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USES OF POLITICAL POWER
What is political power?
Political power according to Max Weber is a prize that is held by the dominant class in historical society, and in modern society it is held by the forces of wealth. Though there is conflict in modern society, sometimes status groups and most often political associations and parties hold political power.
Politics and political institutions are the most important institutions in society. As a concept, politics tells us so many things because we are experiencing power relations in our daily lives. For instance, even between parents there are power relations. So in society, there are micro politics and macro politics. Micro politics is seen in our daily lives. Macro politics refers to power relations that emerge at the institutional level.
Political sociology is a discipline that studies the relationship between the state and the society. In order to understand power we must understand the relationship between person A and B. If A makes B to do something even if B does not want, A would have a certain power on B. In that sense, power is a very important concept. In other words, authority means legitimate power. For example, every political leader would like to have an authority over his people because these political leaders would like his people to believe in him so in that sense if political leaders can make people to believe in him, they would have a legitimate power.
Power, legitimacy, and authority go together. Power takes many forms and it is the ability to make others do things even if they don't want to do it. Authority is like power; the only difference is that it is power that is supported by institutions. Where there is only power with no authority, then you need to have legitimacy to create trust and establish authority.
Power and authority are two basic concepts that guide the thinking of political sociologists.
Powers refers to the capacity of a person, group, and institution to be able to manipulate and shape the views and actions of people (ex: parents and children - governments and taxes)
Authority is like power except that it always refers to a set of institutions in which it operates (set of institution that backs up the power for example the bully and muscle power)
Social institutions operate to establish the set of rules that provide guidance to our lives, these rules represent authority. (Ex: University and Professors)
When large scale institutions fail, power takes over (USSR). And for the construction of durable authority, legitimacy is required.
In short, the important characteristics of state are power, authority, and legitimacy. And though power takes different forms (coercion, influence, and control), power is exercised with authority and it is basically the ability to impose ones will.
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