Power, Authority and Ligitemacy


STUDENT NAME: Brindley Fortuin
TUTOR: Edyegu, Christopher


Plagiarism Declaration

  1. I know that plagiarism is wrong. Plagiarism is to use another’s work and pretend that it is one’s own.

  2. I have used the Harvard convention for citation and
      referencing. Each contribution to, and quotation in, this
      essay/report/project/ “Plato, Locke and Machiavelli’s concepts of power, authority and legitimacy” from the work(s) of other people has been attributed, and has been cited and referenced.

  3. This essay/report Plato, Locke and Machiavelli’s concepts of power, authority and legitimacy is my own work.

  4. I have not allowed, and will not allow, anyone to copy my work with the intention of passing it off as his or her own work.

Brindley Fortuin Word count:   301

POL1004F: Introduction to Politics


25 February 2015

Assignment 1

Plato, Locke and Machiavelli’s concepts of power, authority and legitimacy.

Plato, Locke and Machiavelli are some of the most respected political theorists in history. This paper will demonstrate, through reference to their respective writings, how Plato, Locke and Machiavelli address the concept of power, authority and legitimacy

Like Thomas Hobbes, Locke agrees that the monarch lost some authority (Spragens, 1997: 33). However, Locke believes this loss of authority is the consequence of the monarch surpassing their scope of authority. Thus leading to a crisis of legitimacy where the governed became unrestful (Spragens, 1997: 33). His concept of a social contract states that the government rules by the endorsement of the governed. The contract is null in void when the government exceeds their granted power and therefore the people is not obliged to obey it anymore.

“In deciding what it should do about Socrates, Athens was actually deciding or perhaps revealing something about its own...