- Power - the ability of an individual or an institution to force people to do things, whether they want to or not.
- Coercion - the use of force to achieve ends.
- Political - power exercised by governments through persuasions, sanctions and incentives.
- Influence - a weaker form of power that affects decisions but cannot enforce them.
- Authority - the right to exercise power: it is granted to rilers of anyone in power by those over whom power is exercised.
- Traditional - authority that has existed for a long time and is thus accepted e.g. monarchs.
- Rational (elective) - authority granted in an ordered way.
- Charismatic - authority enjoyed by those who have a special appeal to people.
- Sovereignity - the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a territory.
- Legal - ultimate political authority e.g. British Parliament, shared in the EU.
- Political - ultimate political power e.g. people at elections, government between elections.
- External - the legitimacy of government within a territory, as recognised by other states.
- The state - the permanent apparatus that holds power within a territory. It ensures national security, whichever group is in poweer, and represents the people collectively, whatever their political allegiances. The head of state represents the whole nation without political bias.
- Government - gives the state its political direction, but is not superior.
- Legislature - law making body.
- Executive - execute laws.
- Judiciary - enforce the law.
- Direct democracy - i.e. people always play a role in decision making.
- Representative democracy - i.e. people act on behalf of others.
- Pluralist democracy - where people are represented through groups to which they belong.
- Liberal democracy - rights are strssed and participation by all is encouraged.
- Totalitarian democracy - the leader/elite claims to be acting on behalf of the people.
- The lawful right to exercise power e.g. monarchy, parliamentary…