ListMoto - Authoritarianism

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is a form of government characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms. Individual freedoms are subordinate to the state and there is no constitutional accountability under an authoritarian regime.[1] Juan Linz's influential 1964 description of authoritarianism[2] characterized authoritarian political systems by four qualities:

Limited political pluralism, that is such regimes place constraints on political institutions and groups like legislatures, political parties and interest groups; A basis for legitimacy based on emotion, especially the identification of the regime as a necessary evil to combat "easily recognizable societal problems" such as underdevelopment or insurgency; Minimal social mobilization most often caused by constraints on the public such as suppression of political opponents and anti-regime activity; Informally defined executive power with often vague and shifting powers.[3]


1 Authoritarian
government and states

1.1 Authoritarianism
and totalitarianism 1.2 Authoritarianism
and democracy 1.3 Examples of states considered to be authoritarian 1.4 Examples of states which were historically authoritarian

2 Systemic weakness and resilience 3 Anti-authoritarianism 4 Gender and authoritarianism 5 See also 6 Notes 7 Works cited 8 External links

government and states Linz distinguished new forms of authoritarianism from personalistic dictatorships and totalitarian states, taking Francoist Spain
Francoist Spain
as an example. Unlike personalistic dictatorships, new forms of authoritarianism have institutionalized representation of a variety of actors (in Spain's case, including the military, the Catholic Church, Falange, monarchists, technocrats and others). Unlike totalitarian states, the regime relies on passive mass acceptance rather than popular support.[4] Several subtypes of authoritarian regimes have been identified by Linz and others.[5] Linz identified the two most basic subtypes as traditional authoritarian regimes and bureaucratic-military authoritarian regimes:

Traditional authoritarian regimes are those "in which the ruling authority (generally a single person)" is maintained in power "through a combination of appeals to traditional legitimacy, patron-client ties and repression, which is carried out by an apparatus bound to the ruling authority through personal loyalties". An example is Ethiopia under Haile Selassie I.[5] Bureaucratic-military authoritarian regimes are those "governed by a coalition of military officers and technocrats who act pragmatically (rather than ideologically) within the limits of their bureaucratic mentality.[5] Mark J. Gasiorowski suggests that it is best to distinguish "simple military authoritarian regimes" from "bureaucratic authoritarian regimes" in which "a powerful group of technocrats uses the state apparatus to try to rationalize and develop the economy" such as South Korea
South Korea
under Park Chung-hee.[5]

Linz also has identified three other subtypes of authoritarian regime: corporatist or organic-statistic, racial and ethnic "democracy" and post-totalitarian.[5]

Corporatist authoritarian regimes "are those in which corporatism institutions are used extensively by the state to coopt and demobilize powerful interest groups". This type has been studied most extensively in Latin America.[5] Racial and ethnic "democracies" are those in which "certain racial or ethnic groups enjoy full democratic rights while others are largely or entirely denied those rights", such as in South Africa
South Africa
under apartheid.[5] Post-totalitarian authoritarian regimes are those in which totalitarian institutions (such as the party, secret police and state-controlled mass media) remain, but where "ideological orthodoxy has declined in favor of routinization, repression has declined, the state's top leadership is less personalized and more secure, and the level of mass mobilization has declined substantially".[5] Examples include the Russian Federation
and Soviet Eastern bloc
Eastern bloc
states in the mid-1980s.[5]

regimes are also sometimes subcategorized by whether they are personalistic or populist.[5] Personalistic authoritarian regimes are characterized by arbitrary rule and authority exercised "mainly through patronage networks and coercion rather than through institutions and formal rules".[5] Personalistic authoritarian regimes have been seen in post-colonial Africa. By contrast, populist authoritarian regimes "are mobilizational regimes in which a strong, charismatic, manipulative leader rules through a coalition involving key lower-class groups".[5] Examples include Argentina
under Perón,[5] Egypt
under Nasser[5] and Venezuela
under Chávez and Maduro.[6][7] Authoritarianism
is characterized by highly concentrated and centralized power maintained by political repression and the exclusion of potential challengers. It uses political parties and mass organizations to mobilize people around the goals of the regime.[8] Adam Przeworski has theorized that "authoritarian equilibrium rests mainly on lies, fear and economic prosperity".[9] Authoritarianism
also tends to embrace the informal and unregulated exercise of political power, a leadership that is "self-appointed and even if elected cannot be displaced by citizens' free choice among competitors", the arbitrary deprivation of civil liberties and little tolerance for meaningful opposition.[8] A range of social controls also attempt to stifle civil society,[10] while political stability is maintained by control over and support of the armed forces, a bureaucracy staffed by the regime and creation of allegiance through various means of socialization and indoctrination.[8] Authoritarian
political systems may be weakened through "inadequate performance to demands of the people".[8] Vestal writes that the tendency to respond to challenges to authoritarianism through tighter control instead of adaptation is a significant weakness and that this overly rigid approach fails to "adapt to changes or to accommodate growing demands on the part of the populace or even groups within the system".[8] Because the legitimacy of the state is dependent on performance, authoritarian states that fail to adapt may collapse.[8] Authoritarianism
is marked by "indefinite political tenure" of the ruler or ruling party (often in a one-party state) or other authority.[8] The transition from an authoritarian system to a more democratic form of government is referred to as democratization.[8] John Duckitt suggests a link between authoritarianism and collectivism, asserting that both stand in opposition to individualism.[11] Duckitt writes that both authoritarianism and collectivism submerge individual rights and goals to group goals, expectations and conformities.[12] Authoritarianism
and totalitarianism

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is an extreme version of authoritarianism. Authoritarianism
primarily differs from totalitarianism in that social and economic institutions exist that are not under governmental control. Building on the work of Yale political scientist Juan Linz, Paul C. Sondrol of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
has examined the characteristics of authoritarian and totalitarian dictators and organized them in a chart:[13]

Totalitarianism Authoritarianism

Charisma High Low

Role conception Leader as function Leader as individual

Ends of power Private Public

Corruption Low High

Official ideology Yes No

Limited pluralism No Yes

Legitimacy Yes No

Sondrol argues that while both authoritarianism and totalitarianism are forms of autocracy, as they differ in "key dichotomies":

(1) Unlike their bland and generally unpopular authoritarian brethren, totalitarian dictators develop a charismatic "mystique" and a mass-based, pseudo-democratic interdependence with their followers via the conscious manipulation of a prophetic image. (2) Concomitant role conceptions differentiate totalitarians from authoritarians. Authoritarians view themselves as individual beings largely content to control and often maintain the status quo. Totalitarian self-conceptions are largely teleological. The tyrant is less a person than an indispensable function to guide and reshape the universe. (3) Consequently, the utilisation of power for personal aggrandizement is more evident among authoritarians than totalitarians. Lacking the binding appeal of ideology, authoritarians support their rule by a mixture of instilling fear and granting rewards to loyal collaborators, engendering a kleptocracy.[13]

Compared to totalitarianism, "the authoritarian state still maintains a certain distinction between state and society. It is only concerned with political power and as long as that is not contested it gives society a certain degree of liberty. Totalitarianism, on the other hand, invades private life and asphyxiates it".[14] Another distinction is that "authoritarianism is not animated by utopian ideals in the way totalitarianism is. It does not attempt to change the world and human nature".[14] Carl Joachim Friedrich writes that "a totalist ideology, a party reinforced by a secret police, and monopoly control of ... industrial mass society" are the three features of totalitarian regimes that distinguish them from other autocracies.[14] Authoritarianism
and democracy

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Topics and concepts

Autonomy Civil liberties Do it yourself Eremitism Free love Freethought Human rights Individual Individual rights Individual reclamation Individuation Laissez-faire Libertinism Liberty Methodological individualism Negative liberty Personal property Positive liberty Private property Self-actualization Self-ownership Self reliance Subjectivity


Antiphon Aristippus Aristotle Émile Armand Albert Camus Diogenes of Sinope Ralph Waldo Emerson Epicurus William Godwin Emma Goldman Friedrich Hayek Karl Hess Miguel Giménez Igualada Thomas Jefferson Laozi Albert Libertad John Locke Hipparchia of Maroneia H. L. Mencken John Stuart Mill Ludwig von Mises Michel de Montaigne Friedrich Nietzsche Renzo Novatore Robert Nozick Michel Onfray Georges Palante Horst Matthai Quelle Ayn Rand Murray Rothbard Han Ryner Marquis de Sade Arthur Schopenhauer Adam Smith Herbert Spencer Lysander Spooner Max Stirner Henry David Thoreau Benjamin Tucker James L. Walker Josiah Warren Oscar Wilde Zeno Yang Zhu


Anarchism Anarcho-capitalism Classical liberalism Egoist anarchism Ethical egoism Existentialism Hedonism Humanism Individualist anarchism Individualist feminism

Equity feminism Liberal feminism

Left-libertarianism Left-wing market anarchism Liberalism Libertarianism Libertarian socialism Minarchism Mutualism Objectivism Right libertarianism Social anarchism Voluntaryism

Principal concerns

Anti-individualism Authoritarianism Collectivism Conformity Dogmatism Group rights Herd mentality Indoctrination Mass society Mobbing Social engineering Statism Tyranny Tyranny
of the majority Theocracy Totalitarianism

v t e

and democracy are not fundamentally opposed to one another, as it is possible for democracies to possess authoritarian elements. An illiberal democracy (or procedural democracy) is distinguished from liberal democracy (or substantive democracy) in that illiberal democracies lack features such as the rule of law, protections for minority groups and an independent judiciary.[15] A further distinction that liberal democracies have rarely made war with one another; research has extended the theory and finds that more democratic countries tend to have few wars (sometimes called militarized interstate disputes) causing fewer battle deaths with one another and that democracies have far fewer civil wars.[16][17] Some commentators, such as Seymour Martin Lipset, believed that low-income authoritarian regimes have certain technocratic "efficiency-enhancing advantages" over low-income democracies, helping authoritarian regimes generate development.[18] Morton H. Halperin, Joseph T. Siegle and Michael M. Weinstein (2005) counter this belief, arguing that the evidence has showed that there is no "authoritarian advantage" and that there is a "democratic advantage" instead.[18] Halperin et al. argue that democracies "realize superior development performance" over authoritarianism. They point out that poor democracies are more likely to have steadier economic growth and less likely to experience economic and humanitarian catastrophes than authoritarian regimes; that civil liberties act as a curb on corruption and misuse of resources; and that democracies are more adaptable.[18] Halperin point out that the vast majority of refugee crises and financial catastrophes occur in authoritarian regimes.[18] Studies suggest that several health indicators (life expectancy and infant and maternal mortality) have a stronger and more significant association with democracy than they have with GDP per capita, size of the public sector or income inequality.[19] Prominent economist Amartya Sen
Amartya Sen
has theorized that no functioning liberal democracy has ever suffered a large-scale famine.[20] Research shows that the democratic nations have much less democide or murder by government. Those were also moderately developed nations before applying liberal democratic policies.[21] Research by the World Bank suggests that political institutions are extremely important in determining the prevalence of corruption and that parliamentary systems, political stability and freedom of the press are all associated with lower corruption.[22] One study has concluded that terrorism is most common in nations with intermediate political freedom. The nations with the least amount of terrorism are the most and least democratic nations.[23] Examples of states considered to be authoritarian There is no precise definition of authoritarianism, but several annual measurements are attempted, including Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World report. The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of states which are currently (or frequently) characterized as authoritarian:

under Ilham Aliyev
Ilham Aliyev
(2003–)[24]   Bahrain
under the House of Khalifa
House of Khalifa
(1746–)[25]   Belarus
under Alexander Lukashenko
Alexander Lukashenko
(1994–)[26][27] on account of Lukashenko's self-described authoritarian style of government[28][29][30]   Cambodia
under the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
and Hun Sen
Hun Sen
(1985–)[31]   Cameroon
under Paul Biya
Paul Biya
(1982–)[32][33]  People's Republic
of China
under the Communist Party of China (1949–) “Some scholars have deemed the Chinese system a 'fragmented authoritarianism' (Lieberthal), a 'negotiated state' or a 'consultative authoritarian regime'"[34]   Cuba
under Fidel and Raúl Castro
Raúl Castro
(1959–)[35]   Egypt
under Hosni Mubarak
Hosni Mubarak
(1981–2011) and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (2014–)[36]   Iran
under Ruhollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
and Ali Khamenei
Ali Khamenei
(1981–)[37] Linz wrote in 2000 that "it is difficult to fit the Iranian regime into the existing typology, as it combines the ideological bent of totalitarianism with the limited pluralism of authoritarianism and holds regular elections in which candidates advocating differing policies and incumbents are often defeated"[38]   Jordan
under Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein[39]   Kazakhstan
under Nursultan Nazarbayev[32]   Laos
under the Lao People's Revolutionary Party
Lao People's Revolutionary Party
(1975–)[40]   Morocco
under Mohammed VI[39]   North Korea
North Korea
under the rule of the Kim dynasty and the Korean Workers' Party (1947–)[41]   Qatar
under the House of Thani.[42]  Russian Federation
under Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
(1999–) (see Putinism for more) has tendencies towards authoritarianism, described as "really a mixture of authoritarianism and managed democracy"[43][44][45]   Singapore
is considered authoritarian, especially under the Lee Kuan Yew until 2015.[46][47]   Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
under the House of Saud
House of Saud
(1744–)[48]   Sudan
under Omar al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir
(1989–)[32]   Syria
under Hafez and Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad
(1970–)[49]   Thailand
under General Prayut Chan-o-cha
Prayut Chan-o-cha
who overthrew the democratically elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra
Yingluck Shinawatra
in a military coup and installed a military junta to oversee the governance of Thailand
(2014–)[50]   Turkey
under Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
(2003–) described as a “competitive authoritarian regime”[51]   Turkmenistan
under Saparmurat Nyazow (1991–2006) and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow (2006–)[52]   United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
under the six royal families of the United Arab Emirates (10 February 1972–)[53][54]   Uzbekistan
under Islam Karimov (1989–2016)[55][56] and Shavkat Mirziyoyev(2016-)[57]   Venezuela
under Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
and Nicolás Maduro
Nicolás Maduro
(1999–)[58]   Vietnam
under the Vietnamese Communist Party
Vietnamese Communist Party

Examples of states which were historically authoritarian

State Time period Ruling group or person Notes

 Argentina[60][61] 1966–1973 Military
government Argentine Revolution
period of military rule

1973–1974 Justicialista rule of Juan Perón Ideology
is populist authoritarianism

1976–1983 Free trade
Free trade
and deregulatory rule of Jorge Rafael Videla National Reorganization Process
National Reorganization Process
period of military rule

Brazil[62] 1937–1945 Getúlio Vargas Estado Novo period

1964–1985 Military

Burma[63] 1962–2011 Military
government and Socialist Programme Party

 Chile[64] 1973–1990 Augusto Pinochet

 Egypt[65] 1952–2011 Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat
Anwar Sadat
and Hosni Mubarak

 Indonesia 1967–1998 Suharto

Libya[66] 1969–2011 Muammar Gaddafi

 Lithuania[67] 1926–1940 Antanas Smetona

 Macedonia[68][69] 2006–2016 Nikola Gruevski

 Portugal[70] 1932–1974 António de Oliveira Salazar
António de Oliveira Salazar
and Marcelo Caetano Under Estado Novo regime

Spain[71] 1936–1975 Francisco Franco

South Africa[72][73] 1948–1994 National Party Regime ended with the end of apartheid

 South Korea[74][75] 1948–1960 Syngman Rhee

1962–1987 Park Chung-hee
Park Chung-hee
and Chun Doo-hwan

 Taiwan[76] 1945–1990 Kuomintang

 Turkey[77][78] 1925–1945 Republican People's Party

 Zimbabwe[79] 1980–2017 Robert Mugabe

Systemic weakness and resilience Andrew J. Nathan
Andrew J. Nathan
notes that "regime theory holds that authoritarian systems are inherently fragile because of weak legitimacy, overreliance on coercion, overcentralization of decision making, and the predominance of personal power over institutional norms....Few authoritarian regimes—be they communist, fascist, corporatist, or personalist—have managed to conduct orderly, peaceful, timely, and stable successions".[80] One exception to this general trend is the endurance of the authoritarian rule of the Chinese Communist Party, which has been unusually resilient among authoritarian regimes. Nathan posits that this can be attributed to four factors: (1) "the increasingly norm-bound nature of its succession politics"; (2) "the increase in meritocratic as opposed to factional considerations in the promotion of political elites"; (3) "the differentiation and functional specialization of institutions within the regime"; and (4) "the establishment of institutions for political participation and appeal that strengthen the CCP's legitimacy among the public at large".[80] Anti-authoritarianism Main article: Anti-authoritarianism After World War II
World War II
there was a strong sense of anti-authoritarianism based on anti-fascism in Europe. This was attributed to the active resistance from occupation and to fears arising from the development of superpowers.[81] Anti-authoritarianism
also became associated with countercultural and bohemian movements such as the Beat Generation
Beat Generation
in the 1950s,[82] the hippies in the 1960s[83] and punks in the 1970s.[84] Gender and authoritarianism According to a study by Brandt and Henry, there is a direct correlation between the rates of gender inequality and the levels of authoritarian ideas in the male and female populations. It was found that in countries with less gender equality where individualism was encouraged and men occupied the dominant societal roles, women were more likely to support traits such as obedience which would allow them to survive in an authoritarian environment and less likely to encourage ideas such as independence and imagination. In countries with higher levels of gender equality, men held less authoritarian views. It is theorized that this occurs due to the stigma attached to individuals who question the cultural norms set by the dominant individuals and establishments in an authoritarian society as a way to prevent the psychological stress caused by the active ostracizing of the stigmatized individuals.[85] See also

Totalitarianism Anti-democratic thought Autocracy Centralisation Criticism of liberal democracy Illiberal democracy Managed democracy


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Works cited

Juan J. Linz, An Authoritarian
Regime: The Case of Spain, in Cleavages, Ideologies and Party Systems (eds. Eric Allard & Yrjo Littunen) (Helsinki: Academic, 1964)

External links

"Are we entering the age of the autocrat?" by Francis Fukuyama, Washington Post, August 24, 2008

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