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Power, Authority, Legitimacy Dr. Afxendiou AP Comparative Government and Politics Sachem North High School
POWER the ability, whether personal or social, to get things done — either to enforce one’s own will or to enforce the collective will of some group over others
LEGITIMACY a socially constructed and psychologically accepted right to exercise power.
LEGITIMACY AND POWER • A person can have legitimacy but no actual power • For example: the legitimate king might reside in exile, destitute and forgotten • A person can have actual power but not legitimacy • For example: the usurper who exiled the king and appropriates the symbols of office
AUTHORITY • It is subjective; it depends upon an individual’s perception of its rightness. • It is defined as rightful power, or legitimate power. • For example: the president of the United States and his administration command authority, or rightful, legitimate power