Can it be both democratic and authoritarian?

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Since the fall of the Soviet Union Russia’s political development has been mixed. Russia today can be considered a hybrid regime with many authoritarian features that blends in some elements of electoral democracy.¹ Under Boris Yeltsin, Russia moved to a more democratic rule as well as a more privatized economy. ¹Russia’s government, however, has a weak rule of law and corruption is high. When Putin became president, he utilized state power in order to suppress state adversaries.¹ In Russia, parties are not well established; therefore, not strong enough to contest democratic elections, infact, they have facilitated the rise of an authoritarian regime. ¹

On December 5th 2018, law makers in Wisconsin voted to limit powers of a new democratic governor. In a lame duck session, the Republican-controlled state Legislature in Wisconsin has approved new limits on the power of Democratic Government elected Tony Evers.² Lawmakers voted to restrict Evers from following through on a campaign promise to remove Wisconsin from a multistate lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act.² In addition, lawmakers voted to limit early voting in Wisconsin and make it more difficult for Evers to alter Wisconsin’s voter ID law.²

Are there authoritarian tendencies in systems which are considered democratic?

In countries such as the UK, democracy has been threatened by events such as Brexit, if the UK passes a new voting opportunity, the vote of the people in the first place in undermined. While if they do not, then those who are in disbelief do not get a chance to express their views. In Russia and Nigeria, democracy is threatened by the lack of rule of law. In Russia it is also threatened by the lack of power sources available to the people, only one source is available for use.

¹ Dickovick, James Tyler, and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics: Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. 533-537


²Johnson, Shawn, and Laurel White. “Wisconsin Lawmakers Vote To Limit Powers Of New Democratic Governor.” NPR, NPR, 5 Dec. 2018, http://www.npr.org/2018/12/05/673683966/wisconsin-lawmakers-vote-to-limit-powers-of-new-democratic-governor.