Theory of domination: Legitimacy, authority, hierarchy - theorie der herrschaft: Legitimität, autorität, hierarchie

Abstract

Max Weber, by 1920, had a well-defined and elaborated notion of domination but did not complete a theory of domination. While the concept of power is amorphous, organised power relations that are structured by a relation of command and obedience may be theorised as a relation of domination. Yet, throughout the 20th century, sociologists have not completed the task. The following is a concise but systematic elaboration of a theory of domination. The text has the following headings: Preparing a theory of domination - Definition of the term domination and separation from the concept of power; Domination is a relation of command and obedience from which an organisation emerges; Domination requires recognition or, else, commands lack legitimacy; The legitimacy of domination confers authority on the commander: Continuing domination requires administration; Organisation facilitates mobilisation in collective action. The text has been written in German so as to engage Max Weber as fully as possible.

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