Authoritarianism

 Introduction

Authoritarianism is a form of government or regime that is non-democratic. See more on how to define democracy here

Types of Authoritarian Regimes

Totalitarian Personalistic dictatorship Bureaucratic Authoritarianism Theocracy

Drawbacks of Authoritarianism 

  • Poverty
  • Weak state
  • Political culture
  • Historical institution

Benefits

  • Centralized power
  • Possibility of a stronger state
  • Larger army
  • More equality for the masses

Dickovick, James Tyler, and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases. Oxford University Press, 2016.

 

 

Terms

Essential Questions

  • What tools are used to keep power in authoritarian regimes, and how can they contribute to the potential downfall of the regime?
  • How do clearly repressive authoritarian regimes maintain legitimacy?
  • How do authoritarian regimes resolve the contradiction between themselves and the democratic nature of capitalism?
  • What are the steps to convert from authoritarian rule to democratic rule? How do these changes come into fruition?
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Past Questions

Short Answer #5, 2017, Topic: Rule of Law in Democratic and Authoritarian Regimes  Questions, Sample Answers

Conceptual Analysis #6 (2016) Topic: Political Participation in Democratic and Authoritarian Regimes, Questions, Sample Answers

Country Context #7 (2013) Topic: Hybrid Regimes, Russia and China, Questions, Sample Answers Country Context #8 (2017) Topic: The Media in China and Mexico, Questions, Sample Answers

 

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Major Theories/Ideas-

 

Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way "The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism" found in Classic and Contemporary Readings, Dickovick and Eastwood (2016) 

Levitsky and Way stake a claim that not all regimes should not be expected to be transitioning toward a democracy. They both believe that it is important to see the emergence or persistence of non-democratic regimes. These authors also state multiple areas in which opposition may challenge these regimes for example, elections, legislature, judiciary and last but not least media.

Barrington Moore, "Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy" found in Classic and Contemporary Readings, Dickovick and Eastwood (2016).

Moore argues that the origins of these dictatorships can be found in the relative powers of different major political actors, and that the path of democracy sharpley contrast the path of dictatorship. This is best represented through the phrase, “No bourgeoisie, no democracy.”

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy " found in Classic and Contemporary Readings, Dickovick and Eastwood (2016) 

Acemoglu and Robinson create 4 case studies to compare the paths to democracy and authoritarian. These cases include Argentina, Great Britain, Singapore and South Africa. The believe that the explanation for these differences depends on the calculation of the elites facing distinct levels of economic inequality, social unrest and costs of repression.

 Introduction

Authoritarianism is a form of government or regime that is non-democratic. See more on how to define democracy here

Types of Authoritarian Regimes

Totalitarian Personalistic dictatorship Bureaucratic Authoritarianism Theocracy

Drawbacks of Authoritarianism 

  • Poverty
  • Weak state
  • Political culture
  • Historical institution

Benefits

  • Centralized power
  • Possibility of a stronger state
  • Larger army
  • More equality for the masses

Dickovick, James Tyler, and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases. Oxford University Press, 2016.

 

 

Terms

Essential Questions

  • What tools are used to keep power in authoritarian regimes, and how can they contribute to the potential downfall of the regime?
  • How do clearly repressive authoritarian regimes maintain legitimacy?
  • How do authoritarian regimes resolve the contradiction between themselves and the democratic nature of capitalism?
  • What are the steps to convert from authoritarian rule to democratic rule? How do these changes come into fruition?

Major Theories/Ideas-

 

Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way "The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism" found in Classic and Contemporary Readings, Dickovick and Eastwood (2016) 

Levitsky and Way stake a claim that not all regimes should not be expected to be transitioning toward a democracy. They both believe that it is important to see the emergence or persistence of non-democratic regimes. These authors also state multiple areas in which opposition may challenge these regimes for example, elections, legislature, judiciary and last but not least media.

Barrington Moore, "Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy" found in Classic and Contemporary Readings, Dickovick and Eastwood (2016).

Moore argues that the origins of these dictatorships can be found in the relative powers of different major political actors, and that the path of democracy sharpley contrast the path of dictatorship. This is best represented through the phrase, “No bourgeoisie, no democracy.”

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy " found in Classic and Contemporary Readings, Dickovick and Eastwood (2016) 

Acemoglu and Robinson create 4 case studies to compare the paths to democracy and authoritarian. These cases include Argentina, Great Britain, Singapore and South Africa. The believe that the explanation for these differences depends on the calculation of the elites facing distinct levels of economic inequality, social unrest and costs of repression.

Comparative Chart

 

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland  United Mexican States The Federal Republic of Nigeria  The Russian Federation The People's Republic of China  The Islamic Republic of Iran 
Authoritarian tendencies: N/A Authoritarian tendencies:

Went from authoritarian rule to democracy

Authoritarian tendencies:

Went from authoritarian rule to democracy

Authoritarian tendencies:

Delegative democracy

Personalistic dictatorship  

→ Putin has created this idea that if there is “No Putin, there is no Russia.”

Authoritarian tendencies:

Bureaucratic authoritarianism

Theocracy:

Confucianism

Authoritarian tendencies:

Theocracy

The Koran serves as a spiritual text as the foundation for unified national ideology that is embodied by the political system

James Tyler Dickovick and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases. (Oxford University Press, 2016).