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Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism

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Presentation on theme: "Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism"— Presentation transcript:

1 Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism

2 Definitions Authoritarian – regime in which a small group of individuals exercises power over the state with no constitutional responsibility to the public Totalitarian – centralized regime that possesses some strong form of ideology that seeks to transform and absorb fundamental aspects of the state, society, and economy

3 Sources of Nondemocratic Rule
Economic Wealthier society = greater desire to assert individual political rights Well distributed wealth, large middle class would undermine nondemocratic regimes. High level of poverty, inequality Two possibilities Few in power resort to tyranny to defend their wealth Regime emerges to forcibly redistribute wealth

4 Sources of Nondemocratic Rule
Societal Political Culture Religion Some are more prone to nondemocratic tendencies than others Ex., Islam and “Islamism” Religious codes are handed down from Allah Not designed to protect/advance individual rights View Western liberal democracy as egocentric, atomized, ungodly, destructive, etc.

5 Authoritarian Means of Control
Coercion – public obedience is forced through violence and surveillance Co-Optation – public is brought into a beneficial relationship with the state or government Corporatism – labor, businesses, other interest groups bargain with the state over economic policy This occurs in democracies, too, but in authoritarian states, only state sanctioned groups may participate Clientelism – state provides specific benefits to a person or group to elicit their support

6 Authoritarian Means of Control
Personality Cult – promotion of the image of a leader as someone who embodies the spirit of the nation Think Putin, Mao, Fidel, Saddam

7 Types of Authoritarian Rule
Personal and Monarchical Rule Rule by a single leader, no clear regime or rules to constrain the ruler Tools of control Patrimonialism – supporters benefit from alliance with the ruler (corruption, clientelism) Examples Saudi Arabian Royal Family Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire (now DRC) from 1965 to 1997 Used nation’s diamond and copper wealth to enrich followers

8 Types of Authoritarian Rule
Military Rule Rule by one or more military officials, brought to power through a coup d’etat Tools of control Control of armed forces Bureaucratic authoritarianism - alliances with business and state elites Examples Augusto Pinochet in Chile, 1973 to 1990 Nigeria, 1966 to 1999 (many successive coups)

9 Types of Authoritarian Rule
One-Party Rule Rule by one political party, other groups banned or excluded from power Tools of control Large party membership mobilizes and maintains control in return for benefits Examples Mexico’s PRI Party, Chinese Communist Party, Present

10 Types of Authoritarian Rule
Theocracy “Rule by God,” with religious texts as the foundation of the regime and politics Tools of control Religious leadership is fused with political leadership into one sovereign authority Examples Iran, 1979 – Present Afghanistan, 1996 – 2001 Elements of Saudi Arabian government, e.g., judicial matters must conform to Islamic law, conversion from Islam is punishable by death

11 Types of Authoritarian Rule
Illiberal Regimes Rule by elected leadership, though procedures are of questionable democratic legitimacy Tools of control Vote rigging, harassment of opposition, propagandized control of the media Examples Nigeria in recent elections Russia since Vladimir Putin’s election in 2000

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