Select Currency
Translate this page

THESIS: THE CONCEPT OF ‘POWER AND AUTHORITY’ IN NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI: AN ANALYSIS.

Format: MS WORD  |  Chapter: 1-5  |  Pages: 75  |  944 Users found this project useful  |  Price NGN3,000

GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT

THESIS: THE CONCEPT OF ‘POWER’ AND ‘AUTHORITY’ IN NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI: AN ANALYSIS 

 

ABSTRACT

In Aristotle’s evaluation of different constitutions, he considered some as better than others. One criterion was whether rule is conducted in the interest of rulers, or for the common good. Applying this criterion, we can ask if we would prepare to be governed by people who attempt to enlist our willing co-operation by persuasion, showing us how rule is in our interest also (the common good), or by people who rely exclusively on coercion, threatening – or actually implementing force. Man often co-operates without having to rehearse the whole set of reasons for his actions. He relies on short-cuts, pointing to the law, tradition directives of an official, or precedents, in a bid to explaining himself. Such reliance is obviously the recognition of authority. He does not necessarily have to be treated as an unreasonable or irrational brute before he co-operates – although sometimes, when he tends to exhibit his dangerious animalistic tendencies, one finds it somewhat unfair to cast blames on the dude behind the wheels of power. Within socio-political circles, power may sometimes be identified with authority and vice-versa, but however, neither of these are substantially one and the same, even though they may manifest common traits at specific points in time. So, conducting a marriage ceremony between them may just result in rational disputation but that notwithstanding, we should – or ought, in a unique mean resolution, find solace in what Plato regarded as “the highest form of knowledge” in his dialectic, a view which the 19th century Hegel adopted, further assertion that reality is dialectical in nature: that opposing rational views, a thesis (e.g. power) and an anti-thesis (e.g. authority), resolve into a synthesis which then becomes the thesis (THE CONCEPT OF ‘POWER’ AND ‘AUTHORITY’ IN NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI: AN ANALYSIS) of a further dialectical process and so on.  Niccolo Machiavelli’s entire political philosophy is centred around power game and authority. He understood the imperative of power devoid of morality, as well as the moralizing aspect of authority, legitimately-anchored. Between these two, Aristotle would naturally expect him to uphold virtue which according to Aristotle’s book “Niccomachean Ethics” lies in the middle but being who he is known to be, based on what he has fed us with through his works, we cant help but wonder whether Machiavelli ever possessed the patience for the Aristotelian virtue.  Leaving the above problem comfortably – poised for too long would no doubt suggest that devout philosophers like myself are either asleep, or aimlessly awake. So, with this basic mindset, I intend to subject the concepts ‘Power’ and ‘Authority’ to rational scrutiny, much in the illumination of the very popular “Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli” (1469-1527). 

 

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION 

1.1  BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY 

Without being dependent on each other or any other in perspective, power and authority are respectively capable of provoking a thesis of some sort. This must be the reason some folks have randomly found discomforting. The very idea of conducting a marriage ceremony between them – power and authority, that is. Anyway, power can be defined as “ability to do something”1, while authority can be defined as “the power or right to command”.2 It is important to be clear about the distinction between these two, since they are often confused in language, as well as in thought. We speak of a statute giving a minister “power” to do this or that, when we mean giving him authority. Similarly, we speak of going beyond one’s legal powers’ or acting “ultra vires”, where again the word ‘authority’ would express our meaning more clearly. 

The looseness of usage appears right at the beginning of the theoretical discussion o sovereignty, in the work of Jean Bodin in the 16th century. Bodin writes: ‘Sovereignty is the absolute and perpetual power (puissance) of a state… that is to say, the supreme powers to command. It is here necessary to formulate the definitionof sovereignty, because there is no just or political philosopher who has defined it, although it is the principal feature and the most necessary to be understood in the treatment of the state’. He goes on to speak further of ‘puissance souveraine’ and ‘pussance absolue’, and so gives the impression that sovereignty is a mater of power in the ordinary sense of the word. Now, anybody has the power or ability to issue a command, but not everyone is authorized or entitled to do so in particular circumstances, and not everyone is either able or entitled to have his commands carried out. 

Does Bodin mean by ‘absolute power’ the ability to issue effective commands, i.e. the ability to have one’s command carried out? This would be power, properly speaking. Or does he mean the entitlement or right to issue commands and to have them obeyed? This could be authority. A reading of his whole account of sovereignty makes it clear that ‘he means the second, but his use of the expression ‘absolute power’ suggests the first.3 Machiavelli saw stable political authority and order as necessary for social cohesion and moral regeneration. It was for this reason that he stressed the need for a unified polity and a republican and free government committed to the liberty of its people. His new way of looking at political behaviour was significantly influenced by Leonardo, a personal friend with whose writings he was familiar. Incidentally, Leonardo was an architect of Borgia, the hero of the prince. 

Machiavelli understood the realities of politics, “its hist for power, its admiration of success, its carefreeness of means, its rejection of medieval bonds, its frank pragmatism, its conviction that national unity makes for national strength. Neither his cynicism nor his praise of craftiness is sufficient to conceal the idealist in him”. He cherished Republican Liberty, but was aware of the dangers tyranny posed, amidst chaos to free institutions.  While in the Prince, Machievelli highlighted the importance of the security and unity of the state as the primary concerns of a ruler, in the discourses, the theme was liberty and republicanism.4 The Prince maintains a pride of place throughout this entire thesis. 

1.2STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

A problem can be defined as “a proposition stating something to be done”.5 The thing to be done here is an analysis of power and authority respectively, both without and within the confines of Machiavelli. But again, why the resolve to fuse power with authority? I respect this philosophical question, and dare say it I only a prestigious matter in hand. Yes, since to analyze is “to separate (something) into its constituent parts to investigate its structure and functions, etc”.6 fusion (which after all establishes unity), is therefore a condition-sine-qua-non, if the separation aforementioned must retain its relevance in analysis. 

So what is/are the structure and functions of power and authority respectively? Is any superior to, or more relevant than the other? If yes, then which? In short, to what extent can/should one be dependent on or independent of the other? Are power and authority one and the same? If not, how and to what extent do they differ? Who or what can exercise power and/or authority, and what are their limits? Why power? Why authority? … Truth is, the questions in this regard are quire numerous. However, during the progression of this thesis, conscious attempts at re-entering as many of them as possible and most necessary, will be duly meted out. 

1.3   PURPOSE OF THE STUDY 

I stated earlier that power and authority re often confused at different times and in different respects. This is strikingly the same manner in which Machiavelli’s conception of them is also often confused. This observation constitutes a major reason why in this thesis, I intend to establish the most attainable clarity concerning the nature and/or extent of power and authority as individual entities in the first instance, secondly, as fused, thirdly as determined by Niccolo Machiavelli, and finally, hopefully as less-complicated concepts introduced a fresh, for the benefit of all interested. 

1.4   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Sometimes we witness, read, or hear about events as they occur in governance and quite expectedly, only those exposed to at least basic political understanding, especially from a philosophical standpoint, can successfully grasp the reality(ies) of such occurrences, without necessarily falling prey to the luring hands of disguise. Power and authority may not be all there is to the political jurisdiction within which we now play. However, one may not succeed in an attempt to deny the fact that at the very mention of government, these dudes reflexively occupy majority space. Thus, I intend to reiterate and hopefully reveal some extra about them (that is, power and authority) than is already self-evident, an achievement which I believe will constitute a model process through which interaction with even the most guised political transactions, can be attained. 

1.5  SCOPE OF THE STUDY

In my very-much-talked-about analysis of power and authority, as much as I am aware that Machiavelli is the key personality here, I may however have to necessarily veer off course randomly, especially when at the tope of its voice, the need to buttress a point silently demands such veering.  Specifically though, Machiavelli’s popularly known treatise “The Prince”, will be analyzed under chapter three (3) of this thesis. What Machiavelli produces in The Prince is a set of prescriptions for the successful management of a state through the procurement of power? Therein, he also used the term authority to randomly express meaning and when we get to that realm, we ought seek to ascertain whether or not to him, power and authority are one and the same.

1.6   METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY 

We already know how that analysis involves separating something into its constituent parts in order to investigate its structure and function(s). With this tool therefore, I intend to mantle the pending chapters of this thesis from a historical-analytical standpoint, engaging in thorough research.  Relevant contributions from available sources; including factual, written, oral, etc, will be progressively introduced, while appraisal, refutation, critique, etc. will come quickly to play, as and when due. 

GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT

Not What You Are Looking For?



For Quick Help Chat with Us Now!

+234 814 010 7220

+233 541 351 187


Here's what our amazing customers are saying

Emmanuel Essential
Kogi state University
I actually took the risk,you know first time stuff But i was suprised i received as requested. I love you guys 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
Very Good
Azeez Abiodun
Moshood Abiola polytechnic
I actually googled and saw about iproject master, copied the number and contacted them through WhatsApp to ask for the availability of the material and to my luck they have it. So there was a delay with the project due to the covid19 pandemic. I was really scared before making the payment cause I’ve been scammed twice, they attended so well to me and that made me trust the process and made the payment and provided them with proof, I got my material in less than 10minutes
Very Good
Gbadamosi Solomon Oluwabunmi
Lasu
Swift delivery within 9 minutes of payment. Thank you project master
Excellent
JONNAH EHIS
Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo
I was scared at first when I saw your website but I decided to risk my last 3k and surprisingly I got my complete project in my email box instantly. This is so nice!!!
Excellent
MATTHEW NGBEDE
Ahmadu Bello University
I wish I knew you guys when I wrote my first degree project, it took so much time and effort then. Now, with just a click of a button, I got my complete project in less than 15 minutes. You guys are too amazing!
Excellent
Temitayo Ayodele
Obafemi Awolowo University
My friend told me about iprojectmaster website, I doubted her until I saw her download her full project instantly, I tried mine too and got it instantly, right now, am telling everyone in my school about iprojectmaster.com, no one has to suffer any more writing their project. Thank you for making life easy for me and my fellow students... Keep up the good work
Very Good
Stancy M
Abia State University, Uturu
I did not see my project topic on your website so I decided to call your customer care number, the attention I got was epic! I got help from the beginning to the end of my project in just 3 days, they even taught me how to defend my project and I got a 'B' at the end. Thank you so much iprojectmaster, infact, I owe my graduating well today to you guys...
Excellent
Ibrahim Muhammad Muhammad
Usmanu danfodiyo university, sokoto
It's a site that give researcher student's to gain access work,easier,affordable and understandable. I appreciate the iproject master teams for making my project work fast and available .I will surely,recommend this site to my friends.thanks a lot..!
Excellent
Dau Mohammed Kabiru
Kaduna State College of Education Gidan Waya
This is my first time..Your service is superb. But because I was pressed for time, I became jittery when I did not receive feedbackd. I will do more business with you and I will recommend you to my friends. Thank you.
Very Good
Joseph M. Yohanna
Thanks a lot, am really grateful and will surely tell my friends about your website.
Excellent

HOW TO GET YOUR COMPLETE PROJECT INSTANTLY

  • Select 3 Project Topics of your choice from your Department.
  • Submit the 3 topics to your Supervisor for Approval.
  • Call Our Instant Help Desk on +234 814 010 7220 and Get Your Complete Project Material Instantly.
  • All project materials on this website are well researched by professionals with high level of professionalism.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do i choose a Project Topic?

Look for your department and select any topic of your choice

I have a fresh topic that is not on your website. How do I go about it?

How fast can i get a complete project from your website?

Within 15 minutes if the exact project topic is on our website

Is it a complete research project or just materials?

It is a Complete Research Project i.e Chapters 1-5, Abstract, Table of Contents, Full References, Questionnaires / Secondary Data

One of your topics suites my project, but the case study is different. What do i do?

Call Our Instant Help Desk Now: +234 814 010 7220 and you will be responded to immediately

How do i get my complete project?

Your Complete Project Material will be sent to your Email Address in Ms Word document format

Can I get my Complete Project through WhatsApp?

Yes! We can send your Complete Research Project to your WhatsApp Number

What if my Project Supervisor made some changes to a topic i picked from your website?

Call Our Instant Help Desk Now: +234 814 010 7220 and you will be responded to immediately

Do you assist students with Assignment and Project Proposal?

Yes! Call Our Instant Help Desk Now: +234 814 010 7220 and you will be responded to immediately

What if i do not have any project topic idea at all?

Smiles! We've Got You Covered. Chat with us on WhatsApp Now to Get Instant Help: +234 814 010 7220

How can i trust this site?

We are well aware of fraudulent activities that have been happening on the internet. It is regrettable, but hopefully declining. However, we wish to reinstate to our esteemed clients that we are genuine and duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as "PRIMEDGE TECHNOLOGY". This site runs on Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), therefore all transactions on this site are HIGHLY secure and safe!