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

What is the difference between Power and Authority?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is the difference between Power and Authority? How does power compare to authority and can one be exerted without the other? Power is the ability to get things done by others. The principle of power is to punish and reward. Power can exist with or without authority. For instance an armed robber has power but no authority. Whereas authority is the power to enforce law and take command, and to expect obedience from those without authority. Authority can exist with or without power, for example a teacher has authority over the pupils but no real power. Steven Lukes states that there is three dimensions of power, decision, non decision making and manipulating desires. In parliament when a law is being discussed by MP's and any other form of political group there must be a body which has power so that they can actually come to a decision. ...read more.

Middle

The third of the dimensions of power is the manipulating desires, where a body of power can influence and persuade people that what they've done is right and for the interest of the nation. Labour has been excused of using spin-doctors to manipulate the press. As Machoavelli states that humans are 'deceivers.' Max Weber a German sociologist argues that there are three types of authority, Traditional authority, Charismatic authority and Legal-Rational Authority. Traditional authority relies on customs and beliefs that have passed through generations. Those with authority expect obedience and loyalty, this is the type of authority that was around before Oliver Cromwel rebelled against the monarch. Charismatic authority is related with special qualities of the leader, people tend to follow the leader because of these qualities. ...read more.

Conclusion

This means that threat can be used to exert power, for example holding a gun to someone's head will be very effective in making someone do something. The idea of punishment stops us from doing things against the law. It can be describe as coercion, the use of threats to enforce an act. The power of love is based on morals and religion, for instance the Pope and Gandhi exert this kind of power. The power of exchange is based on compromise, for example, I'll give you oil if you give me nuclear weapons, Doh! In conclusion to this question I believe that power and authority are not the same thing. Authority is power plus legitimacy. To have true authority you need to be feared and loved. The electorate needs to know that you are there rightfully, i.e. legitimate. They also need to realise that the government can punish and reward. ...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. It is not enough for governments to have power, they must also have authority

    So in a sense, power can be exercised in the short term and not necessarily agreed with, but in the long term, authority must be gained by adhering with the current cultures and political environment at the time. There is an opinion that a government does not require authority and can exercise power alone.

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

    for a Welsh Assembly with lesser powers than the Scottish Parliament. The first elections for the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly were held in May 1999. At the same time, the Good Friday Agreement signed in Northern Ireland in April 1998 promised the return of a Northern Irish Assembly with its own executive, provided certain ceasefire conditions were met.

  1. Examine Whether or not Power is the Same as Authority.

    they gained credence for their actions, the authority and the legitimate right to rule. In this sense power was dynamic and can move from the status of illegitimacy to legitimacy. Therefore from this example legitimacy is the consent from the people to rule.

  2. What is the difference between a nation and a state? The rise of Nationalism

    Reform Act, which granted the vote to the male urban working class householders, thereby adding one million voters to the list. Unlike, his party, Benjamin Disreali was an optimist and knew how to seize opportunity, his optimism rested on his belief that a natural alliance existed between a paternalistic landed interest and a deferential working class.

  1. Civil Service Reform.

    Traditional mechanisms by which government is called to account - such as the responsibility of ministers to parliament, House of Commons select committees and citizen representation to MPs - are straining under the new arrangements. At the centre of the debate is the Conservative government's claim to have separated policy

  2. Distinguish between power and authority.

    According to Steven Lukes there are also three faces to Power: 1. Decision Making - the first face of power is its open face. Those exercising the power are seen to be making their decisions out in the open where everyone can see what they are doing and so judge them on it.

  1. How do these three posters persuade men to enlist?

    Many would not have found the correct time or place to write a letter home and again the simple, brief and easy structure of the postcard would have helped them. The positive factors of receiving postcards encouraged the government to issue postcards when they had problems with getting men to enlist.

  2. Reflections on Gandhi (1949).

    Again, he seems to have been quite free from that maniacal suspiciousness which, as E.M. Forster rightly says in A Passage to India, is the besetting Indian vice, as hypocrisy is the British vice. Although no doubt he was shrewd enough in detecting dishonesty, he seems wherever possible to have

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