Unit-1 Understanding The Political

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

What is legitimation? What are Max Weber’s views on it?

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Learning Pundits Content Team

Written on Apr 16, 2019 5:21:40 PM

According to Weber, there are three types of legitimation, i.e. three methods by which the wielding of power can be justified. The first type pertains to traditional domination. There, power is justified because the holders of power can appeal to tradition and habit; authority has always been vested in them personally or in their families. The second type is charismatic legitimation. People obey the power-holder because of the exceptional personal qualities displayed by the leader. Finally, the third type is of the legal-rational kind. People obey certain persons who are authorised by specific rules to command in strictly defined spheres of action. One might also say that the first two types are of a personal nature, while the legal-rational type shows a procedural character. As such it corresponds to the modern conception of political authority. It is, as Weber says, ‘domination as exercised by the modern “servant of the state” and by all those bearers of power who in this respect resemble him.’ It is obvious that the power-holders in any system will wish to have their power accepted as legitimate. Seen from their point of view, such an acceptance will permit a considerable ‘economy’ in the use of force.

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