HOME

TheInfoList




In the fields of
sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the scie ...
and
political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as ...
, authority is the legitimate
power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time. In the International System of Units, the unit of power is the watt, equal to one joule per second. In older works, p ...
that a person or a group of persons possess and practice over other people. In a civil
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
, ''authority'' is made formal by way of a
judicial branch The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authori ...
and an
executive branch The executive (short for executive branch or executive power) is the part of government that enforces law, and has Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. In political systems based on the principle ...
of
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
. In the exercise of
governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity ...

governance
, the terms ''authority'' and ''power'' are inaccurate synonyms. The term ''authority'' identifies the
political legitimacy In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, suc ...
, which grants and justifies the ruler’s right to exercise the power of government; and the term ''power'' identifies the ability to accomplish an authorized goal, either by compliance or by obedience; hence, ''authority'' is the ''power'' to make decisions and the legitimacy to make such legal decisions and order their execution.


History

Ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0
"History"
from ...

Ancient
understandings of authority trace back to
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...
and draw later from Catholic ( Thomistic) thought and other
tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious ...

tradition
al understandings. In more modern terms, forms of authority include transitional authority exhibited in for example
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
, public authority in the form of
popular power Popular Power was a company founded in January 2000 that sold distributed computing Distributed computing is a field of computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectur ...
, and, in more administrative terms, bureaucratic or managerial techniques. In terms of bureaucratic governance, one limitation of the governmental agents of the executive branch, as outlined by George A. Krause, is that they are not as close to the popular will as elected representatives are. The claims of authority can extend to national or individual
sovereignty Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate a ...
, which is broadly or provisionally understood as a claim to political authority that is legitimated. Historical applications of authority in political terms include the formation of the city-state of
Geneva Geneva ( ; french: Genève ; frp, Genèva ; german: link=no, Genf ; it, Ginevra ; rm, Genevra) is the List of cities in Switzerland, second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-spea ...

Geneva
, and experimental treatises involving the topic of authority in relation to education include '' Emile'' by
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment throughout Europe, as w ...

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
. As David Laitin defines, authority is a key concept to be defined in determining the range and role of political theory, science and inquiry. The relevance of a grounded understanding of authority includes the basic foundation and formation of political, civil and/or ecclesiastical institutions or representatives. In recent years, however, authority in political contexts has been challenged or questioned.


Political philosophy

There have been several contributions to the debate of
political authority In political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. Its topics include polit ...
. Among others,
Hannah Arendt Hannah Arendt (, also , ; 14 October 1906 – 4 December 1975) was a German-born American political theorist. Her many books and articles have had a lasting influence on political theory and philosophy. Arendt is widely considered one of ...
,
Carl Joachim Friedrich Carl Joachim Friedrich (; ; born June 5, 1901, Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million ...
,
Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; sometimes known as Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; 5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679) was an , considered to be one of the founders of modern . Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book ', in which he expounds an influential form ...
,
Alexandre Kojève Alexandre Kojève ( , ; 28 April 1902 – 4 June 1968) was a Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neig ...

Alexandre Kojève
and
Carl Schmitt Carl Schmitt (; 11 July 1888 – 7 April 1985) was a German jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholarnot necessarily with a formal ...
have provided some of the most influential texts. In
political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...

political philosophy
, the jurisdiction of political authority, the location of
sovereignty Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate a ...
, the balancing of notions of freedom and authority, and the requirements of political obligations have been core questions from the time of
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Platoni ...

Plato
and
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
to the present. Most
democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the a ...

democratic
societies are engaged in an ongoing discussion regarding the legitimate extent of the exercise of
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
al authority. In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, for instance, there is a prevailing belief that the political system as instituted by the
Founding Fathers The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing their nation. National founders are typically those who played an influential role in setting up the systems of governance, ...
should accord the populace as much freedom as reasonable. That government should limit its authority accordingly, known as
limited government In political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a f ...
. Political anarchism is a philosophy which rejects the legitimacy of political authority and adherence to any form of sovereign rule or autonomy of a nation-state. An argument for political anarchy is made by
Michael Huemer Michael Huemer (; born 27 December 1969) is a professor of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, ...

Michael Huemer
in his book '' The Problem of Political Authority''. On the other side, one of the main arguments for the legitimacy of the state is some form of the social contract theory developed by
Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; sometimes known as Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; 5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679) was an , considered to be one of the founders of modern . Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book ', in which he expounds an influential form ...
in his 1668 book, ''Leviathan'', or by
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment throughout Europe, as w ...

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
in his political writings on
the social contract ''The Social Contract'', originally published as ''On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Political Right'' (french: Du contrat social; ou Principes du droit politique) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 ...
.


Sociology

Since the emergence of the
social sciences Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biol ...

social sciences
, authority has become a subject of research in a variety of
empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition In logic and linguistics, a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence (linguistics), sentence. In philosophy, "Meaning (philosophy), meaning" is understood to be a non-linguistic entity which is s ...
settings: the family (parental authority), small groups (informal authority of
leadership Leadership, both as a research area and as a practical skill, encompasses the ability of an individual, group or organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and B ...

leadership
), intermediate organizations such as schools, churches, armies, industries and bureaucracies (organizational and bureaucratic authority), and society-wide or inclusive organizations, ranging from the most primitive tribal society to the modern nation-state and intermediate organization (political authority). The definition of authority in contemporary social science remains a matter of debate.
Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political economy, political economist regarded as among the most important theorists of the development of Modernity, modern ...

Max Weber
in his essay "
Politics as a Vocation "Politics as a Vocation" (german: Politik als Beruf) is an essay by German economist and sociologist Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political econ ...
" (1919) divided legitimate authority into three types. Others, like
Howard Bloom Howard Bloom (born June 25, 1943) is an American author. He was a music publicist A publicist is a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a company, a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature tha ...
, suggest a parallel between authority and respect/reverence for ancestors.


United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms

The political authority in the British context can be traced to James VI and I of Scotland who wrote two political treatises called ''
Basilikon Doron The ''Basilikon Doron'' is a treatise on government written by King James VI James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of ...

Basilikon Doron
'' and '' The Trve Lawe of free Monarchies: Or, The Reciprock and Mvtvall Dvtie Betwixt a free King, and his naturall Subiectes'' which advocated his right to rule on the basis of the concept of the
divine right of kings In European Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the M ...
, a theological concept that has a basis in multiple religions, but in this case, Christianity, tracing this right to the
apostolic succession Apostolic succession is the method whereby the of the is held to be derived from the by a continuous succession, which has usually been associated with a claim that the succession is through a series of s.F.L. Cross, E.A. Livingstone (editors) ...
. The King in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth states are considered the foundations of judicial, legislative and executive authority.


United States

The understanding of political authority and the exercise of political powers in the American context traces back to the writings of the
Founding Fathers The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing their nation. National founders are typically those who played an influential role in setting up the systems of governance, ...
, including the arguments put forward in ''
The Federalist Papers ''The Federalist Papers'' is a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the Pseudonym, collective pseudonym "Publius" to promote the History of the United States Constitution, ratifica ...
'' by
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited wi ...

James Madison
,
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fa ...

Alexander Hamilton
and the First Chief Justice of the United States
John Jay John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, patriot, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of ...

John Jay
, and later speeches by the 16th President of the United States
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of governme ...

Abraham Lincoln
. "Our government rests in public opinion," President Abraham Lincoln said in 1856. In his 1854 Speech at Peoria, Illinois, Lincoln espoused "the proposition that each man should do precisely as he pleases with all which is exclusively his own," a principle existing "at the foundation of the sense of justice." This sense of personal ownership and stewardship was integral to the practice of
self-government __NOTOC__ Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a person or group to exercise all necessary functions of regulation without intervention from an external authority (sociology), authority. It may refer to personal con ...
as Abraham Lincoln saw it by a
Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of government that is not a monarchy or dictatorship, and is usually associated with the rule of law. ** Republicanism, the ideology in support of republics or against ...
nation and its people. This was because, as Abraham Lincoln also declared, "No man is good enough to govern another man, without that other's consent." The U.S. President is called to give account to the Parliament for the conduct of the whole government, including that of regulatory agencies. The President influences the appointments, the budgeting process and has the right and capacity to review regulatory rules on a case-by-case basis. Since the time of the
Reagan administration The presidency of Ronald Reagan began at noon EST (17:00 UTC) on January 20, 1981, when Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan ( ; February 6, 1911June 5, 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United S ...
the President was informed with a
cost–benefit analysis Cost–benefit analysis (CBA), sometimes also called benefit–cost analysis, is a systematic approach to estimating the strengths and weaknesses of alternatives used to determine options which provide the best approach to achieving benefits while p ...
of the regulation. The creation of a regulatory agency requires an act of the Congress which specifies its jurisdiction, the related authority and delegated powers. Regulatory authorities can be qualified as independent agencies or executive branch agencies, a choice which is the reason of struggle between the Congress and the President as well as with the American Courts. The latter's role is limited by the authorities' power to regulate
property rights The right to property, or the right to own property (cf. ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be any asset, including an object, land or real estate, intellectual property, or until th ...
without the
due process Due process is the legal requirement that the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspa ...
rights mandatorily applied by the courts.


See also


References


Further reading

*
Giorgio Agamben Giorgio Agamben (; ; born 22 April 1942) is an Italian philosopher best known for his work investigating the concepts of the state of exception, form-of-life (borrowed from Ludwig Wittgenstein Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( ; ; 26 Ap ...
, ''State of Exception'' (2005) *
Hannah Arendt Hannah Arendt (, also , ; 14 October 1906 – 4 December 1975) was a German-born American political theorist. Her many books and articles have had a lasting influence on political theory and philosophy. Arendt is widely considered one of ...
, "Authority in the Twentieth Century."
Review of Politics
' (1956) *
Hannah Arendt Hannah Arendt (, also , ; 14 October 1906 – 4 December 1975) was a German-born American political theorist. Her many books and articles have had a lasting influence on political theory and philosophy. Arendt is widely considered one of ...
, ''On Violence'' (1970) *
Józef Maria Bocheński Józef Maria Bocheński ( Czuszów, Congress Poland Congress Poland or Russian Poland, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland, was a polity created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna as a semi-autonomous Poland, Polish State (polity), state and ...
, ''?'' (1974) * Renato Cristi, ''Hegel on Freedom and Authority'' (2005) *
Carl Joachim Friedrich Carl Joachim Friedrich (; ; born June 5, 1901, Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million ...
, ''Authority''. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (1958) *
Carl Joachim Friedrich Carl Joachim Friedrich (; ; born June 5, 1901, Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million ...
, ''An Introduction to Political Theory: Twelve Lectures at Harvard.'' New York: Harper & Row (1967) *
Carl Joachim Friedrich Carl Joachim Friedrich (; ; born June 5, 1901, Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million ...
, ''Tradition and Authority''. London: Macmillan (1972) * Robert E. Goodin (ed),
The Oxford Handbook of Political Science
' (2011) * Patrick Hayden, ''Hannah Arendt: Key Concepts'' (2014), esp. Chapter 8 *
Alexandre Kojève Alexandre Kojève ( , ; 28 April 1902 – 4 June 1968) was a Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neig ...

Alexandre Kojève
, "The Notion of Authority" (2014) *
Rafael Domingo Osle Rafael Domingo Oslé (born 1963 in Logroño, La Rioja (Spain), La Rioja) is a Spanish jurist, legal historian and professor of law who is specialized in ancient Roman law, Comparative law, law and religion, and Global law. Domingo is the Spruill F ...
, ''Auctoritas'' (1999) * Gail Radford, ''The Rise of the Public Authority: Statebuilding and Economic Development in Twentieth-Century America'' (2013) *
Carl Schmitt Carl Schmitt (; 11 July 1888 – 7 April 1985) was a German jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholarnot necessarily with a formal ...
, ''Der Begriff des Politischen'' 'The_Concept_of_the_Political''.html" ;"title="The_Concept_of_the_Political.html" ;"title="'The Concept of the Political">'The Concept of the Political''">The_Concept_of_the_Political.html" ;"title="'The Concept of the Political">'The Concept of the Political''(1932) *
Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political economy, political economist regarded as among the most important theorists of the development of Modernity, modern ...

Max Weber
, ''Economy and Society'' (1922) *
Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political economy, political economist regarded as among the most important theorists of the development of Modernity, modern ...

Max Weber
, ''
Politics as a Vocation "Politics as a Vocation" (german: Politik als Beruf) is an essay by German economist and sociologist Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political econ ...
'' (1919)


External links

*
Appeal to Authority Breakdown
* * Four essays published in the '' International Journal of Philosophical Studies'' from th
Robert Papazian Essay Prize Competition on Authority
{{Authority control Group processes Philosophy of law Political philosophy Social concepts Social ethics