Authority is that power which is exercised legitimately. All powers cannot be legitimate. Authority and legitimacy both depend on values, beliefs and attitude of the masses. Example of Authority: A robber who forces bank manager to handover cash on a gunpoint is not exercising “authority”. But when a police officer is controlling traffic and can use the threat of a fine or jail sentence, he is exercising authority. It is an investment in a legitimate form of power, it is profitable or productive. In English the root of authority is "author"; the connotation is that authority involves something productive. Authority is then a special type of power which is believed to be rightful and proper. Max Weber’s views on Authority:
Weber had divided legitimacy into three types:
The first type of authority is Traditional authority which is derived from the long established traditions and customs. In this authority the power is passed on from the last generation to the next and the process continues. For example: The Tudor dynasty in England and the ruling families of Mewar, in Rajasthan, India. The second form of authority is Charismatic authority. In this authority the Charisma of individual plays the important role. Here the legitimacy rests on the personal heroic quality of ruler. The leader here is considered to be extraordinary and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities. These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person and on the basis of them the individual concerned is treated as a "leader." For example: NT Rama Rao who became one of the most power full chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, India. The third type of authority is Legality which depends on its formal rules and established laws of the state, which are normally written down and often very complicated. The power of the legal authority is mentioned in the constitution on...
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