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18 Feb 2011
New topic: politics
Power one of the most important concepts, it means different things to different people
(explained below)
Coercion making people do things even if they disagree with you
Government directs political life of society
Legitimacy Max Weber
Power can become legitimized
When it does get legitimized, we call it authority
Institutionized power, morally correct, when norms govern society
Elections allow peaceful transfer of power from one party to another
Democracy is never fully transparent and open
Legitimacy is efficient. Power = authority
Gestapo secret police
Most society like to achieve legitimacy
How does power get transferred into authority?
In human history, we always needed some form of legitimacy
Traditional authority most people accepted the power the rulers had
Pre-modern, preindustrial, power transferred within one family
Traditional authority chain is approved by god, which gives it legitimacy (god > king
> nobles > peasants)
In order to legitimize their power, rulers looked to God as well. Divine Right to
In modern time, kings and queens are long standing custom figures
Time out of mind: it has been going on for so long, that it gives itself legitimacy
Diversity: globalization, mixing of cultural and racial groups
Traditional authority breaks down and leads to legal-rational authority
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