Four aspects of politics in Max Weber’s Politik als Beruf
Palonen, K. (2019). Four aspects of politics in Max Weber’s Politik als Beruf. Journal of Classical Sociology, 19 (4), 331-345. doi:10.1177/1468795X19851343
Published inJournal of Classical Sociology
© 2019 SAGE Publications
The article offers a rereading of Weber’s Politik als Beruf as a conceptualisation of politics contingent and controversial activity in terms of the four aspects of politics: politicisation, polity, politicking and policy. Weber discusses politics as a concept abstracted from its content. All four aspects can be found in his exposition of the concept. Weber mentions first policy as the direction of politics and demarcates his focus on the state-type polities. Then, he presents the formula on politics as striving for power, consisting of chances to politicise its distinct shares, and discusses historical types of professional politicians and their styles of politicking. Weber illustrates the opposition between independent politicking and its result as a policy that the officials must execute. His triad passion for a cause, sense of responsibility and detached judgement among politicians correspond to the references to politicking, polity and politicisation, whereas the ethic of responsibility refers to situational politicking, but the ethic of conviction to a strict policy, which in some cases contains chances to politicise the situation. Weber’s final metaphor of politics as slow and patient drilling of hard board can be read in a way containing all the four aspects of politics. ...
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