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Rule by coercion or noncoercive compliance. Individuals or groups may exercise power over others—domination—either by brute force or because that power is accepted as legitimate by those who are subject to it. Max Weber identified three pure types of ‘legitimate domination’, otherwise termed types of authority, and classified these according to the grounds on which their claims to legitimacy were based. These types are: rational-legal (legitimacy claimed from a generally agreed set of rules and procedures); traditional (legitimacy based on continuity over time); and charismatic (legitimacy based on the extraordinary personal qualities of the leader). See also bureaucracy; charisma; legitimacy.

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