/ ba sociology / the study of society /
Describe the basis of Legitimatizing Authority.

Describe the basis of Legitimatizing Authority.

Course: ba sociology

1 Answer

The basis of legitimacy are:

Tradition: In political system based on traditional authority, power is legitimized by ancient customs. The authority of the ruler is generally founded on unwritten laws and it has almost and sacred quality. Chieftainships and monarchies have always relied on traditional authority. Claim to traditional authority is usually based on birth with the status of ruler generally passing to the eldest son of the incumbent.

Legal Rationality: In a system based on legal-rational authority, power is legitimized by explicit rules and procedures that define the rights and obligations of the ruler. This form of authority is characteristic of the political systems of most modern societies. This type of authority stresses a government of laws, not of people.


Charisma: In a system based on charismatic authority, power is legitimized by the unusual, exceptional or even super-natural qualities that people attribute to particular political, religious or military leaders. Typical charismatic leaders are such persons as Jesus, Joan of Arc, Napoleon, Hitler and Gandhi. The charismatic leader is seen as a person of destiny, who is inspired by unusual vision, by lofty principles or even by God. It is spontaneous, irrational phenomenon that often poses a threat to systems based on traditional or legal rational authority. Each of these three forms of authority represents an ideal type. In practice, political systems and political leaders may derive their authority from more than one source.

Share this answer.
  • fb
  • tw
  • lkdin
  • whapp
January 8, 2019