CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Max Weber’s “The three pure types of legitimate do­mination”, an internationally well-known text that can be dated to 1917-20, is being published for the first time in French, in the journal Sociologie. Concentrated in these singular pages is a long and exacting reflection on domination, with Weber using the free heuristic power of the ideal typical approach to delimit and differentiate his economical analysis of the three pure types of legal, traditional and charismatic domination, in order to focus on the administrative, juridical and political dimensions of each. At the heart of these definitions – which cannot be reduced to simple categories of conjunctural considerations – are the questions of legitimacy and of maintaining domination. The major issue here is to understand the actions and the interactions of those who dominate and those who are dominated in connection with the subjective and objective meanings of domination, which, paradoxically, coexists with freedom and is thwarted by it.


  • domination
  • ideal type
  • freedom
  • legitimacy
  • paradox
  • Max Weber
Elisabeth Kauffmann
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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