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Article

Эволюция институтов политического авторитета: рамочная основа концепции

Фокин К. В.

The article is devoted to the problem of political authority that is viewed as a fact of a social reality. The author regards authority as a sociopolitical institution rooted in the biological nature of a human being and evolving throughout the history. The article suggests a framework for a holistic theory of political authority and highlights four stages of its development. The first stage is (political) authority in its pre-human version. These are the forms of leadership generated by the need to solve the functional problem of cooperation among social animals and imply a mobile structure that is based on trust in the leader and is responsive to changes, rather than a rigid hierarchy. The second stage is the emergence of a functional replication of the “animal authority” within the first human communities, formation of the institution of authority and its mergence with religious ideas, the emergence of faith in supernatural agents and supernatural punishment. The third stage is the development of political authority as a religious authority, which led to the establishment of the institution of delegating power from someone who lacks physical properties — God, Gods or state as a “mortal God”. The fourth stage is the demystified political authority, which is established in a secular mo dern so ciety, but retains some elements of its predecessors. According to the author, such an empirical approach to understanding political authority opens up a possibility, among other things, to solve some problems of normative theories, allowing a clearer understanding of the role of authority in the political life of a society