Placeholder Image

字幕列表 影片播放

  • Prof: Okay, now let me--I actually would

  • like to spend as much time as I can on Durkheim's methodology.

  • I have lots of notes.

  • This is the twenty-fourth lecture, note,

  • this semester for this course.

  • But let me rush through of the test questions and just to tell

  • you how I would like to deal with them.

  • I think the first one is very obvious, probably a bit too

  • obvious.

  • The question is how can you make it interesting?

  • I hope that the distinction between power and domination is

  • clear.

  • Right?

  • Power means that somebody can impose its will on somebody

  • else, even if that other person opposes it.

  • There is a strong element of coercion involved.

  • Right?

  • You can coerce people to obey your command.

  • Domination implies that you do not have to use coercion

  • systematically, because people tend to

  • internalize the reasons those who have power use in order to

  • legitimate why they should have power.

  • Right?

  • And then this brings us to the notion of legitimacy.

  • Right?

  • Legitimacy are the claims which are made by those who have

  • power, which try to justify why it is

  • reasonable that they should issue commands and others should

  • obey it.

  • So far, very simple. Right?

  • What is kind of controversial about this?

  • It's controversial the way how Weber uses the notion of

  • legitimacy.

  • Normally we, in modern democratic theory,

  • we believe--right?--a system is legitimate when it has popular

  • consent.

  • We think about universal suffrage.

  • People go to free and fair elections, and then they elect

  • leaders, and then they follow those elected to office this

  • way.

  • Then power is legitimate.

  • But I think Weber wants to have a broader notion of legitimacy.

  • Because free and fair elections, operating with

  • universal suffrage, go back one-hundred years in

  • human history, and in some countries it still

  • does not exist.

  • And Weber does not want to describe the last ten minutes of

  • human history for human history's twenty-four hours.

  • Right?

  • He wants to offer some conceptual tools to understand

  • the whole twenty-four hours.

  • So that's why he has this interesting notion of

  • legitimacy; which it does imply that people

  • have to have a certain degree of belief in the validity of the

  • legitimacy claims.

  • But it is a rather passive notion of belief.

  • They don't have to love the person in position of authority;

  • they do not have to elect it.

  • They simply--it's enough if they think, "Well I cannot

  • think of a better alternative."

  • Right?

  • Another dictator could be worse than this one.

  • Right?

  • This is a dictator, but a reasonable one.

  • And Weber will say, as long as this is happening,

  • the person in authority will not have to use coercion

  • systematically, and therefore it will be

  • legitimate.

  • Right?

  • Let me also just say--of course, the coercive element is

  • also in domination.

  • Right?

  • If people disobey the law, then they will be coerced.

  • There is certainly a promise of coercion, even in modern free

  • democracies.

  • People are put in jail; in this country people are even

  • executed.

  • Right?

  • So there is an element of coercion.

  • Just the real question is how systematic that coercion should

  • be?

  • And for Weber, pure exercise of authority is

  • relatively rare and marginal.

  • I would say, for instance,

  • the sort of last year or two or three of Hitler was fairly

  • illegitimate.

  • Hitler had to use massive coercion.

  • Certain epochs of rule of Stalin in the Soviet Union were

  • illegitimate, not all the rule of Stalin.

  • During the Second World War he established some legitimacy.

  • But when he had to imprison ten million people--

  • right?--and to kill tens of thousands or hundreds of

  • thousands, that is an indication that this

  • is illegitimate.

  • Okay?

  • So that's the way how I would handle it--right?--to work

  • around this interesting conception of legitimacy,

  • and what is for and against this.

  • Well this is again a very simple question,

  • traditional and legal-rational authority.

  • Right?

  • The basic difference is--right?--that traditional

  • authority, you have a personal master.

  • In legal-rational authority you do not have a personal master.

  • You obey the laws, and the people who are in

  • charge, who are superiors, will also have to obey the same

  • laws, what you are required to do.

  • And traditional authority is legitimated by the sanctity of

  • age-old rules.

  • Here again I think the interesting issue,

  • if I would write about this, will be, well this is a big

  • historical distinction.

  • But Weber also uses it to describe, in contemporary

  • society, different types of organizations.

  • So contemporary theory has a big dose of traditional

  • authority in it--right?--and I would try to elaborate on this.

  • Well this is--right?--one of the trickier questions:

  • Why does Weber believe that bureaucracy is efficient?

  • And you may agree or may disagree with him.

  • So first of all, I would state why Weber

  • believes that bureaucracy is efficient.

  • I would emphasize that he thinks that bureaucracy is the

  • most efficient, in the technical terms--not

  • necessarily otherwise.

  • And then, of course, the way how he defines

  • bureaucracy.

  • People are put into position in terms of their competence.

  • There is a rule of law.

  • It is a predictable environment, a bureaucratic

  • environment.

  • There is a hierarchy of appeals; if somebody makes a mistake,

  • how to appeal.

  • This, of course, all makes it efficient.

  • Now we know that bureaucracies are often inefficient.

  • So how to reconcile this?

  • Well it's not that Weber was totally insensitive to the

  • problem of inefficiencies of bureaucracies,

  • and he formulated it how that bureaucracies are caught between

  • formal and substantive rationality.

  • That's the way how I would probably defend Weber--to say he

  • was not that naīve to believe that bureaucracies are

  • always efficient.

  • They would be efficient if they would be purely formally

  • rational, but they are not.

  • And one good example is welfare bureaucracies,

  • which do establish a kind of patron-client

  • relationships--right?--between bureaucracies and clients.

  • Some people refer to this as welfare dependency,

  • which makes it, of course, a cause of

  • inefficiency.

  • Well this is a nice question to answer, and we discussed this a

  • great deal.

  • We know that charismatic leaders appear in times of

  • crisis, when people are looking for a change.

  • Right?

  • So Barack Obama, during the presidential

  • campaign, he has read Weber carefully;

  • he knew how to frame--right?--his message

  • exactly as a charismatic message.

  • It was all about change, and it was about hope.

  • Right?

  • In contrast with Hillary Clinton or John McCain.

  • Both of them emphasized that "we are experienced'.

  • This is not what people wanted to hear when they wanted to have

  • change.

  • So yes, in this respect, Barack Obama did have a

  • charismatic appeal, and this charismatic appeal did

  • gel.

  • Right?

  • Many people responded to his charisma.

  • He was criticized by his opponent that he's a rock

  • star--right?--because people got so excited about him.

  • So he could appeal to the emotion of people.

  • Right?

  • He could appeal to them.

  • But, of course, as we again discussed in

  • discussion sections-- also briefly in class--Barack

  • Obama has a charismatic appeal, but he operates in a

  • legal-rational authority.

  • Right?

  • And we just have seen that very recently--right?--making a

  • decision about the war in Afghanistan.

  • Right?

  • Well he had to deal with realities.

  • Right?

  • So well Weber would--in the classical sense,

  • charisma in Weber is reserved to great religious leaders,

  • such as Muhammad or Jesus or whatever,

  • or the great prophets.

  • And in this sense charisma is not really applicable to

  • politicians operating in legal-rational authority.

  • So Weber would have some unease to call Barack Obama a

  • charismatic leader.

  • I would think he would concede that certainly Barack Obama had

  • charismatic features, as such.

  • Now the fifth question: Durkheim and the study of law.

  • Why on earth he starts from the study of law in analyzing

  • society?

  • Because he's a methodological collectivist,

  • and because he wants to capture something like the collective

  • conscience, which is more than the sum

  • total of individual consciousness.

  • But he's also a scientist, and I hope I will have a little

  • time to talk about the methodology.

  • He wants to be very rigorous, and he doesn't want to start

  • with ideas; he wants to start with facts.

  • Well he's caught in--right?--a contradiction.

  • So collective conscience is ideas.

  • Right?

  • How on earth you study them objectively?

  • And law is a great example, because law is written down.

  • Right?

  • There is written law.

  • You can study it objectively, and it is not only individual

  • consciousness what guides us all.

  • So I think this is the major reason why his point of

  • departure is--as an example--law because this is what he can

  • rigorously study.

  • It can be seen as a social fact--right?--

  • that this is the law, and to understand why this law

  • came into being, under what circumstances,

  • and how does it influence people?

  • Well, of course, the inspiration comes from

  • Montesquieu.

  • All right.

  • Well agreement and disagreement.

  • I think the real question is whether you buy into

  • methodological collectivism or not.

  • Some of you may be methodological individualists.

  • Especially if you are an Econ major, you tend to be an

  • economic individualist, a methodological individualist.

  • Right?

  • You tend to believe that there are rational individual actors

  • who pursue interest, and you are very skeptical

  • about anything which is assumedly above the individual.

  • So in that case, if you are a methodological

  • individualist-- and, in fact,

  • I think the dominant trend in social sciences today is

  • methodological individualism and a great deal of skepticism about

  • methodological collectivism-- that can be a kind of critical

  • handle on it.

  • Or at least you can show this is the way how it can be

  • criticized, and you can show why you

  • actually think that methodological collectivism is

  • reasonable.

  • Okay, the sixth question, organic and mechanical

  • solidarity, and how this is related to Weber's typology of

  • authority.

  • I mean, it's pretty simple.

  • There are very important distinctions--di

  • fferences--between Durkheim and Weber.

  • Durkheim looks at what brings society together.

  • The central concept is solidarity.

  • Weber looks at social conflict, what takes society apart.

  • So he looks at struggle around power.

  • Right?

  • Weber is coming from the lineage of, I would say,

  • Hobbes and Nietzsche.

  • Right?

  • That's where the Weberian view comes from.