chapter  6
Political authority and legitimacy
Pages 16

For the ordinary citizen of a modern democratic state in times of peace, the nature of political authority is not problematical. It is embodied in a complex system of laws and administrative regulations that most citizens accept without question and that the questioning or recalcitrant minority are forced to comply with by the actions of tax inspectors, police officers and other public officials holding what are commonly called positions of authority. It has to be recognized, however, that the very notion of authority has caused difficulty to philosophers, who have argued among themselves about its meaning and nature.