Regality theory is a theory saying that people show a preference for strong leadership in times of war or collective danger, but a preference for an egalitarian political system in times of peace and safety. These psychological preferences in individuals are reflected in the political structure and culture of the society. A society in danger will develop in the direction called regal, which includes strong nationalism, discipline, strict religiosity, patriarchy, strict sexual morals, and perfectionist art. A society in peace will develop in the opposite direction called kungic, which includes egalitarianism and tolerance.
Regality theory is explained in the book warlike and peaceful societies - the interaction of genes and culture by Agner Fog. This book is both theoretical and experimental. The theoretical explanation of the regal-versus-kungic dimension is based on evolutionary psychology and human ecology. Contributions from the social sciences and the humanities are added to further analyze historical examples of regal and kungic developments. The theory is tested on data from both contemporary and ancient societies. These tests confirm the predictions of the theory.
drawing by Alexander Witting