Power, Domination, Legitimation, and Authority

What is worth noting is that the idea of legitimate authority as aright to rule in the strong sense described above does describe a kindof ideal of political community. The idea of legitimate authority as aright to rule to which citizens owe obedience gives each citizen amoral duty to obey, which it owes to the authority. So this form oflegitimacy is grounded in a moral relationship between the parties thatgoes beyond the fact that they are fellow human beings. Theestablishment of a robust right to rule depends on the fact that eachcitizen rightly takes as a reason for obedience that it has a moralduty owed to the authority. Since a legitimate political authority witha right to rule is predicated on the fact that citizens have moralreasons grounded in the right to rule to obey it, the right to ruleengages citizens at a deep moral level. The exercise of political poweris founded in a moral relationship between moral persons thatrecognizes and affirms the moral personality of each citizen.

Power, authority and legitimacy. - Valid Essays

Weber considers charisma to be a driving and creative force which surges through traditional authority and established rules. The sole basis of charismatic authority is the recognition or acceptance of the claims of the leader by the followers. While it is irrational, in that it is not calculable or systematic, it can be revolutionary, breaking traditional rule and can even challenge legal authority. (Giddens, pp. 160-161). A particular leader may have unusual characteristics that make him or her a leader. This may relate to a special gift of a leader, a particular style of speaking and acting, or extraordinary qualities. Ritzer notes "Although Weber did not deny that a charismatic leader may have outstanding characteristics, his sense of charisma was more dependent on the group of disciples and the way that they the charismatic leader. To put Weber's position bluntly, if the disciples define a leader as charismatic, then he or she is likely to be a charismatic leader irrespective of whether he or she actually possesses any outstanding traits" (Ritzer, p. 134). Examples of charismatic leaders in recent Canadian history include Diefenbaker, Trudeau and Levesque. Cult leaders such as David Koresh or Jim Jones are examples on a smaller scale. While we ordinarily consider the charismatic leader as the one that is unusual, there are many people with unusual characteristics. What is more relevant is why people in accord special status or honour to one person or type of person. To the extent that followers are willing to accord the leader such status, the leader has power to pursue his or her own ends. The last paragraph of this quote shows how the charismatic form of domination may be revolutionary in nature, challenging traditional authority and perhaps legal authority and rationality as well. Charismatic authority can easily degenerate into traditional authority, or personal or patrimonial rule, whereby the power is exercised by those who surround the charismatic leader, but purely in an interest to maintain that power. But if a charismatic leader originally claims that traditional forms of authority are to be disregarded, this is a revolutionary claim.Ritzer comments that "authority legitimized by rests on the devotion of followers to the exceptional sanctity, heroism, or exemplary character of leaders as well as on the normative order sanctioned by them. All of these modes of legitimizing authority clearly imply individual actors, thought processes (beliefs), and actions." (Ritzer, p. 115, 2nd edition). While these forms of authority may seem much less solidly based than economic power, rationality or legality, or the use of physical force or coercion, they are no less real as a source of power. Charisma has shortcomings as a long term source of authority, but it can be quite effective during the lifetime of the charismatic leader. If it is to be continued, it has to be transformed into a traditional or legal form of authority. In addition, it may be exercised in an irrational manner, preventing the development of more rational forms, especially those leading to capitalism. There is also a possibility that administration of charismatic authority leads to the development of legal and rational authority. c. Legal or Rational Authority. This is authority or legitimate domination resting on "rational grounds – resting on a belief in the legality of enacted rules and the right of those elevated to authority under such rules to issues commands" (Weber, p. 215).

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Power, authority and legitimacy. – A Research Paper

Despite its auspicious start, however, the National Labor Board's authority and prestige were diminished in late 1933 by the lack of a legal underpinning and enforcement powers to overcome opposition by the large industrial employers organized into the Special Conference Committee, NAM, and strong trade associations, all of which refused to accept the board's decisions.In October, for example, several companies declined to appear at its hearings, and on November 1 the NAM launched a vigorous public attack on the legitimacy of the board itself.