for long-established cultural patterns (pre-industrial societies) • Declines as societies industrialize
• Also a source of strength for patriarchy (the domination of women by men) 2. Rational Legal Authority
• (sometimes called bureaucratic authority) Power legitimized by legally enacted rules and regulations • Power legitimized in the operation of lawful government • Bureaucracy is the type of organization that dominates in rational-thinking, modern societies • The same rational worldview that promotes bureaucracy also erodes traditional customs and practices • Rationally enacted rules also guide the use of power in everyday life • Comes not from family background but from a position in government organization 3. Charismatic Authority
• Power legitimized by extraordinary personal abilities that inspire devotion and obedience • Depends less on a person’s ancestry or office and more on personality • Charismatic leaders often make their own rules and challenge the status quo • Because charismatic authority flows from a single individual, the leader’s death creates a crisis • Survival of a charismatic movement requires the routinization of charisma, the transformation of charismatic authority into some combination of traditional and bureaucratic authority 4 Categories of Political Systems
• “one ruler” (Latin/Greek)
• a political system in which a single family rules from generation to generation. • Commonly found in the ancient agrarian societies
• During the Middle Ages, absolute monarchs in much of the world claimed a monopoly of power based on divine right. • Today, claims of divine right are rare, although monarchs in a number of nations— including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Oman—still exercise almost absolute control over their people. • With industrialization, however, monarchs gradually pass from the scene in favor of elected officials. • All the European nations with royal families today are constitutional monarchies, meaning that their monarchs are little more than symbolic heads of state; actual governing is the responsibility of elected officials • constitutional monarchies are led by a prime minister and guided by a constitution. 2. Democracy
• a political system that gives power to the people as a whole. • representative democracy - puts authority in the hands of leaders chosen by the people in elections. • a political system that gives power to the people as a whole. • Most high-income countries of the world, including those that still have royal families, claim to be democratic. • Industrialization and democratic government go together because both require a literate populace. • With industrialization, the legitimization of power in a tradition-based monarchy gives way to rational-legal authority. • //Thus democracy and rational-legal authority go together, just like monarchy and traditional authority. • But high-income countries such as the United States are not truly democratic for two reasons: 1) There is the problem of bureaucracy.
2) Economic Inequality.
-The rich people have far more political power than poor people. • Still, democratic nations do provide many rights and freedoms. 3. Authoritarianism
• Political system that denies the people from participation in government. – Ex. Saudi Arabia and Oman (absolute monarchy), Ethiopia (military junta) 4. Totalitarianism
• Political system that is highly centralized which extensively regulates people’s lives. •...