Tripartite classification of authority

From Academic Kids

Max Weber distinguished three ideal types of political leadership, domination and authority: charismatic domination (familial and religious), traditional domination (patriarchs, patrimonalism, feudalism) and legal domination (modern law and state, bureaucracy).

In traditional authority, the legitimacy of the authority comes from tradition, in charismatic authority from the personality and leadership qualities of the individual (charisma), and in legal (or rational-legal) authority from powers that are bureaucratically and legally attached to certain positions. A classic example of these three types may be found in religion: priests (traditional), Jesus (charismatic), and the Roman Catholic Church (legal-rational). Weber also conceived of these three types within his three primary modes of conflict: traditional authority within status groups, charismatic authority within class, and legal-rational authority within party organizations.

In his view every historical relation between rulers and ruled contained elements that can be analyzed on the basis of the above distinction.

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