Evaluation of the weber thesis

Comprises Public law when properly implemented makes it possible for people to increase the rationality of behaviour. They know what rules apply, how they read as well as how they are applied consistently. This is very important for the making of strategies over a set of alternatives of action. Societies operate on the basis of norms prohibiting, obligating or permitting certain actions in specific situations. Rule of law entails that these norms are common knowledge as well as that they are not sidestepped by other implicit or tacit norms, known only to certain actors.

Thus, the police forces and the army are strictly regulated under the supervision of courts with rules about investigations, seizure, detainment and prison sentencing. No one person or agency can take the law into their own hands. Rule of law establishes a number of mechanisms that promote not only the legal order, or the law, but also justice, or the right. For ordinary citizens, the principle of complaint and redress is vital, providing them with an avenue to test each and every decision by government, in both high and low politics. Here one may emphasize the existence of the Ombudsman , as the access to fairness for simple people.

People have certain minimum rights against the state, meaning that government respects obligations concerning the protection of life and personal integrity. Thus, when there is due process of law-procedural or substantive-one finds e.

I would dare suggest that most people in the world would want to live in a country where these precepts are respected and enforced. Only human sufferings result when they are not. Even people who adhere to a religion that rejects rule of law regret their absence when trouble starts and anarchy or even warfare comes.

Rule of law I the greatest idea in the history of political thought, from Cicero very underestimated to Kant.


The civilisation deviate the most from the Rechtsstaat is the Moslem one. This is due to the un-recognised and not fully understood revolution in the mind sets that we call Sunni fundamentalism or radical Islam. It now has started to appear in many Western countries with dire effects. Yet, rule of law is weakly enforced in the Latin American civilisation, non-existent in the Sub-Saharan civilisation and not very frequently occurring in the Buddhist one with its legacy of Oriental despotism, 33 , 34 occurring also in the Moslem civilisation as Sultanismus, although not always with a hydraulic foundation.

Today, Weber would have wished to take rule of law instead of capitalism as his dependent variable. After all, much of his writings belong to political science proper. Thus, let us turn to Weber's chief accomplishment in political sociology, namely that he identified four types of political regimes: naked power, traditional, charismatic and legal-rational authority-a most often used typology also today. However, he was not clear about the nature of the last type, linking wrongly-I wish to argue-legal-rational authority with his ideal-type Rule by model of bureaucracy, which may appear also in the authoritarian political system.

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Two meanings should be sharply separated: Capitalistic spirit or the acquisitive endeavor.

Bureaucracy and Max Weber

He employed two conceptual pairs: Salvation: Inner or other worldly religion; Asceticism: Inner or other worldly asceticism. Moslem scholars never accepted his model, 23 because the Islamic civilisation stabilised into a fixed pattern that lasted up until after the Second World War, as follows: Sunni majority with the 5 peaceful rules of behaviour; The many Shia sects with one dominance politically, in Iran; Saudi Arabic Wahhabism, not accepted outside. Mean Std. Communist Thus, we have: Call: Protestantism would have supported the emergence of modern capitalism by its work ethic, underling this worldly asceticism, although the personal goal is other worldly salvation.

However, modern capitalism is much more complex than this, especially institutionally. And similar ideas may be found in Buddhism and Confucianism. Rationality: Protestantism would have inaugurated the crushing of outer worldly asceticism, especially the set of magic behaviours and rites, opening up for secularization. However, Protestantism fought hard against Western secularization and lost. The basic source of Western rationality is Greek philosophy and Roman law, not Calvinism and Lutheranism.

The dismissal of Weber’s worth as a theorist of historical and contemporary religion is premature.

One finds elements of rationality in the other civilisations, like medicine, astronomy and mathematics with Muslims, mathematics with Hinduism plus scientific innovations and technology in China. However, one does not find the idea of rule of law and limited government outside of Western Europe, due to the predominance of oriental despotism. Authority and Naked Power:Weber was well aware of the place of power in social systems, as the capacity to impose ones will against another.

However, he argued that power is fundamentally instable as well as that the employment of naked power is costly.


In defense of the Weber thesis

Thus, we have his theory of three bases of political legitimating, enhancing authority as obedience. This moral dimension could be filled with tradition as in oriental despotism, charisma or the extraordinary gift to give direction and public law, i. In legal-rational authority, is legal-rational authority rule by law , as in China or Russia, or rule of law , as in Europe and India?

Error Beta t Sig. Comprises 32 Predictability Public law when properly implemented makes it possible for people to increase the rationality of behaviour. Transparency Societies operate on the basis of norms prohibiting, obligating or permitting certain actions in specific situations. Fairness Rule of law establishes a number of mechanisms that promote not only the legal order, or the law, but also justice, or the right.

Bendix R. Max Weber-An Intellectual Portrait. Bendix R, Roth G. Scholarship and Partnership: Essays on Max Weber. Ringer F. Max Weber: An Intellectual Biography. Bruun HH, Whimster S.

Sociology of Religion: Max Weber

Max Weber: Collected Methodological Writings. London: Routledge, UK; Schluchter W. Albert G, Bienfait A. Albert G, Bienfait A, editors. Samuelson K.

Religion and Economic Action. A critique of Max Weber. USA: Harper Torchbooks; Tawney RH.

Bureaucracy, by Max Weber Essays

Whatever might have been the relative incomes of different parts of the world before , it is clear that since then economic growth has been much more rapid in Western Europe and its overseas off shoots than in other parts of the world. Modern economic growth has taken place with a quite different economic and social structure from that which had existed earlier. Economic growth occurred at roughly the same time, or soon after, these areas experienced the rise of Protestant religions.

Some may hold this similarity to be of completely different occurrences, but for many such a non-relationship would seem difficult to understand and accept. Second, Weber has pointed to the significance of non-pecuniary or what some would call non-economic factors in influencing economic change, at least in conjunction with some appropriate set of conditions. For Weber, the key non-pecuniary factor wasbased on a particular religion and set of religious codes; to others it was a religious influence, but from a different religion, such as Catholicism or Judaism; while to other scholars it has been some different factorleading to behavior changes, such as rationalism, individualism, or the development of an economic ethic.

Some, such as R. To still other scholars, the major factor has been the nature of a minority group of penalized outsiders in society. These scholars include William Petty , , who looked at several different areas in the seventeenth century, Sombart and Thorstein Veblen who wrote on the Jews, and Alexander Gerschenkron who examined the Russian Old Believers.

Each of these explanations has been advanced in the attempt to describe the primary cause of those changes in economic behavior that have lead to the distinction between the modern and pre-modern worlds.

These studies, by such leading economic historians as Nathan Rosenberg with L. Birdzell, Jr.

Posited answers include the role of political freedom, the development of property rights, changes in technology and organization of workers, the changing ratio of land to labor, the reactions to different environmental conditions, the emergence of markets, the rise of rational thought, the inflow of specie and various others. Some focus more on what might be regarded as economic factors, while others are more in theWeberian tradition, even if there is no unanimity concerning specific causal factors.

Nevertheless, it is clear that as long as there is a belief that the economic performance of Western Europe has been unique, Weber has presentedan argument that must be confronted. Early in the second half of the twentieth century a non-western nation, Japan, as well as, somewhat later, several East Asian nations, came to experience some of the characteristics of modern economic and social change, with the development of a pattern of thrift and of a work ethic even if cooperative not individualist , but with a different form of religion.

Despite the frequency of the criticism, of the specific hypothesis in the past, the Weber thesis remains central to posing questions about the onset of modern economic growth and social and religious change in seventeenth-and eighteenth-century Western Europe. Its importance as a spiritual and ideological counter to a concentration on material conditions, as in the works of Karl Marx, provides an alternative approach to understanding economic change.

In addition to the debates on economic growth there are subsidiary questions about related aspects of western development, which might be regarded as either substitutes for or complements to the Weber Thesis. These include debates on the rise of individualism, the causes ofthe development of a more deliberate and rational approach to economic and other behavior, and the link between the emergence of modern capitalism and modern science. Weber discussed the role of those climate and geographic factors that have interested such present-day economic historians as Eric Jones, arguing that the development of firstly cities, and then nation-states, left Europe, unlike Asia, with rational states and rational law.

This set of developments reflected, according to Weber, initial differences in natural forces. First, it is often unclear what the proponent had really said, particularly crucial since we usually look only at the briefest summary of what was presented, without paying as much attention to the various qualifications and boundary conditions that the author was intelligent enough to have added.