Use examples to briefly explain the types of authority that Max Weber identified. Discuss the extent to which a particular leader may enjoy (assert) all these types of authority.

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Max Weber divides authority into three types, legalistic/bureaucratic, charismatic, and traditional. These types attempt to answer the question of what makes authority legitimate or why people agree to follow or obey a certain leader. In other words, this categorization attempts to explain how leaders justify their positions of power.

The earliest type of leadership was traditional. It looks back to antiquity or "the way things have always been done." Hereditary monarchies or the system by which the Roman Catholic Church appoints popes and cardinals are examples of traditional authority. Similarly, in Tibetan Buddhism, there are a complex set of criteria by which children are determined to be incarnations of previous lamas and thus catapulted into positions of authority in their religion. Contra the earlier response, there are significant legal and bureaucratic elements to this, as succession or selection of the next ruler is in fact determined by an elaborate set of laws. In some ways...

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