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Revision:Power and
Government and Politics AS

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Definition: the ability of an
individual/institution to force others to do
what it wants - whether they want to or not.
There are three different types of power.

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Coercive- the use of physical force or at least
the threat of it, State may need to use it to
enforce security and order. Generally not
needed for more stable democracies but is
common in dictatorships.
The strongest form of power.

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The power exercised by members of the
political community - parties and their
leaders.The ability to persuade but this
includes rewards and sanctions.
e.g. the PM in the UK has prerogative powers -
but he is only powerful by convention -
contrast this to USA president
Whereas parliament enjoys…

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This is the weakest form of power- not to be
confused with power itself.
It is weak because the individual/institution
cannot enforce it's wishes in any way they can
simply influence.
e.g. the media, the public and trade unions

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The source of power and the right to exercise
it.Not to be confused with power itself.
In a pure democracy - authority lies with the
The sociologist Max Weber identified three
sources of authority.
Authority is granted to those in power and and
granted to rulers by those…

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The right to govern because institutions have
governed that way for a long time - it is
therefore assumed that people have always
The Monarch is a key example.

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Charismatic Authority
This term refers to certain abilities that a
leader may possess - the ability to persuade
and attract a following. People wish to be
governed by them.
However this manifestation of authority is
usually combined with other forms of
authority such as elective. For example JFK
had a…

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- The rational way of gaining authority
- In modern democracies this is often in
- In current political climate, it is the most
powerful justification of power
- Think Parliament =elective

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Key Words


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