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Monopoly on violence

 

Monopoly on violence

The legitimation.

According to Raymond Aron, international relations are characterized by the absence of widely acknowledged legitimacy in the use of force between states.[3]

Max Weber's theory

Max Weber wrote in Politics as a Vocation that a necessary condition of statehood is the retention of such a monopoly. His expanded definition was that something is "a 'state' if and insofar as its administrative staff successfully upholds a claim on the 'monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force' (German: das Monopol legitimen physischen Zwanges) in the enforcement of its order."[4][5] Weber's concept has been formalized to show that the exclusive policing power of the state benefits social welfare, provided the state acts benevolently in the interest of its citizens.[6]

According to Weber, the state is the source of legitimate physical force. The public police and military are its main instruments, but private security can also be used with state authorization. Martha Lizabeth Phelps, writing recently in Politics & Policy, takes his idea a step further. Phelps claims that the use of private actors by the state remains legitimate if and only if military contractors are perceived as being controlled by the state.[7] Weber applied several caveats to his discussion of the state's monopoly of force:

  • He intended the statement as a contemporary observation, noting that the connection between the state and the use of physical force has not always been so close. He uses the examples of feudalism, where private warfare was permitted under certain conditions, and of religious courts, which had sole jurisdiction over some types of offenses, especially heresy and sex crimes (thus the nickname "bawdy courts"). Regardless, the state exists wherever a single authority can legitimately authorize violence.
  • By the same token, the "monopoly" does not mean that only the government may use physical force, but that the state is the only source of legitimacy for all physical coercion or adjudication of coercion. For example, the law might permit individuals to use force in defense of one's self or property, but this right derives from the state's authority.

See also

References

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Raymond Aron. Paix et guerre entre les nations, Paris 1962; English: Peace and War, 1966. New edition 2003.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Weber, Max. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (1921). p. 29
  6. ^ K. Grechenig, M. Kolmar, The State's Enforcement Monopoly and the Private Protection of Property, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) 2014, vol. 170 (1), 5-23.
  7. ^
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