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Flashcards in Authoritarianism (Week 5) Deck (16)

What are the main characteristics of authoritarian regimes?

A leader or a small group exercises power, formal laws and constitutions are a poor guide, limited social and political pluralism, and repression and de-mobilization of people. In some cases, no elaborate ideology, more practical goals (efficiency, order, etc.)


How do authoritarian rulers govern?

In authoritarian regimes, rulers tend to govern by keeping the loyalty of a small group of supporters (private goods, corruption vs. public goods and "the people" in democracies)


What are seven types of authoritarian regimes?

Hybrid regimes (competitive authoritarianism), sultanistic regimes, traditional authoritarianism, military authoritarianism, one-party authoritarianism, theocratic authoritarianism, and totalitarian regimes.


What is competitive authoritarianism?

A type of hybrid regime, short of full scale of authoritarianism, that is considered an illiberal democracy. Formal democratic institutions exist, but they are often violated by incumbents. While democracy holds free and fair elections, competitive authoritarianism includes limited instances of fraud, intimidation of opposition activist and voters, and unequal access to finance and the media. Competitive authoritarian regimes are a product of the post-Cold War era.


What violations of democratic rights and procedures does competitive authoritarianism commit?

Incumbents abuse state resources, there is inadequate media coverage for the opposition, harassment of opposition candidates and supporters, more rarely there is manipulation of electoral results.


How is the uneven playing field of the Venezuelan elections an example of competitive authoritarianism?

In the Venezuelan elections, there was lack of transparency, access to the media, access to public funds, threats to citizens, and creation of fear.


What is a sultanistic regime?

Sultanistic regimes are regimes built around an individual and his family, degenerated from a different type of authoritarianism (military). Characteristics include cult of personality or glorification of the leader, lack of any effective legitimacy, and low political institutionalization.


What are some examples of sultanistic regimes?

Dominican Republic's Rafael Trujillo, Nicaragua's Somoza family, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, Uganda's Idi Amin, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Syria's al-Assad family, and Turkmenistan's Saparmurat Miyazov.


Explain the examples of Turkmenistan and North Korea as sultanistic regimes.

Turkmenistan's Saparmurat Miyazov was the autocratic leader of Turkmenistan and he maintained a strong cult of personality: named cities, a theme park, the month of January, and even a meteorite after himself. He had extravagant projects like an ice palace in the capital and a lake in the desert, and he had bizarre laws: banning ballet, opera, and beards and long hair for men. There is a golden statue of Saparmurat Niyazov in Ashgabat. Today the President is Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and he has changed some of the banned things but is still repressive, elections seen as window dressing. He uses the honorable title Arkadag, "protector".
North Korea's Kim II Sung inaugurated the sultanistic regime. He maintained a strong cult of personality through his figures, statutes, etc, and he had internment camps for those daring to criticize him.


What is a ruling monarchy?

Ruling monarchies are authoritarian regimes that currently exit mostly in the Middle East and North Africa. There are three types of ruling monarchs: Type I = monarchs hold all executive power, no legislature (Saudi Arabia, Oman). Type II = monarch appoints a cabinet with limited powers, no legislature (Brunei). Type III = there is a legislature and a cabinet, but the monarch still has many formal and informal ways to control political outcomes (Morocco and Jordan).


How do monarchies survive?

These monarchies are "rentier states" (meaning they benefit from oil wealth). Their dynastic character provides flexibility because they do not have to follow primogeniture. The royal families have extensive control over the state, and pseudo-democratic procedures legitimize the regime.


What is a military authoritarianism?

Evolves from a military coup. Military governments have connections with civilian sectors of population and policy agenda they want to implement. Characteristics include developing ties with economic elite and quick evaporation of their legitimacy.


Example of one-party authoritarianism?

Communist Party in China


What is a theocratic authoritarianism?

Characteristics of a theocratic authoritarianism includes: direct or indirect rule by religious authorities, leaders claim divine guidance to hold the authority to rule, in pre-modern world most were theocratic. All the modern examples have been cases of Islamic rule: Sudan, Iran since 1979, Afghanistan under the Taliban, and Saudi Arabia.


What are totalitarian regimes?

Totalitarian regimes are the most notorious form of authoritarian rule. They were epitomized by communist and fascist regimes of 20th century (Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union). They include overhauls and control of the totality of society.


What distinguishes authoritarianism from democracies?

A democracy is a regime in which those who govern are selected through contested elections. Authoritarian regimes are not just the absence of democracy but some are characteristic of some ideologies and behavioral tendencies. They are favorable to hierarchy, and closed, concentrated process of decision making.