Weber 's Theory Of Authority

3354 Words Oct 21st, 2014 14 Pages
The purpose of this essay is to analyse Weber’s theory of authority and power in order to establish its role in the modern contemporary world today. Weber, in his most acclaimed writings, discusses his three ideal types of authority being outlined as traditional, charismatic and rational-legal authority. He believes that in order for any political leader or political establishment to hold legitimate authority over its peoples, they must have either one of these types of authority. All of these types of power and authority can be referred to in some way in today’s contemporary world using examples of differing political leaders and systems. However, Weber’s writings were conducted in 1922 and may be considered as out-dated, and not as relevant as they were at his time of writing. Also, many dispute that Weber’s types of authority were perhaps not entirely relatable and Martin Spencer, like many other critics of Weber’s work in fact argue that there should have been four types of authority. Hence why these issues must be discussed in order to conclude whether Weber’s ideal types of authority are representative of political leaders and governments, and whether or not they can be associated with the contemporary world we live in today.

Max Weber introduced his three types of authority in an essay which was first published in 1922 in German, and was later published in 1958 in English. Weber believes that many systems can consider themselves as holding legitimate authority, yet…
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