• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine Whether or not Power is the Same as Authority.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Matthew Watson Examine Whether or not Power is the Same as Authority. A simple definition of power could be the ability both to demand that people do something, and to say how a thing should be done or organised. Authority, however, is where power is granted by consent; and when an individual or committee is said to have authority, the reason that justifies this authority is known as legitimacy. The term "power struggle" implies that one side has used power over another to determine the outcome in their favour. This also leads to the suggestion that power can involve the use of coercion either by diplomatic, financial means or by force. The difference between power and authority lies with legitimacy. Authority by its very definition means 'legitimate power' and according to Jouvenel those who are subject to authority accept it voluntarily without coercion or the threat of brute force. The line between power and authority lies without the rules which secure it. For example a Governments authority is said to be legitimate because it is given the right to rule by the electorate, it then has the obligation to follow the explicit legal rules of Government and the conventions of the parliamentary process. ...read more.

Middle

Although traditional authority may be associated with pre - modern societies due to the undemocratic nature, Britain and many other countries have the tradition of a hereditary monarchy, which demands that a new monarch commands as much obedience and loyalty as the previous monarch commanded. The last type of authority defined by the functionalist is rational-legal authority. This authority is based on rational grounds and anchored in impersonal rules that have been legally enacted or contractually established, and is has increasingly come to characterise hierarchical relations in modern society. Rational - legal authority depends upon a formal set of rules that give those who hold authority the right to command others. In politics, the Government has rational - legal authority as the electorate votes for which MP and party they want to form the Government in a democratic fashion. Governments authority is checked in Britain by such conventions as Judicial Review for example the case of Jack Straw where he withheld the medial reports of General Pinochet. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example in the midst of a riot the police have the authority to act but are powerless against a mob. Also, John Major was said to have lost many votes in cabinet and was unable to enforce his authority even though he still had authority as Prime Minister. He was viewed as a weak Prime Minister in comparison to Margaret Thatcher who always asserted her authority. In conclusion power implies the ability to enforce will where authority implies legitimacy and the consent to exercise power in the form of parliament being able to "make or unmake any law". The source of authority are rules which confer legitimacy therefore the 'peace process' in northern Ireland is creating such rules by which legitimate authority can be created in the province. Power can also give rise to authority if the body exerting the power becomes universally recognized and accepted. With power being a constituent factor in authority without it authority would decline. Power then without authority, without the legitimate right to rule and without consent can give rise to tension, civil war for example Afghanistan and to a lesser degree Pakistan. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. What is the difference between Power and Authority?

    In modern democratic societies the Legal-Rational authority is present. It is controlled by the constitution, the power map which rules those who rules us. Electoral reform would be a change to the constitution. The population elects leaders, so a democratic government has authority.

  2. It is not enough for governments to have power, they must also have authority

    There are differences in the types of authority however. In a democratic country, authority is found within the constitution that gives legality to the law. However, in the Islamic republic, authority has a far greater bearing on religion and expresses the divine will of the Koran.

  1. Devolution, is the granting of power by a superior authority to a minor authority. ...

    In September 1997, the Scottish referendum voted 74 per cent to 26 per cent (on a 60 per cent turnout) in favour of a Scottish Parliament, and, by a lesser majority, for such a parliament to have tax-raising powers. A week later, Wales narrowly voted (on a 50 per cent turnout)

  2. Critically examine how Mahatma Gandhi used the concept of non-violence as a practical tool ...

    financial crises propelled the Raj to introduce more local government institutions in order to increase revenue by increasing the tax base (Allen 1992). This decision had important consequences. More taxation meant more representation. It also meant in this case the opening of political office to elections (although on a limited franchise).

  1. Mahatma Ghandi

    This technique came from main beliefs of courage, nonviolence (Ahimsa) and truth, which he significantly called; satyagraha (truth-force).Gandhi and his followers used satyagraha to fight for India's independence and to create social change. The Indians in South America had led a campaign of civil disobedience and got sent to jail, however they had won some reforms from the government.

  2. Nationalism as applied to business

    imperialism and Eurocentrism Imperialism: The practice of one country extending its control over the territory, political system, or economic life of another country. Political opposition to this foreign domination is called "anti-imperialism." a national policy of forming and maintaining an empire; it involves the struggle for the control of raw

  1. At the heart of Liberalism lies a fear of unchecked power.

    As well as uniting them for free trade, it also united them in their dislike of the state, especially when looking at the examples of when government has used Mercantilism or Keynesianism which in their opinion has driven the country into economic slowdown.

  2. Lwe case study questions - Whether to charge the corrupt official.

    Another important factor would be political stability and integrity. The government taking a hard stand against corruption; sacking and charging Mrs Chye Soon Boh will contribute to the meritocratic ideal, and the levelling the playing field. Thus ensuring people and investors that there is a sense of fairness. In the long run this would attract foreign investor, as they

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work