Table of Contents
BA LLB political theory notes for 1st semester
Authority and Legitimacy
Q.1. Define Authority? Discuss its nature and functions.
Ans. It must be remembered that neither force nor influence is authority. But all three are manifestations or express forms of power. Power, in a sense, is the predisposition or prior capacity which makes the application of force, influence, and authority possible. Power is the ability to employ force or sanctions, but not its actual employment. Authority is the institutionalized right to employ power’.
Authority has been conceptualized in various ways, such as,
1. A property of a person or office;
2. A relationship between two offices, one superior and the other subordinate;
3. A quality of communication by virtue of which it is accepted; ‘
4. An inter-dependence between two segments of authority one issuing orders, and, others receiving and comply with orders.
There is a lack of unanimity over the meaning and use of authority. Authority as a phenomenon is older than the ‘State’ itself. According to Bertrand de Jouvenel, it is an outcome of the natural ascendancy of some men over others. Michels regards it as the capacity, innate or acquired, for exercising ascendency over a group’. But Bursted disagrees with him. In his view, authority is not a capacity. It is a relationship of exercising ascendency. It is a sanctioned or institutionalized power.
In the field of management and public administration, the authority has been regarded as a right to command’. According to Simon, authority comes into existence only when the subordinates postpone or give up their own freedom to choose one of the various alternatives available to them and take up the formal order or indication as the criterion of their choice.
Authority relations involve – (i) expectation of obedience, and (ii) willingness to obey. The concept of authority goes against the traditional view which regards it as a ‘top-down’ commands; the boss has the right to issue orders and the subordinates have their duty to act on
There are two theories regarding the nature of authority; (a) Formal theory maintains it as the right to issue commands. Authority flows from superiors to subordinates, making up the organizational hierarchy. (b) Acreanned wit Acceptance theory relates to behavioral schools, human relations and
according to it, the former theory explains authority only from a legal or formal point of view. In actual practice, successful authority depends on the acceptance of the orders by the subordinates. In view of Chester I Bernard, four conditions must be fulfilled : (i) the subordinate must be able to understand the order or communication; (ii) after getting it, he must have a belief that it is not against the goals of the organization; (ii) he must consider his compliance in conformity with his own individual interests as a part of the whole set-up; and (iv) he must be mentally and physically capable of complying with the order.
According to the latter view, authority slows down-up. In the absence of acceptance, cooperation, willingness, and ideological similarity, authority becomes nominal or formal. It is no more real authority. Under the acceptance theory of authority, the subordinates tend to make room in their mind for receiving the orders or communication from their superiors and comply with them without reasoning and opposition. Orders falling within this area are invariably accepted by the subordinates. Bernrd calls it a ‘zone of indifference’. For Tanenbaum, it is the sphere of acceptance’ whereas Simon has named it as ‘Zone of acceptance’. This zone tends to increase or decrease in proportion to the ideological relationship found between the superiors and the subordinates.
It would be observed, there is some exaggeration in the accepted theory. There is a great need to bring about a synthesis between the two. The subordinates in an organization do not have so much iceway to accept or reject orders coming from above. Authority, in order to be made effective, is organized in a deconcentrated manner, and various sanctions are attached at various points. These points in the hierarchy are interlinked by a chain of delimited quantum of responsibility and accountability. Acceptance of authority by the subordinates cannot be the ultimate criterion of compliance. The general support and consent of the society propel up the authority of an organization.
Bachrach and Baratz opine that while authority is closely related to power, it is not one of its various forms. In fact, it is antithetical to it. They reject the traditional view that it is ‘formal’ criticize that it is ‘institutionalized power’. According to them, the concept of authority.. as a form of power is not operationally useful. If it is so, who possesses formal power when the superior is actually helpless. It is also not useful for those who believe in a limited or constitutional government. Us prescription by law does not bestow all legitimacy to it,
Friedrich defines authority as a quality of communication that cesses the potentiality of reasoned elaboration’. A possesses Authority’, because B regards A’s communication as authoritative.
Authority can be transformed into power and vice versa. In human cand healthy societies, it can perform the valuable function of limiting the behavior of persons, especially those in official positions, impelling them to confine to legitimate acts. But their actions must be potentially justified by ‘reasoned elaboration’ in terms of values or the same society. If the value pattern of that society itself is pathological, authority, then, is simply a tool in furthering that state of pathology. Unfortunately, politics itself emerges, evolves, grows, and activates on the basis of those prevailing values. But, it is only politics that can put a challenge to those outworn values, and inculcate newer ones. In their own limited way, scholars, philosophers, poets, etc. also do that, though they operate only at a mental level.
Authority is exercised almost mechanically within the network of clearly defined hierarchical roles parent-child, teacher-pupil, employer-employee. Authority-relations are institutionalized. Duties and obligations are clearly demarcated. Behavior under them is reasonably predictable. Relations continue over time and become part of normal life. Under a system of well-established authority, men of great ability are less in demand. Under the authority, society or an organization can be run even by mediocre persons holding positions in a regular manner. Forms and Functions of Authority
Thinkers from ancient times have discussed the nature, forms and functions of authority. In modern times Max Weber (1922) has discussed it quite thoroughly. His forms of authority are based on sources of legitimacy.
1. Traditional Authority – Subjects or subordinates accept commands of their superiors on the basis of precedents, past history of divine origin. Under this form of authority, delegation is ad hoc and arbitrary. Subordinates are treated as personal servants. Who render services to the king as an embodiment of symbols and traditions.
2. Rational-Legal Authority – Under this form of authority, subordinates accept a rule or directive on the basis of its being in conformity with some higher universal principle which they regard it as legitimate. Modern bureaucracy operates on this principle. Delegation is rational. Legally established impersonal rules constitute the basis of compliance.
Charismatic Authority-When the subordinates defer to the orders of their superiors on the basis of their personal qualities and put themselves under their impact, charismatic authority occurs. There is no delegation as such. Subordinates are treated as disciples and followers. As Weber regards rational-legal authority as fragile, he considers other forms of authority as correlates and complementary to it.
Authority may appear in some other forms also, such as, (i) national and international; (ii) in relation to organs of government-executive, legislative and judicial; (iii) constitutional or statutory; (iv) national, regional or local; (v) political or administrative; (vi) single, plural, corporate, commission or board form; (vii) formal or informal.
Authority in a general sense has unlimited functions. It is responsible for the determination and execution of systemic goals. It performs the functions of coordination, discipline, growth, and delegation. Systems attain pattern-maintenance, goal-attainment, tension management, etc. through the establishment of appropriate authorities. Communication, decision-making, improvision of the procedure are the means and methods by which systems operate and persist over a tune.
Legitimate power is the basis of the authority of an organization. Authority does not indicate the superiority of an individual. He is only a living symbol of mechanism. This is the ‘image of a government that enables a man to command, even if he is less intelligent, less able, and below-average than his subordinates. Orders given by men in authority have to be carried out. In a formal organization, authority is rationally distributed among various persons making up the hierarchy of an organisation. But an informal organization can also have authority, authority-positions, and authority-persons or authorities. Formal organizations, therefore, often try that informal organization either do not grow or if they are unavoidable or required at all, they are kept
within bounds. The military does not permit their existence but trade unions are allowed to operate by law. Still very rarely they are one with each other. Informal organizations often grow underground if not permitted to operate openly. Man does not live along with formal lines and moves beyond the blue-print. This adds elements of socialbility, cooperation, voluntarisrh to barebones of hierarchical organisations.
Authority operates on the road of values. Values, like power, also impose restrictions on the exercise of authority. Often the
constitutions begin with their value-preambles. Democrats do not cherish the exercise of authority and power bereft of values, which is not meaningful to the people at large. Values that may slowly change and gradually accepted by the ruler or the ruled help in transforming power into authority and authority into power. Kings and emperors in the past forcibly occupied other principalities, and in due course of time were accepted by their subjects as a legitimate authority. Power without authority remains indefinite, situational, instrumental, and institutionalized power is specific, definite, and limited by its nature. Its directives are considered binding being based on certain underlying norms. At least, the subordinates or people concerned have faith in their being based on those norms. Authority wields all rights to execute a proposed plan, scheme, or policy, It operates through a binding set of rules, regulations, procedure, conventions and established norms. Authority itself is bound by them, for by nature it has to appear definite, unambiguous specific, and limited. It carries on the burden of responsibility and remains accountable to some higher one. It can be delegated to various points of organisational structure. Thus, many sub-authorities come up which are adorned with many indicators or insignia for the convenience of recognition, distinction, ego-satisfaction, effectively, and discipline. Sometimes authorities are known by dress, crown, stars, seal, staff, locus, building, and others. They are given certain discretion, immunities and positions or status. They have to be in. consonance with the exercise of rights given to them. Parts of authority lying with the wielders are coordinated to integrated hierarchies though various means and mechanisms. Authority is known for its compliance. But every time this does not happen. For its constant and effective compliance and in view of its possible non-compliance, authorities are equipped with power and sanctions, occasions of influence and leadership, and other similar tools. In the absence of power, authority loses its influence. In a sense authority is the last expression of institutionalized power. Without power, it is merely goodwill ‘which is often subjective and exceptional. Politics relates power and authority at various levels, and with various devices.
Limitations of Authority
Under the umbrella of authority, a person accepts the communication or directives of his senior without any discussion, deliberation or reasoning, making his decision as his own decision. Authority, thus, itis the highest stage of legitimate power. It is legal,
objective, organizational, specific, and limited. It operates through the established procedure, express rules, and a definite manner. However, in itself, it is not much effective. Authority is effective only when imbued with power force and authority. Technology of making effective organizations keeps in mind that authorities have appropriate room for exercise of power, influence, and leadership. They are purposely equipped with discretion, titles, sanctions, salary, privileges, immunities, and other paraphernalia. Power as the force has a limited role and can be exercised only in exceptional cases, that too with high cost. Hence, influence comes to its rescue, but it is fluid, flexible, unstable, uncertain, and unspecific. Therefore, its liquidity has to be poured into organizational vessels. Authorities, in the organization, then, can perform functions assigned to them. But the main task of acquiring legitimacy for all of them remains to be earned and acquired by politics. Even power and influence cannot be much effective without legitimacy.
Q. 2. Discuss the concept and nature of Authority and define it. Ans.
Concept, Nature, and Process It must be remembered that neither force nor influence is authority. But all the three are manifestations or express forms of Power. Power, in a sense, is the predisposition or prior capacity which makes application of force, influence and authority possible. Power is the ability to employ force or sanctions, but not its actual employment. Authority is ‘the institutionalized right to employ power.”
Authority has been conceptualized in various ways, such as 1. a property of a person or office;
2. a relationship between two offices, one superior and the other subordinate;
3. a quality of communication by virtue of which it is accepted;
4. an inter-dependence between two segments of authority-one issuing orders, and, others receiving and complying with orders.
“There is lack of unanimity over the meaning and use of `authority’. Authority as a phenomenon is older than the ‘State’ itself. According to Bertrand de Jouvenel, it is an outcome of the natural ascendancy of some men over others. Michels regards it as ‘the capacity, innate or acquired, for exercising ascendency over a group’. But Bursted disagrees with him. In his view, authority is not a capacity. It is a relationship of
exercising ascendency. It is a sanctioned or institutionalized power. In the field of management and public administration, the authority has been regarded as ‘a right to command. According to Simon, authority
comes into existence only when the subordinates postpone or give up: their own freedom to choose one of the various alternatives available. to them, and take up the formal order or indication as the criterion ol, their choice. Beach puts it as the legitimate authority to direct or influence others’ behaviour. UNESCO report (1955) maintained it as that power which is recognized, respected, known and legitimate. Tennanbaum finds it as interpersonal relationship between the superiors and subordinates. The subordinate grants authority to the decision-maker and puts himself in the position of the latter’s subordinate. According to Simon, authority relations exist only when there occurs actual change in the behaviour of the subordinates. The superior person takes decisions and communicates them to his subordinates with the expectation that they will be accepted by their subordinates. Authority relations involve (i) expectation of obedience, and (ii) willingness to obey. This concept of authority goes against the traditional view which regards it a ‘top-down command; the boss has right to issue orders and the subordinates have their duty to act on them faithfully.
There are two theories regarding nature of authority: (a) Formal theory maintains it as right to issue commands. Authority flows from superior to subordinates, making up the organisational hierarchy. (b) Acceptance theory relates to behavioral schools, human relations and according to it, the former theory explains authority only from legal or formal point of view. In actual practice, successful authority depends on the acceptance of the orders by the subordinates. In view of Chester I. Bernard, four conditions must be fulfilled : (i) the subordinate must be able to understand the order or communication; (ii) after getting it, he must have belief that it is not against the goals of the organization; (iii) he must consider his compliance in conformity with his own individual interests as a part of whole set-up; (iv) he must be, mentally and physically capable of complying with the order.
According to the latter view, authority flows down-up. In the absence of acceptance, cooperation, willingness and ideological similarity, authority becomes nominal or formal. It is no more real authority. Under the acceptance theory of authority, the subordinates tend to make room in their mind for receiving the orders or communication from their superiors, and comply with them without reasoning and opposition. Orders falling within this area are invariably accepted to the subordinates. Bernard calls it ‘zone of indifference.
For Tenanbaum, it is ‘sphere of acceptance’ whereas Simon has named it as ‘zone of acceptance’. This zone tends to increase or decrease in proportion to ideological relationship found between the superiors and the subordinates.
It would be observed, there is some exaggeration in the acceptance theory. There is great need to bring about a synthesis between the two. The subordinates in an organisation do not have so much leeway to accept or reject orders coming from above. Authority in order to be made effective is organised in a deconcentrated manner, and various sanctions are attached at various points. These points in the hierarchy are interlinked by a chain of delimited quantum of responsibility and accountability. Acceptance of authority by the subordinates cannot be the ultimate criterion of compliance. The general support and consent of the society propels up the authority of an organisation.
Bachrach and Baratz opine that while authority is closely related to power, it is not one of its various forms. In fact, it is antithetical to it. They reject the traditional view that it is ‘formal power’, and also criticize that it is ‘institutionalized power’. According to them, the concept of authority as a form of power is not operationally useful. If it is so, who possesses formal power, when the superior is actually helpless. It is also not useful for those who believe in limited or constitutional government. Its prescription by law does not bestow all legitimacy to it.
Friederich defines authority as a quality of communication that possesses the potentiality of reasoned elaboration’. A possesses ‘authority’, because B regards A’s communication as authoritative. It means B recognizes compliance or command as reasonable in terms of his own values. B defers to A, not because he fears severe deprivations, but because A’s decision can be rationalized. It is not essential that A’s decision is expressly supported by reasoning. It is sufficient that it has potentiality of such reasoning and is recognized.
If B believes that A’s communication allows for reasoned elaboration when actually it does not, it is ‘false’ authority. When the source of compliance shifts from ‘genuine’ to ‘false’ authority, and B realizes that cor..munication cannot be elaborated effectively, then, relationship initially involving authority has been transformed into one involving power. Compliance, thus, commanded is an exercise of power. Authority operates in terms of similarity of values. It is both a source
of and a restraint upon exercise of power. It both justifies as well as is the use of power. But authority itself has to be grounded upon reasoning that is meaningful to a majority of the people.
Authority can be transformed into power and vice versa. In human we healthy societies, it can perform the valuable function of limiting he behaviour of persons, especially those in official positions, impelling Tom to confine to legitimate acts. But their actions must be potentially
justified by ‘reasoned elaboration in terms of values of or the same society. If the value pattern of that society itself is pathological, authority, then, is simply a tool in furthering that state of pathoiogy. Unfortunately, politics itself emerges, evolves, grows and activates on the basis of those prevailing values. But, it is only politics that can put a challenge to those outworn values, and inculcate never ones. In their own limited way, scholars, philosophers, poets, etc., also do that, though they operate only at mental level.
Authority, to sum up, is accepted not because it has been given by superior authorities, but on the basis of the consent of the subordinates who often accept orders considering them right and proper. Authority of the superior person is accepted only when he issue orders in the aforesaid manner. Its basis is not sanctions, but rightness — rather similarity of the goals, values, and norms existing between them. It is direct and institutionalized right to influence the behaviour of the subordinates.
Authority is exercised almost mechanically within the network of clearly defined hierarchical roles : parent-child, teacher-pupil, employer-employeu. Authority-relations are institutionalized. Duties and obligations are clearly demarcated. Behaviour under them is reasonably predictable. Relations continue over time and become part of normal life. Under a system of well-established authority, men of great ability are less in demand. Under authority, society or an organization can be run even by mediocre persons holding positions in a regular manner.
Q. 3. Discuss the relations between Power and Authority.
Ans. Every society contains a range of diversities. There may be ethnic, religious, linguistic, geographical and other kinds of diversities. differences between individuals and groups can often be traced to such diversities. A major source of difference is economic inequality.
economic power in the sense of concentration of wealth and means of
production in limited hands has always been viewed as a potent source of political power. In fact, this is one of the major reasons for the framing of statutes and regulations in India for controlling the growth of monopolies. A society characterised by gross economic disparities between individuals and groups and regions is likely to experience political activities over the distribution of economic resources. Political activity can then be seen as a mechanism for the resolution of conflicts arising out of societal diversity.
Political systems have evolved various means of reconciling political conflicts. Some of these are formal and some are informal. Institutions and processes are legitimized to accommodate conflicts, otherwise there is the danger of rejection of the political system. This happens when groups in a conflict tend to go underground’and take to ‘unconstitutional methods of agitation and even adopt violent means. To avoid such a situation, formal institutions like legislatures, tribunals and courts are set up to deal with conflicts. The electoral system and the legislature permit consicts to come to surface. The contending parties bring forth their demands and counter-arguments openly in the legislature. Parties and pressure groups grow naturally and informally to lend support to the formal arrangement of debate, discussions and resolution of conflicts. The judiciary is another important forum for the adjudication of disputes within the formal institutional framework of the State.
In the study of politics, ‘powers’ has usually been regarded as a key concept. The idea of political powers assumes significance in the context of conflict in the community and the need for their resolution. Power, authority and influence are not synonymous terms. Influence has the widest meaning. It refers to a relation among individuals in any action situation where one individual induces others to behave in a particular way they would not otherwise behave. Power and authority can be looked at as different kinds of influence. In a relational situation, political powers signifies the capacity to affect the behaviour of others by the threat of some form of sanction. Increase in political powers can be mcasured by the quantity of sanctions used. The sanctions are usually a package of rewards and penalties. Compliance of individuals and groups can be elicited by the promise or actual conferment of rewards Contrarily, withdrawal of such rewards of threat of punishment
could be used to elicit compliance. Although political powers rests on the potentiality to invoke coercion, frequent use of coercion in actual practice, is a sure indication of the gradual weakening of political power.
It should be clear by now that political powers has to be seen as a relationship. A proper understanding of political power, therefore, involves an examination of the way the relationship is conducted. To understand the power of the Indian Prime Minister, one has to probe deep into a web of relationships with the President, the cabinet colleagues, the party and so forth. Political powers is not casy to identify and mcasure because of the complexitics of relationships involved in a power situation. This should sound as a warning to those who seek so often to measure political powers-a sashionable cntcrprise of many political scientists today. Political power is unevenly distributed in every political system. Especially in the developing countries, incquality in power distribution is related to sacial inequalitics and cconomic disparities. The rich pcasant, the big industrialists, the top-level civil servants have more access to power than most people in a political system. For the system to survive, it is necessary to create a belief in power equalization. This is the task of ‘ideology’ which will be discussed in a subsequent.
Historically the threat of sanction has been found to be an inadequate instrument for eliciting obedience. The use of power must receive general acceptance. Thus power has to go hand in hand with authority. Hobbes, who is often wrongly associated with the ‘might is right doctrine, made a clear distinction between political powers and physical power or power over things. Political powers refers to a social relationship in which one individual is able to secure the use of threat of sanctions, yet it rests upon a form of consent. To quote Hobbes, “It is not therefore the victory, that given the right of dominion over the vanquished, but his own covenant. Nor is he obliged because he is conquered …… but because he cometh in and submitteth to the victor”Political authority is based on the acceptance of the right to rule, or what Max Weber called ‘legitimacy’. Weber identified three types of authority : Charismatic authority, traditional authority, and legal
authority. Charismatic authority refers to a rule over men to which the governed submit because of their belief in the extraordinary quality of a specific person (the ruler). “The legitimacy of charismatic rule rests
upon the belief in magical powers, revelations and hero worship.
Traditional authority refers to the kind of domination that rests upon – ‘traditionalism’. The latter is a “psychic attitude set for the habitual
work-a-day and to the belief in the everyday routine as an inviolable norm of conduct.” As Weber pointed out, ‘patriarchalism’ is by far the most important type of domination the legitimacy of which rests upon tradition. In both the types, authority is based on personal not ‘functional relations. Both types are irrational,
By contrast, in legal authority the ‘legitimacy of the power-holder to issue commands rests upon rules that are rationally established by enactment, by agreement, or by imposition.’ To quote Weber “submission under legal authority is based upon an impersonal bond to the generally defined and functional duty of office’. Political authority receives sustenance from a careful use of symbols and ceremonies such as the national flag, the Republic Day celebration etc. In every political system, it is through a process of psychic manipulation that the political authority seeks to create a belief system about its legitimacy.
Weber admitted that none of the authority types could be found in pure form in reality. As he pointed out, “the great majority of empirical cases represent a combination or a state of transition among several such pure types.”
Political power, for the sake of continuity and acceptability, has to be legitimate power. Its legitimacy is derived from the belief that political action is grounded in formal laws, rules and regulations. There may be occasions, however, when political power may be divorced from political authority. In such situations, the right to rule may not have received general societal acceptance. This is particularly noticeable at the time of a military coup. The old regime might have lost its popular support base or legitimacy. As the new rulers take over, there is likely to be a period of uncertainty about its basis of authority. The new regime will then rely on political power for the moment, not political authority. It will take some time for the new regime to gain general popular acceptance. Power can undergo a subtle transformation into authority with growing support from the political community. An inference that can be drawn from this is that it is a weak political regime that uses power ver frequently to hold on to the seat of government.
Q. 4. Define Legitimacy. Discuss its nature and sources.
Ans. Authorities exercise rights, sanctions, and other immunities
and privileges, not because ‘authority’ originates in them, but owing to people’s belief in the sources of base of their rights. The base or source of these rights is called ‘legitimacy’. Alike authority, power and influence also, in order to be effective, require legitimacy. If there is no legitimacy, power and influence both are opposed and counteracted : authority is totally disregarded. It is legitimacy which make them effective and operational. Individuals, organisations, and institutions cannot have power and influence without having legitimacy. though all the three mutually may be reinforcing, even oppose each other. Dahl regards it as necessary and economical. Leaders in democracies, usually espouse a set of, more or less, persistent and integrated doctrines, popularly called as “ideology. It purports to explain and justify their leadership in the system. Leaders develop ‘ideology to endow their leadership with legitimacy and convert their political influence with authority. As stated earlier, it is far more economical to rule by means of authority than by means of coercion, power, or influence. Moreover, it is legitimacy which distinguishes coercion, force, and power from influence, persuasion and leadership. But exercise of force can be ‘legitimate’ against criminals, miscreants and rebels.
Legitimacy, according to Dolf Sternberger, is the foundation of governmental power. It is exercised both as consciousness on the part of government that it has a right to govern and with some acknowledgment by the governed that the government has a right to do so. Etymologically, it is from Latin ‘legitimus’ which means ‘lawful’. During medieval ages, it meant constitutional role or order, conforming to ancient customs, traditions, and procedure.
Etzioni finds it as a source of satisfaction derived from participation in the organisation : the ability to justify. It is a belief that the structure, procedures, acts, decisions, officials and leaders of government possess the quality of ‘rightness’ property or moral goodness. They should be accepted as such irrespective of the specific contents of the particular acts, orders or communication,
The concept is as old as politics itself from Plato onwards to Max Weber and Habermas. But the concept is not very much clear. It is opposite to usurpation, thought all usurpers try to legitimize their usurpation as rightful occupation. Revolution or coup d’etat may not necessarily be illegimate. If it is successful, it introduces a new principle
of legitimacy legitimacy superseding the older one. Any means can be
employed to acquire legitimacy. Recognition is not very necessary, Internal consolidation and acceptance by the people arc, by and large, more helpful. However, even existing government may lose legitimacy by violating its principles of legitimacy. Leaders in every political system try to ensure that their decisions are widely accepted, not out of the fear of violence, punishment, or coercion but from a belief that it is morally right and proper to do so. Nature, Forms and Process
In the context of organisation, Etzioni writes that they set norms, inform rules and regulations which have to be complied with. For compliance, they rely on power and try to get it through the system of rewards and punishments, even manipulation, indoctrination, and training. In such a situation of power, It is not necessary that the recipient of order or subordinates agree to it. or accept it as morally justified. But exercise of power in this manner keeps them alienated. They will conform only to those actions which are backed by power. The subjects would not volunteer information, show initiative, or cooperate. In case, power weakens or is rendered inadequate, the recipients would start following their own norms or replace the former power-holders positions of authority. When orders are issued or rules set in conformity with the accepted values, compliance is much deeper and more effective. The subjects ‘internalize’ the rules, and voluntarily act and cooperate in executing the policies. They find order and discipline less alienating. Rather, they would continue to follow rules and orders even when an organisation’s power is lessened and weakened.
Legitimation does not increase the material interest of the subordinates or make the order or rule more ‘pleasant’. But it serves as need to follow norms which conform, and not conflict with their values. There is distinction between normative satisfaction of the need for justice or legitimacy and the need to find opportunities to gratify
other needs. Some orders are legitimate and gratifying whereas other orders may be legitimate, but not gratifying, still others may be illegitimate but not gratifying. Organisations require legitimacy, that is, conformity with values. It is closer to conformity with a higher sense of morality.
In the context of governments, legitimacy can be classified into two broad groups : (1) numinous legitimacy which is based on faith in the divine origin of rule; and (2) civil legitimacy which exists when a
system of government is based on agreement between equally autonomous constituents, who have combined to cooperate toward some common good. Weber relates his typology of authority to sources and kinds of legitimation as (i) traditional, (ii) rational-legal or bureaucratic, and (iii) charismatic,
Dahl has also indicated various sources of winning legitimacy or earning comliance :
1. to encourage compliance –
(a) by increasing rewards for compliance.
(b) by decreasing disadvantages of compliance.
2. To discourage non-compliance –
(c) by decreasing rewards from other alternatives.
(d) by increasing disadvantages of other alternatives
He has suggested that internal sources of rewards and deprivations are always better than external sources. More and more internalization gradually replaces the need of external sources. When the political system is widely accepted as legitimate and its policies are regarded as morally binding, the cost of compliance reduces. When legitimacy and authority are in low key, it has to make more use of money, police, privileges, weapons, status and other political resources. Obviously, democracy requires more legitimacy and authority than other systems.
Still legitimacy is not some high level abstract feeling, but a phenomenon existing underlying the whole system. It is related to whole system and its governance. It is not a moral feeling or subjective conceptualization. It is a belief of people in the rightness of the activities of the government. But it comes out in concrete form also. In the words of Easton, it relates to the allocation of authoritative values for the society. Who, in what form, when, how, in what manner, and where are also the questions related its legitimacy. If at interval level, it is related to praise, honour, affection, etc., or their reverse forms like dishonor, anomie, alienation, etc., at external level it is also connected with material Things like land, money license, status, privileges, immunities etc. They may not actually be given but expectation of getting them or fear of losing them also works a lot to each legitimacy. Material goods, in any system, are never unlimited; therefore, political leaders always try to economize them. They do so by-(i) preferring internal or abstract wards, and (ii) using means like leadership, influence, and propaganda. with their help, they are able to get compliance simply on the basis of
making cominunication to them. Material rewards apart from being : limited and scarce, their distribution can also prove dyfunctional. But these internal and external sources should not be treated so separate. They are related with each other. In sum, internal resources are less costly than material resources. Non-material resources of legitimacy are less expensive than running the political system on the basis of power as physical force. Democracy requires the first two sources, whereas dictatorship mostly operates on physical force. Therefore, cost of running a system on the basis of force is very high, making the system still more fragile, instable and alienated.
Apart from the consideration of cost, it must be pointed out that authority is the most efficient form of infľuence. It is legitimacy which enables political actors to transform influence into authority. Power, influence, and authority, standing on the ground of legitimacy, do not require to spend much political resources. In the context of “Third World Countries, it can be stated that legitimacy plays a key role in running of their political system. They have scarce economic and political sources. They have to telescope centuries into decades, and attain modernization as early as possible. Only an attitude of ‘rightness’ or belief in the legitimacy of their structures, functions, procedures, leaders and decisions can come to their rescue. Even, with less amount of power or a weakened government, a developing society can attain its goals. It keeps majority as well as minority communities bound each other. No majority can keep a considerably big minority under coercion. It has to win over them by propagating values, ideology, role-expectations. So is the case with the minority groups and communities, as they too have to stand at per on the common levels of legitimacy. Within the bounds of this legitimacy, political leaders, parties, groups, and individuals are allowed to compete among themselves. Aslegitimacy is deeply entrenched into cultural values, secessions or separatism cannot burst out so easily.