The ‘masses’ in Weber’s political sociology

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Every theory of political leadership supposes some notion of the behaviour and capacities of the led. Max Weber' theory of leader-democracy rested on a particular notion of the ‘masses’. Weber depicted these masses as irrational and emotional, and thus incapable of active, extensive participation in political life. The article challenges the empirical and logical bases of Weber' view.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-265
Number of pages24
JournalEconomy and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1990
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Versions of this article were read as seminar papers to the Department of Sociology, University of Edinburgh, and the Department of Sociology, Queen's University, Kingston (Ontario).


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