Unit-1 Understanding The Political

The main objective of this unit is to understand the concept of ‘political’.

What is understood by politics as a vocation?

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Learning Pundits Content Team

Written on Apr 16, 2019 5:20:34 PM

The point brings us back to Weber and his already quoted lecture, ‘Politics as a Vocation’. After arguing that politics is concerned above all with the central political association, the state. Weber continued by maintaining that a definition of the state could not be given in terms of the tasks which it undertakes or of the ends it pursues. There was no task, which specifically determined the state. Therefore, one had to define the state in terms of the specific means, which it employed, and these means were, ultimately, physical force. The state, Weber wrote, ‘is a human community that successfully claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory’. There are three distinct elements combined here: a given territory, or geographical area, which the state controls; the use of physical force to maintain its control. Thirdly, but most important, the monopoly of the legitimate use of such force or coercion. This legitimacy must be acknowledged by most, if not all, of those who are subject to the state’s power. Weber concluded that for him politics meant ‘striving to share power or striving to influence the distribution of power either among states or among groups within a state.’

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