Competitive Authoritarianism

Competitive Authoritarianism is a hybrid form of government with values coming from democratic and authoritarian governments. A great example would be Russia under Putin. This form of government is where the regime does not meet the four requirements for democracy (fair elections, right to vote, freedoms of speech etc. and elected officials have real responsibility). In a competitive authoritarian government, there is usually one very strong party, people are not generally allowed freedom of speech and bribes and other things are prevalent.

In 2018, Russians charged over 27 million dollars in bribes, and that is just what was found. This is up from the year before and proves that Russia ranks low in transparency and high in corruption.

How can the distinction be made that a competitive authoritarian government isn’t a democracy or authoritarian?

The main distinction would be that the government does not grant basic rights to its citizens and there is not an opposing party. Mexico’s PRI reign would be characterized as a competitive authoritarian government. While Mexico during this time didn’t necessarily oppress its citizens, it did control the media, accept bribes and there was never a strong opposition party.


Dickovick, J. Tyler, and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics. Classic and Contemporary Readings ed., Oxford University Press, 2017.

“Russians Charged Over $27M in Bribes in 2018, Prosecutors Say.” The Moscow Times, The Moscow Times, 18 Dec. 2018,

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