Forms of AuthorityAppelbaum and Chambliss (248:1997) begin their discussion of political sociology with some material drawn from Max Weber on the relationship between power and authority. Remember, power is the ability to achieve one's will despite resistance from others. Weber was initially concerned with legitimate authority. This is a type of power that isexercised over people who see that exercise of power as legitimate.There are three types of state power and authority. Traditional AuthorityFor much of human history, the state relied on traditional authority. Traditional authorityis power based on a belief in the sanctity of long-standing traditions and the legitimateright of rulers to exercise authority in accordance with these traditions. Rulers rule because of "age-old" norms and values. The followers agree that these norms and values and important. Often the tradition is based on religious doctrine. Traditional authority is conservative and tends to be stable. Monarchies are good examples (Appelbaum and Chambliss, 248:1997).
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