Democracy and legitimacy - Legitimacy and political stability - Legitimizing power

9 important questions on Democracy and legitimacy - Legitimacy and political stability - Legitimizing power

What are the three types of legitimacy that Max Weber identified and what do they mean?

1) Traditional = it always existed
2) Charismatic = because of the persons personality
3) Legal-rational = links to a clearly and legally defined set of rules

What are the systems of domination (Weber)?

Identifies in each case the basis on which legitimacy was established.
Three ideal types to make sense of the nature of political rule:
- Traditional authority
- Charismatic authority
- Legal-rational authority

Why is traditional authority regarded as legitimate?

Because it has always existed. Earlier generations have accepted it.
Fixed and unquestioned customs.

In tribes or small groups in the form of patriarchalism (domination of the father) and gerontacracy (rule of the aged).

( Constitutional form helps to shape political culture by keeping alive values).

Why is charismatic authority regarded as legitimate domination?

Based on the power of an individual's personality. Operates entirely through the capacity of a leader to make a direct and personal appeal to followers as a kind of hero or saint.
(Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, Castro etc.)

What are the two consequences when you have charismatic authority?

It mostly can't outlive its founding figure and it often has no limits

What are two consequences of charismatic authority?

- It is not based on formal rules or procedures, so it often has no limits.
- It is difficult for a system of personal rule to outlive its founding figure, as the system is so closely linked to him/her.

Which conditions of legitimate power did Beetham put up?

Power must be exercised according to established rules, the rules must be shared beliefs of the government and the governed and there must be an expression of consent.

Why is legal-rational authority regarded as legitimate?

It links authority to a clearly and legally defined set of rules. It constrains , and it is attached to an office, not a person. This is why it is far less likely to be abused or to give rise to injustice.

Downside: more depersonalized and inhuman social environment.

What are the three conditions that need to be fulfilled according to Beetham for power to be legitimate?

1. Power must be exercised according to established rules.
2. These rules must be justified in terms of the shared beliefs of the government and the governed.
3. Legitimacy must be demonstrated by an expression of consent on the part of the governed.

Two key features of the legitimation process:
- Existence of elections and party competition (system through which popular consent can be exercised).
- The existence of constitutional rules that broadly reflect how people feel they should be governed.

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