authority

power to command

In the fields of sociology and political science, authority is the legitimate power that a person or a group of persons consensually possess and practice over other people. In a civil state, authority is made formal by way of a judicial branch and an executive branch of government. In the exercise of governance, the terms authority and power are inaccurate synonyms. The term authority identifies the political legitimacy, which grants and justifies the ruler’s right to exercise power of government; and the term power identifies the ability to accomplish an authorized goal, either by compliance or by obedience; hence, authority is the power to make decisions and the legitimacy to make such legal decisions and order their execution.
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