Weber on Legal-Rational Authority 
Weber on Legal-Rational Authority
by Yale / Ivan Szelenyi
Video Lecture 20 of 25
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Views: 1,937
Date Added: June 30, 2011

Lecture Description

The purest form--the ideal type--of Weber's legal-rational type of authority is bureaucracy. Legal-rational authority indicates that authority is invested in a set of rules and rule-bound institutions and that the creating and changing the rules are outside of the control of those who administer them; it does not mean, however, that the authority is democratic. Monarchs and even authoritarian leaders who recognize a set of laws external to their powers govern using legal-rational authority. The characteristics of bureaucracy include a fixed salary, posts based on technical skill rather than personal connections, a well-defined hierarchy, and continuous rules which bind the behavior of administrators and citizens or clients alike.

Reading assignment:
Weber, Economy and Society, Chapter 3, pp. 217-226; 271-301

Course Index

Course Description

This course provides an overview of major works of social thought from the beginning of the modern era through the 1920s. Attention is paid to social and intellectual contexts, conceptual frameworks and methods, and contributions to contemporary social analysis. Writers include Hobbes, Locke, Rou... (read more)

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