|Part of the Politics series|
|Basic forms of government|
Autocracy is a system of government in which supreme political power to direct all the activities of the state is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of coup d'etat or mass insurrection) .
Absolute monarchies such as Brunei, Eswatini, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Vatican City and dictatorships such as Belarus, China, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea and Turkmenistan are the main modern-day forms of autocracy.
In earlier times, the term autocrat was coined as a favorable feature of the ruler, having some connection to the concept of "lack of conflicts of interests" as well as an indication of grandeur and power. The Russian Emperor was styled "Autocrat of all the Russias" as late as the early 20th century.
Autocracy comes from the Ancient Greek autós ("self") and krátos ("power", "strength") from Kratos, the Greek personification of authority. In the Medieval Greek language, the term Autocrates was used for anyone holding the title emperor, regardless of the actual power of the monarch. Some historical Slavic monarchs such as Russian tsars and emperors included the title Autocrat as part of their official styles, distinguishing them from the constitutional monarchs elsewhere in Europe. This is not to be confused with the use of auto- as in automatic or automobile, to refer to the lack of need for human rule or power at all instead of power by one.
Both totalitarian and military dictatorship are often identified with, but need not be, an autocracy. Totalitarianism is a system where the state strives to control every aspect of life and civil society.It can be headed by a supreme leader, making it autocratic, but it can also have a collective leadership such as a commune, military junta, or a single political party as in the case of a one-party state.
In an analysis of militarized disputes between two states, if one of the states involved was an autocracy the chance of violence occurring doubled.
Examples from early modern Europe suggests early statehood was favorable for democracy.According to Jacob Hariri, outside Europe, history shows that early statehood has led to autocracy. The reasons he gives are continuation of the original autocratic rule and absence of "institutional transplantation" or European settlement. This may be because of the country's capacity to fight colonization, or the presence of state infrastructure that Europeans did not need for the creation of new institutions to rule. In all the cases, representative institutions were unable to get introduced in these countries and they sustained their autocratic rule. European colonization was varied and conditional on many factors. Countries which were rich in natural resources had an extractive[?] and indirect rule whereas other colonies saw European settlement. Because of this settlement, these countries possibly experienced setting up of new institutions. Colonization also depended on factor endowments and settler mortality.
Mancur Olson theorizes the development of autocracies as the first transition from anarchy to state. For Olson, anarchy is characterized by a number of "roving bandits" who travel around many different geographic areas extorting wealth from local populations leaving little incentive for populations to invest and produce. As local populations lose the incentive to produce, there is little wealth for either the bandits to steal or the people to use. Olson theorizes autocrats as "stationary bandits" who solve this dilemma by establishing control over a small fiefdom and monopolize the extortion of wealth in the fiefdom in the form of taxes. Once an autocracy is developed, Olson theorizes that both the autocrat and the local population will be better off as the autocrat will have an "encompassing interest" in the maintenance and growth of wealth in the fiefdom. Because violence threatens the creation of rents, the "stationary bandit" has incentives to monopolize violence and to create a peaceful order.
Douglass North, John Joseph Wallis and Barry R. Weingast describe autocracies as limited access orders that arise from this need to monopolize violence. In contrast to Olson, these scholars understand the early state not as a single ruler, but as an organization formed by many actors. They describe the process of autocratic state formation as a bargaining process among individuals with access to violence. For them, these individuals form a dominant coalition that grants each other privileges such as the access to resources. As violence reduces the rents, members of the dominant coalition have incentives to cooperate and to avoid fighting. A limited access to privileges is necessary to avoid competition among the members of the dominant coalition, who then will credibly commit to cooperate and will form the state.
Because autocrats need a power structure to rule, it can be difficult to draw a clear line between historical autocracies and oligarchies. Most historical autocrats depended on their nobles, the military, the priesthood, or other elite groups.Some autocracies are rationalized by assertion of divine right; historically this has mainly been reserved for medieval kingdoms.
According to Douglass North, John Joseph Wallis and Barry R. Weingast, in limited access orders the state is ruled by a dominant coalition formed by a small elite group that relates to each other by personal relationships. In order to remain in power, this elite hinders people outside the dominant coalition to access organizations and resources. Autocracy is maintained as long as the personal relationships of the elite continue to forge the dominant coalition. These scholars further suggest that once the dominant coalition starts to become broader and allow for impersonal relationships, limited access orders can give place to open access orders.
For Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson and James Robinson, the allocation of political power explains the maintenance of autocracies which they usually refer to as "extractive states".For them, the de jure political power comes from political institutions, whereas the de facto political power is determined by the distribution of resources. Those holding the political power in the present will design the political and economic institutions in the future according to their interests. In autocracies, both de jure and de facto political powers are concentrated in one person or a small elite that will promote institutions for keeping the de jure political power as concentrated as the de facto political power, thereby maintaining autocratic regimes with extractive institutions.
It has been argued that authoritarian regimes such as China and Russia and totalitarian states such as North Korea have attempted to export their system of government to other countries through "autocracy promotion".A number of scholars are skeptical that China and Russia have successfully exported authoritarianism abroad.
Democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation. Who people are and how authority is shared among them are core issues for democratic theory, development and constitution. Some cornerstones of these issues are freedom of assembly and speech, inclusiveness and equality, membership, consent, voting, right to life and minority rights.
A dictator is a political leader who possesses absolute power. A dictatorship is a state ruled by one dictator or by a small clique. The word originated as the title of a magistrate in the Roman Republic appointed by the Senate to rule the republic in times of emergency.
A dictatorship is a Form of government characterized by a single leader or group of leaders and little or no toleration for political pluralism or independent programs or media. According to other definitions, democracies are regimes in which "those who govern are selected through contested elections"; therefore dictatorships are "not democracies". With the advent of the 19th and 20th centuries, dictatorships and constitutional democracies emerged as the world's two major forms of government, gradually eliminating monarchies, one of the traditional widespread forms of government of the time. Typically, in a dictatorial regime, the leader of the country is identified with the title of dictator, although their formal title may more closely resemble something similar to "leader". A common aspect that characterized dictatorship is taking advantage of their strong personality, usually by suppressing freedom of thought and speech of the masses, in order to maintain complete political and social supremacy and stability. Dictatorships and totalitarian societies generally employ political propaganda to decrease the influence of proponents of alternative governing systems.
A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The political legitimacy and authority of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic, to restricted, to fully autocratic, and can expand across the domains of the executive, legislative and judicial. A monarchy can be a polity through unity, personal union, vassalage or federation, and monarchs can carry various titles such as king, queen, emperor, khan, caliph, tsar, or sultan.
Absolute monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from or is legally bound or restricted by a constitution or legislature.
The October Manifesto, officially "The Manifesto on the Improvement of the State Order", is a document that served as a precursor to the Russian Empire's first Russian Constitution of 1906, which would be adopted the next year. The Manifesto was issued by Tsar Nicholas II, under the influence of Sergei Witte (1849-1915), on 30 October [O.S. 17 October] 1905 as a response to the Russian Revolution of 1905. Nicholas strenuously resisted these ideas, but gave in after his first choice to head a military dictatorship, Grand Duke Nicholas, threatened to shoot himself in the head if the Tsar did not accept Witte's suggestion. Nicholas reluctantly agreed, and issued what became known as the October Manifesto, promising basic civil rights and an elected parliament called the Duma, without whose approval no laws were to be enacted in Russia in the future. According to his memoirs, Witte did not force the Tsar to sign the October Manifesto, which was proclaimed in all the churches..
Secret police are intelligence, security or police agencies that engage in covert operations against a government's political opponents and dissidents. Secret police organizations are characteristic of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. Used to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian regime, secret police often operate outside the law and are used to repress dissidents and weaken the political opposition, frequently with violence.
A warlord is a leader able to exercise military, economic, and political control over a subnational territory within a sovereign state due to their ability to mobilize loyal armed forces. These armed forces, usually considered militias, are loyal to the warlord rather than to the state regime. Warlords have existed throughout much of history, albeit in a variety of different capacities within the political, economic, and social structure of states or ungoverned territories.
Democratization is the transition to a more democratic political regime, including substantive political changes moving in a democratic direction. It may be the transition from an authoritarian regime to a full democracy, a transition from an authoritarian political system to a semi-democracy or transition from a semi-authoritarian political system to a democratic political system.
An illiberal democracy, also called a partial democracy, flawed democracy, low intensity democracy, empty democracy or guided democracy, is a governing system in which although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties; thus it is not an "open society". There are many countries "that are categorized as neither 'free' nor 'not free', but as 'probably free', falling somewhere between democratic and nondemocratic regimes". This may be because a constitution limiting government powers exists, but those in power ignore its liberties, or because an adequate legal constitutional framework of liberties does not exist.
Mançur Lloyd Olson Jr. was an American economist and social scientist who taught economics at the University of Maryland, College Park. His most influential contributions were in institutional economics, and in the role which private property, taxation, public goods, collective action, and contract rights play in economic development.
Kamer Daron Acemoğlu is a Turkish-born American economist who has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 1993. He is currently the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at MIT. He was named Institute Professor in 2019.
European colonialism and colonization was the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over other societies and territories, founding a colony, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically. Research suggests, the current conditions of postcolonial countries have roots in colonial actions and policies. For example, colonial policies, such as the type of rule implemented, the nature of investments, and identity of the colonizers, are cited as impacting postcolonial states. Examination of the state-building process, economic development, and cultural norms and mores shows the direct and indirect consequences of colonialism on the postcolonial states.
Tsarist autocracy is a form of autocracy specific to the Grand Duchy of Moscow, which later became Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire. In it, all power and wealth is controlled by the Tsar. They had more power than constitutional monarchs, who are usually vested by law and counterbalanced by a legislative authority; and more authority on religious issues compared to Western monarchs. In Russia, it originated during the time of Ivan III (1462−1505), and was abolished after the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms. Political scientists have created many typologies describing variations of authoritarian forms of government. Authoritarian regimes may be either autocratic or oligarchic in nature, and may be based upon the rule of a party or the military.
A number of authors have carried out comparisons of Nazism and Stalinism in which they have considered the similarities and differences of the two ideologies and political systems, what relationship existed between the two regimes, and why both of them came to prominence at the same time. During the 20th century, the comparison of Nazism and Stalinism was made on the topics of totalitarianism, ideology, and personality cult. Both regimes were seen in contrast to the liberal West, with an emphasis on the similarities between the two. The political scientists Zbigniew Brzezinski, Hannah Arendt and Carl Friedrich and historian Robert Conquest were prominent advocates of applying the "totalitarian" concept to compare Nazism and Stalinism.
Anocracy is a form of government that is loosely defined as part democracy and part dictatorship, or as a "regime that mixes democratic with autocratic features." Another definition classifies anocracy as "a regime that permits some means of participation through opposition group behavior but that has incomplete development of mechanisms to redress grievances." Scholars have also distinguished anocracies from autocracies and democracies in their capability to maintain authority, political dynamics, and policy agendas. Similarly, the regimes have democratic institutions that allow for nominal amounts of competition.
A hybrid regime is a mixed type of political regime that is often created as a result of an incomplete transition from an authoritarian regime to a democratic one. Hybrid regimes combine autocratic features with democratic ones, they can simultaneously hold political repressions and regular elections. The term “hybrid regime” arises from a polymorphic view of political regimes that opposes the dichotomy of autocracy or democracy. Hybrid regimes are characteristic of resource countries (petro-states). Such regimes are stable and tenacious.
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, first published in 2012, is a non-fiction book by Armenian-American economist Daron Acemoglu from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and British political scientist James A. Robinson from the University of Chicago.
The emperor or empress of All Russia or all the Russias was the absolute and later the Constitutional monarch of the Russian Empire.
For its part, the Federal Government must put behind it the role of autocratic manager of Indian reservations
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Autocracy .|