Topics: Max Weber, Authority, Charismatic authority Pages: 2 (397 words) Published: March 19, 2013


Legitimacy the degree of acceptance which the political regime enjoys over its community. Thus according to Max Weber a political regime is legitimate when it influences it’s participants to have the willingness to obey its commands (Weber, 1964: 382). Thus Weber illustrated these using ideal concepts, namely traditional, charismatic and legal-rational authority.

Traditional authority, when a regime basis its legitimacy on tradition or customs, thus the regime influences its participants to regard traditional authority as legitimate because it has always existed (Heywood, 2002: 220). According to Weber “traditional authority is based on belief in the sanctity of tradition of the internal yesteryear” (Fabienne, 2010). Thus the ability and the rightfulness to rule are passed through heredity. The community has to obey because this type of authority is governed by a set of rules, which reflect how things have always been done in the past (Heywood, 2002: 220). Thus no one has a right to question the rules.

Charismatic authorities, according to Weber charismatic leaders gain their authority because they inspire or are seen as a superhuman in their communities (Weber, 1964: 478). Weber further states that charismatic is not a special trait, but rather a relationship between the leader and its followers (Fabienne, 2010). Weber regards this type of legitimacy as important when exercising traditional authority because followers need to be charmed (Heywood, 2002: 221). Individuals just need to submit and obey because the rules cannot be proven false and their reliable.

Legal-rational authority, type of leadership in which the rules are legally set or established contractually (Weber, 1964: 402). Weber states that the right to exercise power is from the members of the community who create the positions of authority, thus this legitimacy advantageous relative to...
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