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What is power? Power is the ability to influence others through the use of threats, sanctions or manipulation. That power is legitimate and is called authority whereas the authority is defined as rightful power

  • Essay length: 612 words
  • Submitted: 09/11/2011
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AS and A Level Political Philosophy

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What is power?

Power is the ability to influence others through the use of threats, sanctions or manipulation. That power is legitimate and is called authority whereas the authority is defined as rightful power.

About power talks Mark Weber, a 19th century German sociologist who proposed a theory of authority that included three types. The first one, called as a Traditional Authority, is legitimated by the sanctity of tradition. Moreover, it's expected to be obedience and loyal on the grounds that established customs and traditions demand it. The second type - Charismatic Authority - talks about that people are drawn to follow the leader because of the qualities they believe he, or she, has. Weber saw a charismatic leader as the head of community. Rational- Legal Authority (which is the last type) depends upon a formal set of rules (which gives those who hold authority the right to direct and command others and to take decisions on their behalf).

Another ideologist of this term is Niccolo Machiavelli - the Italian political philosopher - who wrote an essay "The Prince". In his work he examined "mechanic of power" and rejected ideas about political authority. He argued that the

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