Sunday, 2 November 2014

Define a political institution and Explain its power and authority

Political Institution

Max Weber who founded modern political sociology has pointed out that State is the only authority that has the monopoly of using force and all agencies using state power formulate political institution." The political institution came into existence in the evolution stages of societies when population increased and family social control become limited. According to Aristotle, “The formulation of political institution was necessary for the survival and smoothness of social life. Every society has some values scarce resources and political institution is the only to decide who, when and how to receive."

Definitions of Political Institutions

1. Ian Robertson :
“Political institution is the institutionalized system through which some individuals or groups acquire and exercise power over others”.

2. Vander Zanden :
The political institution in the social structure concerned with use and distribution of power within a society."
Structure of a Political Institution We are obliged to depend on each other in social life because we are most
concerned by influencing the behaviour and actions of others. The structure that is required to do so is explained below :

Power and Authority

Power :
1. Max Weber :
Power is the ability to control the behaviour of others, even in the absence of their consent."

2. Jan Robertson :
Power is the capacity to participate effectively in a decision making process." Power can be used lawfully or unlawfully but it demands obedience in both cases and in case of disobedience that individual or group may suffer a loss.

It can be divided in two kinds:

i. Legitimate Power :
It is that form of power, which is accepted by the individual on whom that is being used. Just like, Government power or representation power (Police, custom police).

ii. Illegitimate Power :
It is "That form of power of which legitimacy is not recognized by whom it is applied." (Max Weber) v

For example, if a police sergeant receives fine from an individual, it is his legitimate power but if a dacoit snatches money it is illegitimate power. Similarly, if an income tax officer receives tax from a market according to law, it is legitimate power but if a rascal receives some money it is illegitimate.

Authority :
Power that has been institutionalized and is recognized by the people over whom it is exercised."
Power and authority are mutually inclusive and deeply related with each other and cannot be studied separately.
Such a power takes the form of social norm where coercion based power is unstable and people obey by fear and display it as soon as they find proper time.

Max Weber has described three forms of legitimate authority:

i. Traditional Authority :
“Traditional authority is a type of authority in which power is legitimated by ancient customs.”
For example, Lords and heads used power as traditionally, usually unwritten law and unchangeable. This right is by birth and unlimited; people obey because obedience has become a tradition.

ii. Legal Rational Authority :
Legal rational authority is a type of authority in .which power is legitimated by explicit rules and procedures that define the rights and obligations of the rules".
This type of authority is popular in modern political institutions where the government and not the ruler has the authority and nobody can go against the settled authority of the government.

iii. Charismatic Authority :
“Charismatic authority is a type of authority in which power is legitimated by the unique and remarkable qualities that people attribute to a specific teacher."
Max Weber calls it an extraordinary capability. Charismatic is a Greek word meaning gift or grace. Among such full modern leaders like Hitler, Mao Te-Zung, Quaid-i-Azam, Napoleon and Aiyatullah Khumaini etc.
Revolution is'produced by such leaders just as in China revolution because of Mao Te-Zung and Iranian revolution because of Aiyatullah Khumaini. In the very difficult circumstances, such leaders have the ability to bring about revolutions. Just as, Hitler saved Germany from the disgrace suffered in World War-I and liberty of Muslim of India was due to charismatic leadership of Qauid-i-Azam.


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