Political Concepts of Power and Authority201045233529

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					Political Concepts of
Power and Authority

To investigate and understand the political
concepts of power and authority.
          What is Power?

Political power, is the ability to make and
carry out decisions, is dependent on
certain sources of power.
The exercise of power therefore involves
such processes as force, coercion,
manipulation, bargaining or persuasion.
       What is Authority?
Authority suggests consent and legitimacy.
Power suggests force violence and a lack
of consent.
It is useful to remember the phrase:
“Authority is legitimate power”.
What makes authority legitimate?

According to Max Weber (Sociologist) people
give their consent to the rule of three different
types of authority:



           Legal Rational
     Charismatic Authority
People consent o be ruled by people with
special human qualities.
Such qualities inspire loyalty and
Examples throughout history include:
      Traditional Authority
Some people accept the power and rule of
others because there is a long standing
tradition of things being like that.
The British Royal family could be said to
have traditional authority.
Similarly a society that venerates age
(where elders rule) often does so on the
grounds of tradition.
    Rational Legal Authority
In modern societies authority is made
legitimate by the acceptance of an
established set of sensible rules, laws and
procedures by the majority of the
For example the authority of Parliament
and the Prime Minster.
          Real Authority
Most people and organizations in authority
have elements of all three of Max Weber’s
different types of authority.

Why do we obey traffic lights?
The End