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  • Max Weber distinguished three ideal types of legitimate political leadership, domination and authority: charismatic authority, traditional authority and legal authority. These three types are ideal pure types and rarely appear in their pure form. According to Weber, authority is power accepted as legitimate by those subjected to it. These three forms of authority are said to appear in an "hierarchical development order". States progress from charismatic authority, to traditional authority, and finally reach the state of rational-legal authority which is characteristic of a modern liberal democracy.