Some aspect of authority is a requirement of all communal living, and it is only the individual dwelling in isolation that is not forced to respond, with defiance or obedience, to the commands of hierarchy.
A third conceptual account of authority or set of conceptions oflegitimate authority involves the idea that the authority has a rightto rule. Strictly speaking, an authority can have a right to rulewithout the subjects having a duty to comply. The authority may have a“justification” right to rule (Ladenson 1980). This meansthat the authority has a permission to issue commands and make rulesand coerce others to comply and its possession of this right isjustified on moral grounds. This “justification right” isnot much more than the first notion we discussed above.
Because global institutions operate in the context of a lack ofoverarching and centralized political power, the form and grounds ofauthority are likely often to be distinct. As I noted above, some ofthe most powerful global institutions have powers to createpermissions rather than duties as in Security Council of the UnitedNations authorizations of the use of force. Another example is whenthe World Trade Organization's dispute settlement mechanism rules thata state may restrict trade with another state in what would normallybe a violation of their agreements in order to retaliate against astate that has violated the trade agreements.
The question that arises for a democratic theory of authority is,when do the considerations of the justice or injustice of the outcomeoverride the considerations connected with the fairness of the processof decision making?
It is important to note that this conception of authority is what wasdescribed as a special conception above. The fact that democraticassemblies have authority does not imply that all other forms ofregime never have authority. One might go along with a regime on thebasis of the instrumentalist conception of authority or even theconsent approach even if it is not democratic. It is clearnevertheless that democratic assemblies have a special kind ofauthority.
Also, the distinction between de facto and morallylegitimate authority is not universally accepted or at least it is notaccepted that the distinction makes a difference. Hobbes insists thatany entity capable of performing the function of de factoauthority is necessarily justified and deserves the obedience of thede facto subjects (Hobbes 1668). But most have argued thatthere is an important distinction between de facto authorityand legitimate authority. We will explore in what follows theconceptions political and legal philosophers have had of legitimatepolitical authority.
For most contemporary theorists to say that the state has authority inthe descriptive sense is to say that the state maintains public orderand that it issues commands and makes rules that are generally obeyedby subjects because many of them (or some important subset of themsuch as the officials of the state) think of it as having authority inthe normative sense (Hart 1961) (Some thinkers have understood theidea of legitimate authority in this descriptive sense as well (Weber1970); in what follows, we will use the term “legitimateauthority” in a normative sense only.) We should note here thatthe attitudinal component of de facto authority is notaccepted by everyone. For both Thomas Hobbes and John Austin,political authority in the de facto sense simply amounts tothe capacity of a person or group of persons to maintain public orderand secure the obedience of most people by issuing commands backed bysanctions. Subjects need not think of the authority as a legitimateauthority, on this account.
The Declaration of Independence is a statement that was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 which announced that the 13 colonies are declaring their freedom from the British Empire and the authority of King George III.
Power, meaning ‘a position of control, authority or influence over others’ (The Pocket English Dictionary) and is usually used to gain control or influence.
Most theorists of political authority view it as a species ofpractical authority rather than theoretical authority, though thisview is not held by all . Those who hold that political authority is aspecies of practical authority maintain that political authoritiesissue directives that give people reasons for action and not reasonfor belief. The thought is that political authorities impose duties ontheir subjects and thereby give them reasons for action. Thesetheorists argue that it is the function of political authorities toget people to act in certain ways so as to solve various collectiveaction problems such as a variety of different types of coordinationproblems, assurance problems and free rider problems. There have beensome dissenting views on this of late. Some have argued that theaccount of practical reason required by the idea that politicalauthority is a practical authority is incoherent and so they haveopted for the idea that political authorities, when legitimate, aretheoretical authorities regarding the existence and nature of theduties and reasons for action that people have (Hurd 2001). Since thisview is unusual this entry will concentrate on conceptions ofpolitical authority that treat it as a species of practicalauthority.
As well as everyday situations in many transcripts power and authority are shown by demonstrating different techniques, therefore I will scrutinise these and their uses in two transcripts....
Power in politics is a person who has the ability to influence a person in terms of their behaviour; however they possess no right to - unlike authority....