Authoritarianism is in it’s most basic definition is “a form of government or regime that is non-democratic”. Even though we all have the privilege to live in a democratic society, many places still have an authoritarian ruling regime. Throughout history, an authoritarian rule has been the norm for multiple regimes, all with different variations. These regimes have traditionally been centered around one individual or a small group of elites. Today, new authoritarian regimes are often formed after a coup or a democratic breakdown, which is the transition from a democratic to a non-democratic regime. If a current authoritarian leader is removed, the process of authoritarian persistence may occur. This is the ongoing continuation of an authoritarian regime, such that democratic transition does not take place. This processes can often occur in less developed countries such as Nigeria. Between 1979 and 1983, Nigeria experienced a brief period of democracy, however after this regime failed, an authoritarian leader once again regained power.
Although American politics appears to distance itself from authoritarian regimes, many of these regimes have been discretely influencing our politics for years. In a recent article by Bloomberg Government, it was revealed that multiple authoritarian regimes have been investing millions in lobbying. These regimes hire companies to have their country promoted. Saudi Arabia, a country that has had numerous human rights issues, apparently spent $24 million in lobbying since the beginning of 2017.
How should America interact with unstable Authoritarian regimes?
Once a stable relationship has been established between America and the Authoritarian regime, America should respectfully feel free to trade or establish deals with this country. However, these regimes should have no influence on America’s politics through the abused lobbying system.
James Tyler, Dickovickand Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics: Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.)
Jodie, Morris. “Authoritarian Regimes Pay Millions to K Street Lobbyists.” Bloomberg Government. (January 09, 2019.) https://about.bgov.com/blog/authoritarian-regimes-pay-millions-k-street-lobbyists/.