legitimate authority

legitimate authority


political legitimacy

any form of political rule in which the rulers successfully uphold a claim that they govern by right in accord with law, tradition or similar basis.

WEBER identified three ‘pure types’ of legitimate authority:

  1. legal-rational authority, resting on a belief in the legality of enacted rules and those achieving authority under these rules, e.g. elected representatives or civil servants;
  2. traditional authority, resting on an established belief in the sanctity of tradition and the acceptance of those chosen to rule in accordance with the customs and practices within this tradition, e.g. kings, queens or religious dignitaries;
  3. charismatic authority, resting on the devotion to an exceptional individual or leader and on the normative rules ordained by this individual, e.g. a prophet or warlord.

The last of these provides the dynamic or revolutionary element in Weber's overall account of political legitimacy. In the long run, how ever, e.g. after the death or departure of the exceptional teacher or leader, there occurs a routinization of charisma, and a reversion to traditional, or legal-rational, forms of authority. See also BUREAUCRACY, STATE, POWER, NATION STATE, SOVEREIGNTY, HOLMES, LEGITIMATION CRISIS.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in classic literature ?
What degree of agency these reputed lawgivers might have in their respective establishments, or how far they might be clothed with the legitimate authority of the people, cannot in every instance be ascertained.
Legitimate authority to be, to do or to have; as the right to be a king, the right to do one's neighbor, the right to have measles, and the like.
Al-Zindani said that such terrorist acts against the Kingdom would increase its determination under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and HRH Crown Prince to support Yemen until the restoration of the legitimate authority of all Yemeni territories and rid of the control of the coup militias, ending Iran's influence in Yemen and its expansionist ambitions in the region.
Al-Salami called for immediate cessation of fighting in the Syrian northwestern region of Idlib and condemned the Houthi militia's continuous mutiny against the legitimate authority. He also condemned their premeditated attacks on vital and civil installations in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Salami said that the Yemeni issue is on the top of the Arab Parliament's priorities and that the parliament supports the legitimate authority in Yemen in regional and international forums to meet the aspirations of the Yemeni people in bringing about peace, security and development.
The statement also condemned the coup attempt against the legitimate authority in Venezuela, "which is backed by the United States of America."
During an interview with Palestine TV, Samuel stressed that the PA is the legitimate authority for stability and security in the region, noting that Britain represented by its cabinet and ministers urges the Israelis to stop their violations.
He continued: The issue of bringing money into Gaza for the purpose of paying salaries and fuel is an internal Palestinian affair, stressing that those who want to help the Palestinian people should do that through its legitimate authority and through the PLO, not by dividing the Palestinians.
According to a source, the procedure was conducted on the directive of the MACC top management to ensure no confidential documents were being taken out without legitimate authority. - Bernama
4 (BNA): Yemen's Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid Daghr has affirmed that "all the changes that have taken place in his country are in the interest of ending the Houthi coup and restoring the legitimate authority over Yemen's territory without exception, especially Sanaa." This came during a meeting of the Council of Ministers held under his chairmanship in the interim capital Aden, according to the official Yemeni News Agency.
'Nawaz Sharif is willing to betray nation and malign his late father and children just to remain in power despite all loss of moral and legitimate authority,' he said.
Moscow has been conducting airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria since September 30, following a request from President Assad, whom Russia recognizes as the legitimate authority in the country, stressing that Syrian people should be free to chose their leadership without outside intervention.