Previously, we encountered some of the inherent difficulties with democracy in immature political settings especially those with an aggressive authoritarian past. Still, the insistence on a purely procedural definition competitive, regular, universal, and free elections remains useful. This obviously begs the question, why elections, that is, the belief that the governed should have a say in governance, are considered important? Ultimately, this goes back to the basic distinction between power and authority. Again, a distinction that is not new and that we already encountered with Cicero. Remember, he deemed it necessary that state officials possess enough power, conduct sufficient deliberations of the leading citizenry, and therefore acquire enough authority. My students, online and in person, know that no course that I teach would be complete if I wouldn't somehow relay it back to one of my intellectual heroes, Max Weber. Here you can see a poster in my office that my students made for me after a summer course on Muslim governance in which I, presumably, overstated my debt to him. Now, this German sociologist and lawyer formally distinguished between power and authority. "Power is the eminently necessary ability to coerce compliance with orders, generally through physical force or the threat thereof." The video you saw earlier showing Saddam Hussein publicly executing those among the Ba'ath leadership who he, who had dared to second guess him, is an excellent manifestation of power. Because non-obedience is severely punished, subjects and lower agents of the state will obey the commands of the ruler. In Weber's deliberately dry definition, "without regard to the actor's own attitude to the value or lack of value of the content of the command of such". If you want to survive in Saddam's Iraq, Assad's Syria, the Saud's Arabia and many other places, open defiance to the ruler is not an option, and disobedience on principled ground's literally suicidal. So something else is necessary as both Cicero and Weber acknowledge. Weber, thus, distinguishes between power (macht) and domination or authority (herrschaft). Power is defined as the "probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance, regardless of the basis on which this probability rests". Brute force deployed by a warlord, criminal, or thug meets this minimum criteria. Authority, by contrast, requires the recipient of the order to accept the order. It is therefore "the probability that a command with a given specific content will be obeyed by a given group of persons; 'discipline' is the probability that by virtue of habituation a command will receive prompt and automatic obedience in stereotyped forms on the part of a given group of persons". Power is therefore a necessary but insufficient quality. Any organized system of control will require some minimum degree of authority because orders must be carried out promptly, automatically, and reliably without the need for physical control and coercion in every instance. Such a habit can be induced by fear as we have seen. But that is costly in terms of the means directly necessary to induce fear. But also in terms of the indirect costs to society and economy resulting from the distorting and chilling effects of a system of pervasive repression. Culture, science, education they all require a reasonable degree of freedom to flourish just as the economy requires a decent degree of free regulatory predictability and fairness. In Weber's formulation again, going back to much earlier insights as already expressed by Cicero, authority requires therefore something more than brute force of fear. He characterizes it as the acceptance by the governed of the existing order as legitimate because, "Every genuine form of domination implies a minimum of voluntary compliance, that is, an interest (based on ulterior motives or genuine acceptance) in obedience." That interest in obedience, therefore, derives from the belief that the existing order meets the needs of the persons following orders. Again, fear can be a substitute for such a genuine interest but because there is no positive association with the existing order beyond the desire to avoid punishment, the order will be inherently unstable irrespective of the appearance of strength so ostensibly displayed by authoritarian regimes. Weber distinguishes three ideal types of how genuine interest in the continuation of the order, that is, the voluntary acceptance of authority can be established. He writes, "Rational authority resting on a belief in the legality of enacted rules and the rights of those elevated to authority under such rules to issue commands." Second, "Traditional authority resting on an established belief in the sanctity of immemorial traditions and the legitimacy of those exercising authority under them." And finally, "Charismatic authority resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism, or exemplary character of an individual person and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him." Arab states have mostly relied on a mixture of traditional and charismatic authority with the former being, by far, the most dominant as exemplified in the many kings, emirs, and dynastic presidential regimes. Even those regimes that began on charismatic grounds, most notably perhaps, Jamal Abdel Nasser's Egypt, eventually reverted to some variation of traditional authority perhaps best symbolized in the attempted or successful dynastic transitions from father to son in nominally presidential, often revolutionary, regimes. This pattern of legitimacy generation explains also the continued importance of Islamic law and tradition. Rational legal authority, in contrast, has not enjoyed a great deal of political traction throughout the Arab world. The notion of a constitutional patriotism as described by Jurgen Habermass for the American and the post-war German Republic, namely, the pride in the strength of state institutions deriving their legitimacy primarily from legal procedure, remains anathema throughout the Arab world. The best exponent of that principle would probably have been Abd El-Razzak El-Sanhuri, the great Egyptian jurist, constitutionalist, and codifier who lived from 1895 til 1971, although his commitment to rational law versus sacred and national law can be questioned. His conflictual relationship with the Egyptian state under various regimes and his important, but ambiguous constitutional drafting legacy throughout the Arab world, are testimony to the difficulty the principle of the superiority of rationally designed rules as the basis of authority has had in the Arab world. An Egyptian journalist, commenting on the severe dispute between the Egyptian judiciary and then President Morsi recalled the episode in 1954 when Sanhouri as the then head of the Egyptian State Council was attacked and physically assaulted in his office by supporters of the revolutionary officers. Sanhouri had been an early supporter of the republic. But then publicly disagreed with its laws for which he was physically assaulted by revolutionary vigilantes and later placed under house arrest and exile. Because these conflicts remain very much alive throughout the Arab world, that Egyptian journalist writing in 2012 was not referring to Sanhouri's legacy as a scholar but his importance as a symbol of the superiority of law rather than physical force that he explains, "Why everybody still remembers Sanhouri". Today, the democratic principle which, with its reliance on procedure, firmly belongs into the category of rational legal authority has achieved enormous universal appeal. The idea is so powerful that even polities that formally base the authority of the existing social order on a competing source of legitimacy - in the Arab world, that is primarily some variation of divinely inspired tradition -have felt the need to pay lip service to democracy. Saudi Arabia, for instance, felt the need to permit local elections. Or, Kuwait, under the liberation by western forces, had to introduce reasonably competitive parliamentary elections, et cetera. But political accountability requires more than mere elections as we will shortly see.