Published on October 13, 2020
Legitimate power is based on a structural relationship (or rather
the acceptance of economic stratification or other forms of
hierarchy) between the influencing agent and the target.
Implicitly, or explicitly, the agent says, “I have a right (the
position) to ask you to do this and you have an obligation (the
position) to comply”.
When words like “obliged” or “obligated”, “should”, “ought to”,
“must”, and “are required to” are used, they may signal an
attempt at “legitimisation of power” (which even if accepted by
a society, may not be considered lawful in more common sense
perceptions or by a questioning individual).
Legitimacy can be understood as a capital of recognition
(Bourdieu). This symbolic capital makes a coercive force be
accepted for whom it “suffers”. Power becomes authority when it
possesses “capital of legitimisation”. However, bearing in mind
that throughout political history of the West that capital of
legitimacy has function and has been stated in diverse ways,
this distinction between power and authority must take in the
multiple and diverse forms in which both have been conceived.
There are mainly three legitimacy paradigms that can synthesize
the earlier mentioned history: the paradigm of difference, that
of equality, and that of interdependency between difference and
equality. Each one of these paradigms entails different ways of
conceiving the legitimate power and the illegitimate power:
Raw magic crackled from their spines, earthing itself harmlessly in the copper rails nailed to every shelf for
that very purpose. Faint traceries of blue fire crawled across the bookcases and there was a sound, a
papery whispering, such as might come from a colony of roosting starlings. In the silence of the night the
books talked to one another. A student