|Part of the Politics series|
|Basic forms of
Authoritarianism is a form of government.123 It is characterized by absolute or blind4 obedience to authority, as against individual freedom and related to the expectation of unquestioning obedience.5
Juan Linz, whose 1964 description of authoritarianism is influential,6 characterized authoritarian regimes as political systems characterized by four qualities: (1) "limited, not responsible, political pluralism"; that is, constraints on political institutions and groups (such as legislatures, political parties and interest groups), (2) 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; (3) neither "intensive nor extensive political mobilization" and constraints on the mass public (such as repressive tactics against opponents and a prohibition of antiregime activity) and (4) "formally ill-defined" executive power, often shifting or vague.7
Linz distinguished new forms of authoritarianism from personalistic dictatorships and totalitarian states, taking 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.8
Several subtypes of authoritarian regimes have been identified by Linz and others.9 Linz identified the two most basic subtypes as traditional authoritarian regimes and bureacratic-military authoritation 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.9 Bureacratic-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.9 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 under Park Chung-hee.9
- Corporatist authoritarian regimes "are those in which corporatist institutions are used extensively by the state to coopt and demobilize powerful interest groups"; this type has been studied most extensively in Latin America.9
- Racial and ethnic "democracies" are those in which "certain racial or ethnic groups enjoy full democractic rights while others are largely or entirely denied those rights," such as in South Africa under apartheid.9 Some have pointed to Israel as another, albeit less severe, example of "democratic" authoritarianism. The far-reaching implications of denying a different group republican privileges can contribute to the typically highly negative international view of these types of governments.
- 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."9 Examples include the Soviet Eastern bloc states in the mid-1980s.9
Authoritarian regimes are also sometimes subcategorized by whether they are personalistic or populist. Personalistic authoritarian regimes are characterized by arbitrary rule and authority exercised "mainly through patronage networks and coercion rather than through institutitions and formal rules."9 Personalistic authoritarian regimes have been seen in post-colonial Africa. By contrast, populist authoritarian regimes "are mobilizational regimes in which a strong, charismatic, manuipulative leader rules through a coalition involving key lower-class groups." One example is Argentina under Perón.
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.10
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.10
A range of social controls also attempt to stifle civil society, 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.10
Authoritarian political systems may be weakened through "inadequate performance to demands of the people."10 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."10 Because the legitimacy of the state is dependent on performance, authoritarian states that fail to adapt may collapse.10
Authoritarianism is marked by "indefinite political tenure" of the ruler or ruling party (often in a single-party state) or other authority.10 The transition from an authoritarian system to a more democratic form of government is referred to as democratization.10
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
Totalitarianism 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 has examined the characteristics of authoritarian and totalitarian dictators and organized them in a chart:13
|Role conception||Leader as function||Leader as individual|
|Ends of power||Public||Private|
(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
Thus, compared to totalitarian systems, authoritarian systems may also leave a larger sphere for private life, lack a guiding ideology, tolerate some pluralism in social organization, lack the power to mobilize the whole population in pursuit of national goals, and exercise their power within relatively predictable limits.
Authoritarianism and democracy are not fundamentally opposed to one another, it is thus definitely possible for democracies to possess strong authoritarian elements, for both feature a form of submission to authority. For instance, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey, was elected three times, but shows strong authoritarian tendencies.1415 An illiberal democracy (or procedural democracy) is distinguished from liberal democracy (or substantive democracy) in that illiberal democracies lack the more democratic features of liberal democracies, such as the rule of law, an independent judiciary, along with a further distinction that liberal democracies have rarely made war with one another. More recent research has extended the theory and finds that more democratic countries tend to have few Militarized Interstate Disputes causing less battle deaths with one another, and that democracies have much fewer civil wars.1617
- "Poor democracies" tend to have better education, longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality, access to drinking water, and better health care than "poor dictatorships". This is not due to higher levels of foreign assistance or spending a larger percentage of GDP on health and education. Instead, the available resources are more likely to be managed better.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
- A prominent economist, Amartya Sen, has theorized that no functioning country labeled as having a liberal democracy has ever suffered a large-scale famine.20 This includes democracies that have not been very prosperous historically, like India, which had its last great famine in 1943 and many other large-scale famines before that in the late nineteenth century, all under British rule. (However, some others ascribe the Bengal famine of 1943 to the effects of World War IIcitation needed. The government of India had been becoming progressively more democratic for years. Provincial government had been entirely so since the Government of India Act of 1935.)
- Refugee crises occur more often in the less democratic countries. Looking at the volume of refugee flows for the last twenty years, the first eighty-seven cases occurred in the most authoritarian countries.18
- Research shows that the democratic nations have much less democide or murder by government. However, it should be noted that 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: parliamentary systems, political stability and freedom of the press are all associated with lower corruption.22 Freedom of information legislation is important for accountability and transparency. The Indian Right to Information Act "has already engendered mass movements in the country that is bringing the lethargic, often corrupt bureaucracy to its knees and changing power equations completely."23
- Of the eighty worst financial catastrophes during the last four decades, only five were in countries labeled as democracies. Similarly, those labeled as "poor democracies" are half as likely as countries labeled as "authoritarian regimes" to experience a 10 percent decline in GDP per capita over the course of a single year.18
- 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.24
Since there is no precise, universally agreed definition of authoritarianism, there is no definitive list of states that are authoritarian. But several annual measurements attempt to do so, including the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index (which classifies 51 states as "Authoritarian regimes") and Freedom House's Freedom in the World report.
Examples of states which are currently (or frequently) characterized as authoritarian:
- Azerbaijan under Ilham Aliyev25
- Belarus under Alexander Lukashenko
- Vietnam under the Vietnamese Communist Party26
- North Korea under the Korean Workers' Party
- China under the Chinese Communist Party
- Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge and Hun Sen27
- Syria under Hafez and Bashar al-Assad
- Iran under Supreme Leaders Ruhollah Khomeini and Ali Khamenei
- Laos under the Lao People's Revolutionary Party1
- Armenia under Serzh Sargsyan
- Burkina Faso under Blaise Compaore
- Cuba under Fidel and Raúl Castro28
- Saudi Arabia under the House of Saud29
- Bahrain under the House of Khalifa30
Examples of states which were historically authoritarian:
- Burma from a 1962 coup until a transition to democracy beginning in 2011.31
- South Africa from the end of colonial rule until the formal end of apartheid in 1994.
- South Korea from the early 1970s32 until a transition to democracy in 1987.33
- Spain under Francisco Franco from 1936 to 1975, when the Spanish transition to democracy began after Franco's death.34
- Taiwan (known as the Republic of China until 1949) from the 228 Incident of 1947 until a transition to democracy in the late 1980s and early 1990s.35
- Libya under Muammar Gaddafi until his deposition and death in the end of the Libyan civil war.36
- Egypt under Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak.37
- Brazil during both the Estado Novo period under Getúlio Vargas (1937–1945) and under military government from a 1964 coup until a transition to democracy in the early and mid-1980s.38
- Argentina under the Argentine Revolution period of military rule (1966–1973)39 and later during the justicialista rule of Juan Perón (populist authoritarianism).40
- Chile under Augusto Pinochet until a transition to democracy in 1990.41
In contrast to the varying manifestations of authoritarianism, more democratic forms of governance as a standard mode of political organization became widespread only after the Industrial Revolution had established modernity. Tyrants and oligarchs bracketed the flourishing of democracy in ancient Athens; and kings and emperors preceded and followed experimentation with democratic forms in the Roman Republic. In the 15th century, Vlad Dracula is credited for being the first ruler of Wallachia and Transylvania to rule by Authoritarianism.42
Anti-authoritarianism is opposition to authoritarianism, which is defined as a "a form of social organisation characterised by submission to authority".43 Anti-authoritarians usually believe in full equality before the law and strong civil liberties. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with anarchism, an ideology which rejects the state and other compulsory forms of hierarchical authority altogether. Influential anarchist Mikhail Bakunin thought that "Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from me such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the authority of the bootmaker; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or the engineer. For such or such special knowledge I apply to such or such a savant. But I allow neither the bootmaker nor the architect nor savant to impose his authority upon me. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their knowledge, reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure. I do not content myself with consulting a single authority in any special branch; I consult several; I compare their opinions, and choose that which seems to me the soundest. But I recognise no infallible authority, even in special questions; consequently, whatever respect I may have for the honesty and the sincerity of such or such individual, I have no absolute faith in any person."44
Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds opinions should be formed on the basis of logic, reason and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, or other dogmas.454647 The cognitive application of freethought is known as "freethinking", and practitioners of freethought are known as "freethinkers".4548 After 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.49 Anti-authoritarianism also became associated with countercultural and bohemian movements such as the Beat Generation in the 1950s,50 the hippies in the 1960s51 and punks in the 1970s.52
According to an article titled "Gender Inequality and Gender Differences in Authoritarianism" 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 more 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. 53
- Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus (1995). "authoritarianism". Houghton Mifflin Company. Archived from the original on 24 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- Baars, J. & Scheepers, P. (1993). "Theoretical and methodological foundations of the authoritarian personality". Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 29, pp. 345-353.
- Adorno, T. W., Frenkel-Brunswik, E., Levinson, D.J., Sanford, R. N. (1950). The Authoritarian Personality. Norton: NY.
- "authoritarianism" at the Encyclopedia Britannica
- "Authoritarianism" at the free dictionary
- Richard Shorten, Modernism and Totalitarianism: Rethinking the Intellectual Sources of Nazism and Stalinism, 1945 to the Present (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 256 (note 67).
- Gretchen Casper, Fragile Democracies: The Legacies of Authoritarian Rule, p. 40-50 (citing Linz 1964).
- Todd Landman, Studying Human Rights (Routledge, 2003), p. 71 (citing Linz 1964 and others).
- Mark J. Gasiorowski, The Political Regimes Project, in On Measuring Democracy: Its Consequences and Concomitants (ed. Alex Inketes), 2006, p. 110-11.
- Theodore M. Vesta, Ethiopia: A Post-Cold War African State. Greenwood, 1999, p. 17.
- Duckitt, J. (1989). "Authoritarianism and Group Identification: A New View of an Old Construct". Political Psychology 10 (1): 63–84. doi:10.2307/3791588. JSTOR 3791588.
- Kemmelmeier, M.; Burnstein, E.; Krumov, K.; Genkova, P.; Kanagawa, C.; Hirshberg, M. S.; Erb, H. P.; Wieczorkowska, G.; Noels, K. A. (2003). "Individualism, Collectivism, and Authoritarianism in Seven Societies". Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 34 (3): 304. doi:10.1177/0022022103034003005.
- Sondrol, P. C. (2009). "Totalitarian and Authoritarian Dictators: A Comparison of Fidel Castro and Alfredo Stroessner". Journal of Latin American Studies 23 (3): 599. doi:10.1017/S0022216X00015868.
- Hegre, Håvard, Tanja Ellington, Scott Gates, and Nils Petter Gleditsch (2001). "Towards A Democratic Civil Peace? Opportunity, Grievance and Civil War 1816-1992". American Political Science Review 95: 33–48. Archived from the original on 2004-04-06.
- Ray, James Lee (200l3). A Lakatosian View of the Democratic Peace Research Program From Progress in International Relations Theory, edited by Colin and Miriam Fendius Elman. MIT Press.
- "The Democracy Advantage: How Democracies Promote Prosperity and Peace". Carnegie Council.dead link
- Franco, Á.; Álvarez-Dardet, C.; Ruiz, M. T. (2004). "Effect of democracy on health: ecological study". BMJ 329 (7480): 1421–1423. doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7480.1421. PMC 535957. PMID 15604165.
- Sen, A. K. (1999). "Democracy as a Universal Value". Journal of Democracy 10 (3): 3–1. doi:10.1353/jod.1999.0055.
- Rummel RJ (1997). Power kills: democracy as a method of nonviolence. New Brunswick, N.J., U.S.A: Transaction Publishers. ISBN 1-56000-297-2.
- Daniel Lederman, Normal Loaza, Rodrigo Res Soares, (November 2001). "Accountability and Corruption: Political Institutions Matter". World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2708. SSRN 632777. Retrieved February 19, 2006.
- "AsiaMedia :: Right to Information Act India's magic wand against corruption". Asiamedia.ucla.edu. 2006-08-31. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- Harvard News Office (2004-11-04). "Harvard Gazette: Freedom squelches terrorist violence". News.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- Vincent, Rebecca (19 May 2013). "When the music dies: Azerbaijan one year after Eurovision". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 10 June 2013. "Over the past several years, Azerbaijan has become increasingly authoritarian, as the authorities have used tactics such as harassment, intimidation, blackmail, attack and imprisonment to silence the regime's critics, whether journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders, political activists or ordinary people taking to the streets in protest."
- Ariana Eunjung Cha, China, Cuba, Other Authoritarian Regimes Censor News From Iran (June 27, 2009), Washington Post; Shanthi Kalathil and Taylor Boas, Internet and State Control in Authoritarian Regimes: China, Cuba and the Counterrevolution (July 16, 2001), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
- Toby Craig Jones, Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (2011), Harvard University Press, pp. 5, 14-15; Kira D. Baiasu, Sustaining Authoritarian Rule, Fall 2009, Volume 10, Issue 1 (September 30, 2009), Northwestern Journal of International Affairs.
- Nebil Husayn, Authoritarianism in Bahrain: Motives, Methods and Challenges, AMSS 41st Annual Conference (September 29, 2012); Parliamentary Elections and Authoritarian Rule in Bahrain (January 13, 2011), Stanford University Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.
- Thomas Carothers, Q&A: Is Burma Democratizing? (April 2, 2012), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; President Discusses Burma/Myanmar in Transition at World Affairs Council Sacramento (April 3, 2013), Asia Foundation; Louise Arbour, In Myanmar, Sanctions Have Had Their Day (March 5, 2012), New York Times.
- Hyug Baeg Im, The Rise of Bureaucratic Authoritarianism in South Korea, World Politics Vol. 39, Issue 2 (January 1987), pp. 231-257
- The Other R.O.K.: Memories of Authoritarianism in Democratic South Korea (October 11, 2011), Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Sangmook Lee, Democratic Transition and the Consolidation of Democracy in South Korea, July 2007, Taiwan Journal of Democracy, Volume 3, No.1, pp. 99-125.
- Richard Gunther, The Spanish Model Revisited, in The Politics and Memory of Democratic Transition: The Spanish Model, (eds. Diego Muro & Gregorio Alonso), Taylor & Francis 2010, p. 19.
- Shao-chuan Leng and Cheng-yi Lin, Political Change on Taiwan: Transition to Democracy?, The China Quarterly, No. 136, Special Issue: Greater China (December 1993), pp. 805-839; Shirley A. Kan, Congressional Research Service, Democratic Reforms in Taiwan: Issues for Congress (May 26, 2010); Taiwan's Electoral Politics and Democratic Transition: Riding the Third Wave (1996), eds. Charles Chi-Hsiang Chang & Hung-Mao Tien; Edward S. Steinfeld, Playing Our Game:Why China's Rise Doesn't Threaten the West (2010), Oxford University Press, pp. 217-222.
- Gaddafi's 41-Year-Long Rule, Washington Post; Martin Asser, The Muammar Gaddafi Story (October 21, 2011), BBC News; Alistair Dawber, One Libyan in three wants return to authoritarian rule (February 16, 2012), Independent.
- Maye Kassem, Egyptian Politics: The Dynamics of Authoritarian Rule (2004); Andrea M. Perkins, Mubarak's Machine: The Durability of the Authoritarian Regime in Egypt (M.A. thesis, April 8, 2010, University of South Florida).
- James M. Malloy, Authoritarianism and Corporatism in Latin America: The Modal Pattern, in Democracy in Latin America: Patterns and Cycles (ed. Roderic A. Camp), p. 122; Thomas E. Skidmore, The Political Economy of Policy-making in Authoritarian Brazil, 1967-70, in Generals in Retreat: The Crisis of Military Rule in Latin America (1985), eds. Philip J. O'Brien & Paul A. Cammack, Manchester University Press.
- Todd L. Edwards, Argentina: A Global Studies Handbook (2008), pp. 45-46; Steven E. Sanderson, The Politics of Trade in Latin American Development (1992), Stanford University Press, p. 133; William C. Smith, Reflections on the Political Economy of Authoritarian Rule and Capitalist Reorganization in Contemporary Argentina, in Generals in Retreat: The Crisis of Military Rule in Latin America (1985), eds. Philip J. O'Brien & Paul A. Cammack, Manchester University Press.
- Guillermo A. O'Donnell, Bureaucratic Authoritarianism: Argentina, 1966-1973, in Comparative Perspective (University of California Press, 1988); James M. Malloy, Authoritarianism and Corporatism in Latin America: The Modal Pattern, in Democracy in Latin America: Patterns and Cycles (1996; ed. Roderic A. Camp), p. 122; Howard J. Wiards, Corporatism and Comparative Politics: The Other Great "ism" (1997), pp. 113-14.
- Steven E. Sanderson, The Politics of Trade in Latin American Development (1992), Stanford University Press, p. 133; Carlos Huneeus, Political Mass Mobilization Against Authoritarian Rule: Pinochet's Chile, 1983-88, in Civil Resistance and Power Politics:The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present (2009), Oxford University Press (eds. Adam Roberts & Timothy Garton Ash).
- Treptow, Kurt W. “Vlad III Dracula and his Relations with the Boyars and the Church.” East European Monographs, No. DXIX. Columbia University Press: New York, 1998. p.27–40
- Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus (1995). "authoritarianism". Houghton Mifflin Company. Archived from the original on 24 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- "What is Authority?" by Mikhail Bakunin
- Cox, David (2005). Sign Wars: The Culture Jammers Strike Back!. LedaTape Organisation. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-9807701-5-5. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
- "The American Novel" at PBS website
- "The way of the hippie is antithetical to all repressive hierarchical power structures since they are adverse to the hippie goals of peace, love and freedom... Hippies don't impose their beliefs on others. Instead, hippies seek to change the world through reason and by living what they believe."Stone 1994, "The Way of the Hippy"
- McLaughlin, Paul (2007). Anarchism and Authority. Aldershot: Ashgate. p. 10. ISBN 0-7546-6196-2.
- Gender Inequality and Gender Differences in Authoritarianism (2012) Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38 (10) , pp. 1301-1315.
- Juan J. Linz, An Authoritarian Regime: The Case of Spain, in Cleavages, Ideologies and Party Systems (eds. Eric Allard & Yrjo Littunen) (Helsinki: Academic, 1964)</ref>
- Not The End Of History? Democracy vs Authoritarianism Debated
- Growth of Authoritarianism in America
- Are we entering the age of the autocrat? Francis Fukuyama, Washington Post, August 24, 2008