Charismatic Domination, Totalitarian Dictatorship, and Plebiscitary Democracy in the Twentieth Century

  • Luciano Cavalli
Part of the Springer Series in Social Psychology book series (SSSOC)


This chapter is based on my recent study (1981) of Weber’s work on charisma and subsequent research in the field. I introduce an outline of a theory of charismatic domination which is not in agreement with current formulations on several points. (Weber himself, of course, always spoke of an “ideal type” rather than a theory.) In fact this theory has been influenced by a stream of thought chiefly developed by Durkheim (1912, 1924, 1925) and Parsons (1937,1951). I shall then discuss the topic of charismatic domination in the twentieth century, with a special regard to so-called totalitarian dictatorships and to plebiscitary democracy.


Party Secretary Mass Society Charismatic Quality Extraordinary Situation Athenian Democracy 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

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  • Luciano Cavalli

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