An autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power 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 a coup d'état or mass insurrection).[1] Absolute monarchies (such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Brunei Darussalam, and Eswatini,) and dictatorships (such as Belarus, Cameroon, Turkmenistan, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, and North Korea) are the main modern-day forms of autocracy. Symptoms of an autocracy, due possibly to the lack of repercussions to an unpopular or negative decision, often include standards of living that are poorer than elsewhere although this is not always the case. Autocracies often contain scrupulous censorship and opinions directed against the autocratic ruler may often have negative consequences.

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 for example was styled, "Autocrat of all the Russians", as late as the early 20th century.

History and etymology

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.

Origin and developments

Examples from early modern Europe suggests early statehood was favorable for democracy.[2] But, according to Jacob Hariri, outside Europe, history shows that early statehood has led to autocracy.[3] The reasons he gives are: continuation of the original autocratic rule and absence of "institutional transplantation"[3] 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.[4] Because of this settlement, these countries possibly experienced setting up of new institutions. Colonization also depended on factor endowments and settler mortality.[3]

Mancur Olson theorizes the development of autocracies as the first transition from anarchy to state. Anarchy for Olson 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.[5] 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.[6] 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.

Basic features of autocracy

There are several features of a regime which is classified as an autocracy.

The first feature of an autocracy is that there is a absence of an representative government.[7] In some authoritarian regimes elections are being held, but they are often accompanied with fraud, manipulation and violence. Because of this, there is almost no chance that the government will be representative for the citizens. Citizens have practically no influence in the decision making of an autocracy.

Secondly, an autocracy has weak, immature or poorly defined political institutions and processes. The power of the state is in the hands of the elites. Laws are vague and are usually only used so certain troublemakers can be judged,[7] so the political elite determines everything in the state.

Another feature of an autocracy is that there are limited options for citizens to participate in politics. There are also no guarantees that the voices of citizens will be heard. In a autocracy, there are also few limits on the powers of the government. Because of this, there is not always much protection of individual rights.[7] The government can do what they want, and citizens have not enough power to stop the government.

An autocracy also features a political system, where opposition is constrained. The opposition is often subject to threats and violence from the political elite. The political elite in an autocracy will try everything they can to make sure the opposition can't gain any form of power.[8]

Lastly, in an autocracy there is a limited and controlled media establishment. The political elite of the state, controls all of the media outlets. They make sure the media only shares officially sanctioned opinions. The media in an autocracy cannot publish any opinions different then those of the government, or they are shut down.[8]

Forms of autocracy

There isn't one basic form of an autocracy. Autocracy comes in various forms and shapes.

One form of autocracy is an absolute monarchy. In an absolute monarchy wields a monarch the absolute power over a state. There aren't really any other institutions of government besides the monarch. Usually the monarch places members of his family in key positions were they can wield power[7]. The power in a absolute monarchy is completely in hands of the monarch and therefore also his family. Examples of countries were a absolute monarch has the power, are Bahrain and Qatar[7].

Another form of autocracy is the form of ruling presidents. In this system a president dominates the government and media. The president tends to keep opponents off-guard and tries to marginalize the opposition. This form of autocracy is quite the same as an absolute monarchy, because the power is in the hands of one person[8]. The main difference between these two forms, is that there is no form of succession with presidents. The family of the president doesn't have such a big role as the family of an absolute monarch. Ruling presidents are common in several former Soviet republics[7].

Ruling parties are another form of autocracy. This means that there is a single party, usually accompanied with a strong president, that rules the state. The ruling party can be seen as an arena were political elite groups express their control. This form of autocracy can be found in Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia[7].

Autocracy can also be found in the form of a military government. The military has the power in this form of autocracy. In a military government there are no political institutions except the bureaucracy, courts and police. These institutions are based on military principles of hierarchy and there is no room for negotiation. A military government usually arises from a coup d'etat. A coup d'etat is an illegal seizure of political power by the military. This form of autocracy is the least durable of all the forms of autocracy. This is the case, because the military doesn't have the justification to rule permanently [9]. A military government can for example be found in Nigeria[7].

The last form of autocracy is theocracy. This is a form of rule were religious leaders govern directly. This means that the country also becomes religious. The rules of a religion are also applied to the state[7]. A theocracy usually intensifies generational divisions in the society. A lot of well-educated young people revolt against the religious establishment. This can lead towards a very unstable country. Iran is an example of a theocracy[7].

Comparison with other forms of government

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[8]. It can be headed by a supreme leader, making it autocratic, but it can also have a collective leadership such as a commune, junta, or single political party.

In an analysis of militarized disputes between two states, if one of the states involved was an autocracy the chance of violence occurring doubled.[10]

Difference between autocracy and democracy

An autocracy differs from other regime types. The regime type that perhaps differs the most from autocracy is democracy.

In a democracy there is a representative government based on regular, fair and competitive elections [11]. This is completely the opposite of an autocracy. A representative government is absent in an autocracy. There are usually no elections, and when elections are being held they are often subject to fraud, manipulation and violence[7].

A democracy also contains stable political institutions and a distribution of power. In an autocracy these elements do not exist. There are only weak political institutions and the power of the state lays with the political elites[7].

Within a democracy, there are also much more options for citizens to participate in politics. There are multiple political parties to choose from, citizens have the opportunity to choose the political party of their liking and if they want to, they can even get involved with politics themselves. In a democracy, it is also possible to act as opposition. The opposition within a democracy is active, effective and protected. All of this is not possible within an autocracy. An autocracy gives almost no room for citizens to participate in politics. In some autocracies there are elections, but these are often rigged. Within an autocracy there is also no active, effective and protective opposition. The political elite tries to limit mass participation, instead of mobilizing a opposition. Usually when there is opposition in a autocracy, the political elite will use their power to punish the opposition[7].

The last main difference between an autocracy and democracy is the control over media establishments. In a democracy there are multiple diverse and independent media outlets. These media outlets are subject to very few political controls and they are free to spread a variety of opinions. In an autocracy this is completely the opposite. The political elite makes sure the media doesn't share anything that isn't in line with the opinions of the elite. These media constraints make sure the opposition can't get any ground in the autocracy[7].


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.[12] 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, then, 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.[6]

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".[13] 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.

Autocracy promotion

It has been argued that authoritarian regimes, such as China and Russia, have attempted to export their system of government to other countries through "autocracy promotion".[14] A number of scholars are skeptical that China and Russia have successfully exported authoritarianism abroad.[15][16][17][18]

Historical examples

  • Aztec Empire: In Mesoamerica, the Aztecs were a tremendous military powerhouse that earned a fearsome reputation of capturing prisoners during battle to be used for sacrificial rituals. The priesthood supported a pantheon that demanded human sacrifice, and the nobility consisted mainly of warriors who had captured many prisoners for these sacrificial rites. The Aztec Emperor hence functioned both as the sole ruler of the empire and its military forces, and as the religious figurehead behind the empire's aggressive foreign policy.
  • Chile under the dictatorship of Pinochet.
  • China under Mao Zedong's rule
  • Roman Empire: In 27 B.C., Augustus founded the Roman Empire following the end of the Roman Republic. Augustus officially kept the Roman Senate while effectively consolidating all of the real power in himself. Rome was peaceful and prosperous until the dictatorial rule of Commodus starting in 180 A.D. The third century saw invasions from the barbarians as well as economic decline. Both Diocletian and Constantine ruled as autocratic leaders, strengthening the control of the emperor. The empire grew extremely large, and was ruled by a tetrarchy, instituted by Diocletian. Eventually, it was split into two halves: the Western (Roman) and the Eastern (Byzantine). The Western Roman Empire fell in 476 after civic unrest, further economic decline, and invasions led to the surrender of Romulus Augustus to Odoacer, a German king.[19]
  • Tsarist and Imperial Russia: Shortly after being crowned as ruler, Tsar Ivan immediately removed his political enemies by execution or exile and established dominance over an Empire, expanding the borders of his kingdom dramatically. To enforce his rule, Ivan the Terrible established the Streltzy as Russia's standing army, and he developed two cavalry divisions that were fiercely loyal to the Tsar; the Cossacks, and the Oprichniki. In his later years, Ivan made orders for his forces to sack the city of Novgorod in fear of being overthrown. The ideology Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality was introduced by Emperor Nicholas I of Russia.
  • Tokugawa Shogunate: Medieval Japan was caught in a vicious series of skirmishes between warring clans, states, and rulers, all of them vying for power in a mad scramble. While many of these lords struggled against each other openly, Ieyasu Tokugawa seized mastery of all of Japan through a mix of superior tactics and cunning diplomacy, until he became the dominant power of the land. By establishing his shogunate as the sole ruling power in Japan, Ieyasu Tokugawa and his successors controlled all aspects of life, closing the borders of Japan to all foreign nations and ruling with a policy of isolationism.
  • Nazi Germany[20]: After the failed Beer Hall Putsch, the National Socialist German Workers' Party began a more subtle political strategy to take over the government. Following a tense social and political environment in the 1930s, the Nazis under Adolf Hitler took advantage of the civil unrest of the state to seize power through cunning propaganda and by the charismatic speeches of their party leader. By the time Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazi party began to restrict civil liberties on the public following the Reichstag Fire. With a combination of cooperation and intimidation, Hitler and his party systematically weakened all opposition to his rule, transforming the Weimar Republic into a fascist dictatorship where Hitler alone spoke and acted on behalf of Germany. Nazi Germany is an example of an autocracy run primarily by a single leader, but many decisions made by Hitler coincided with the interests and ideology of the Nazi Party in mind, also making an example of an autocracy ruled by a political party rather than solely one man.
  • Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin's rule.
  • Spain under Francisco Franco's rule.
  • Italy under Benito Mussolini's rule.

See also


  1. ^ Paul M. Johnson. "Autocracy: A Glossary of Political Economy Terms". Retrieved 2012-09-14.
  2. ^ Tilly, Charles. "Western-state Making and Theories of Political Transformation".
  3. ^ a b c Hariri, Jacob (2012). "The Autocratic Legacy of Early Statehood". American Political Science Review. 106 (3): 471–494. doi:10.1017/S0003055412000238.
  4. ^ Acemoglu, Daron; Johnson, Simon; A. Robinson, James. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution".
  5. ^ Olson, Mancur (1993-01-01). "Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development". The American Political Science Review. 87 (3): 567–576. doi:10.2307/2938736. JSTOR 2938736.
  6. ^ a b Douglass C. North; John Joseph Wallis; Barry R. Weingast (2008). "Violence and the Rise of Open-Access Orders". Journal of Democracy. 20 (1): 55–68. doi:10.1353/jod.0.0060.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Hague, Rod,. Comparative government and politics : an introduction. Harrop, Martin,, McCormick, John, 1954- (Tenth ed.). New York, NY. ISBN 9781137528360. OCLC 937062027.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b c d Hague, Rod; Harrop, Martin; McCormick, John (2016). Comparative government and politics : an introduction (Tenthition ed.). London: Palgrave. ISBN 978-1-137-52836-0.
  9. ^ Kailitz, Steffen; Stockemer, Daniel (2015-11-26). "Regime legitimation, elite cohesion and the durability of autocratic regime types". International Political Science Review. 38 (3): 332–348. doi:10.1177/0192512115616830. ISSN 0192-5121.
  10. ^ Pinker, Steven (2011). The Better Angels Of Our Nature. Penguin. p. 341. ISBN 978-0-141-03464-5.
  11. ^ Tullock, Gordon (1987). Autocracy. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. doi:10.1007/978-94-015-7741-0. ISBN 9789401577434.
  12. ^ Tullock, Gordon. "Autocracy", Springer Science+Business, 1987. ISBN 90-247-3398-7
  13. ^ Acemoglu, Daron; Johnson, Simon; Robinson, James A. (2005). Chapter 6 Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth. Handbook of Economic Growth. 1, Part A. pp. 385–472. doi:10.1016/S1574-0684(05)01006-3. ISBN 9780444520418.
  14. ^ Kurlantzick, Joshua (2013-03-30). "A New Axis of Autocracy". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  15. ^ Tansey, Oisín (2016-01-02). "The problem with autocracy promotion". Democratization. 23 (1): 141–163. doi:10.1080/13510347.2015.1095736. ISSN 1351-0347.
  16. ^ Way, Lucan (2016-01-27). "Weaknesses of Autocracy Promotion". Journal of Democracy. 27 (1): 64–75. doi:10.1353/jod.2016.0009. ISSN 1086-3214.
  17. ^ Brownlee, Jason (2017-05-15). "The limited reach of authoritarian powers". Democratization. 0 (7): 1326–1344. doi:10.1080/13510347.2017.1287175. ISSN 1351-0347.
  18. ^ Way, Lucan A. (2015). "The limits of autocracy promotion: The case of Russia in the 'near abroad'". European Journal of Political Research. 54 (4): 691–706. doi:10.1111/1475-6765.12092.
  19. ^ "Password Logon Page". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  20. ^ Hague, Rod; Harrop, Martin; McCormick, John (2016). Comparative government and politics : an introduction (Tenthition ed.). London: Palgrave. ISBN 978-1-137-52836-0.

External links

Absolute monarchy

Absolute monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme authority and where that authority is not restricted by any written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from and is legally bounded or restricted by a constitution or legislature.Some monarchies have a weak or symbolic legislature and other governmental bodies the monarch can alter or dissolve at will. Countries where monarchs still maintain absolute power are: Brunei, Eswatini, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the individual emirates composing the United Arab Emirates, which itself is a federation of such monarchies – a federal monarchy.

Bloody Sunday (1905)

Bloody Sunday or Red Sunday (Russian: Крова́вое воскресе́нье, tr. Krovávoye voskresén'e, IPA: [krɐˈvavəɪ vəskrʲɪˈsʲenʲjɪ]) is the name given to the events of Sunday, 22 January [O.S. 9 January] 1905 in St Petersburg, Russia, when unarmed demonstrators led by Father Georgy Gapon were fired upon by soldiers of the Imperial Guard as they marched towards the Winter Palace to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

Bloody Sunday caused grave consequences for the Tsarist autocracy governing Imperial Russia: the events in St. Petersburg provoked public outrage and a series of massive strikes that spread quickly to the industrial centres of the Russian Empire. The massacre on Bloody Sunday is considered to be the start of the active phase of the Revolution of 1905. In addition to beginning the 1905 Revolution, historians such as Lionel Kochan in his book Russia in Revolution 1890–1918 view the events of Bloody Sunday to be one of the key events which led to the Russian Revolution of 1917.


Byzantinism, or Byzantism, is the political system and culture of the Byzantine Empire, and its spiritual successors, in particular, the Orthodox Christian Balkan countries (Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia) and Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe (Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia). The term byzantinism itself was coined in the 19th century. The term has primarily negative associations, implying complexity and autocracy.

This negative reputation stressed the confusing complexities of the Empire's ministries and the elaborateness of its court ceremonies. Likewise, the "Byzantine system" also suggests a penchant for intrigue, plots and assassinations and an overall unstable political state of affairs. The term has been criticized by modern scholars for being a generalization that is not very representative of the reality of the Byzantine aristocracy and bureaucracy.

Chris Metzen

Christopher Vincent Metzen (born November 22, 1973) is an American game designer, artist, voice actor, and author known for his work creating the fictional universes and scripts for Blizzard Entertainment's three major award-winning media franchises: Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft. On occasion, Metzen has published his art under the alias "Thundergod." Metzen was hired by Blizzard Entertainment as an animator and an artist; his first work for the company was with the video game Justice League Task Force.Metzen was the Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development at Blizzard Entertainment and assisted the company's projects by providing voice talent for a number of characters, as well as contributing to artistic character design. Outside Blizzard Entertainment, Metzen authored a graphic novel series based on a futuristic second American civil war. Metzen retired in September 2016 to spend more time with his family.

In his most recent work, Metzen co-authored graphic novels, Transformers: Autocracy and Transformers Monstrosity with author Flint Dille and artist Livio Ramondelli.

Comparison of Nazism and Stalinism

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 Stalinism and Nazism 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.


Despotism (Greek: Δεσποτισμός, despotismós) is a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power. Normally, that entity is an individual, the despot, as in an autocracy, but societies which limit respect and power to specific groups have also been called despotic.Colloquially, the word despot applies pejoratively to those who use their power and authority to oppress their populace, subjects, or subordinates. More specifically, the term often applies to a head of state or government. In this sense, it is similar to the pejorative connotations that are associated with the terms tyrant and dictator.

Emperor of All Russia

The Emperor or Empress of All Russia (Russian: (pre 1918 orthography) Императоръ Всероссійскій, Императрица Всероссійская, (modern orthography) Император Всероссийский, Императрица всероссийская, Imperator Vserossiyskiy, Imperatritsa Vserossiyskaya) was the absolute and later the constitutional monarch of the Russian Empire.

It was created in connection with the victory in the Great Northern War and appeared as the adaptation of the Tsar's title under the accepted system of titling in Europe. The suffix "of All Russia" was transformed from the previous version "(Tsar) of All Rus'".

Enlightened absolutism

Enlightened absolutism (also called enlightened despotism or benevolent despotism) refers to the conduct and policies of European absolute monarchs during the 18th and 19th centuries who were influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment, espousing them to enhance their power. The concept originated during the Enlightenment period in the 18th and into the early 19th centuries.

An enlightened despot is a non-democratic or authoritarian leader who exercises their political power for the benefit of the people, rather than exclusively for themselves or elites.

Enlightened despots distinguished themselves from ordinary despots by claiming to rule for their subjects' well-being. They may focus government priorities on healthcare, education, nonviolent population control, or physical infrastructure. The leader may profess a commitment to peaceful relations and/or allow some democratic decision-making, such as public referenda, but would not propose reforms that undermined their sovereignty or disrupted the social order. Some people say that despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement.Enlightened despots' beliefs about royal power were typically similar to those of regular despots, both believing that they were destined to rule. Enlightened rulers may have played a part in the abolition of serfdom in Europe.The enlightened despot Emperor Joseph II of Austria summarized, "Everything for the people, nothing by the people".


A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state.In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government is a means by which organizational policies are enforced, as well as a mechanism for determining policy. Each government has a kind of constitution, a statement of its governing principles and philosophy. Typically the philosophy chosen is some balance between the principle of individual freedom and the idea of absolute state authority (tyranny).

While all types of organizations have governance, the word government is often used more specifically to refer to the approximately 200 independent national governments on Earth, as well as subsidiary organizations.Historically prevalent forms of government include monarchy, aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, theocracy and tyranny. The main aspect of any philosophy of government is how political power is obtained, with the two main forms being electoral contest and hereditary succession.

Guided democracy

Guided democracy, also called managed democracy, is a formally democratic government that functions as a de facto autocracy. Such governments are legitimized by elections that are free and fair, but do not change the state's policies, motives, and goals.In other words, the government controls elections so that the people can exercise all their rights without truly changing public policy. While they follow basic democratic principles, there can be major deviations towards authoritarianism. Under managed democracy, the state's continuous use of propaganda techniques prevents the electorate from having a significant impact on policy.The concept of a "guided democracy" was developed in the 20th century by Walter Lippmann in his seminal work Public Opinion (1922) and by Edward Bernays in his work Crystallizing Public Opinion.

After World War II, the term was used in Indonesia for the approach to government under the Sukarno administration from 1957 to 1966. It is today widely employed in Russia, where it was introduced into common practice by Kremlin theorists, in particular Gleb Pavlovsky. Princeton University professor Sheldon Wolin describes this process as inverted totalitarianism.

An important distinction is the one between governments that have elections which are judged not free or fair by observers and governments which have elections considered both free and fair. The Russian Federation under Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev has also been described as an illiberal democracy. Elections take place regularly, but many foreign observers (e.g. from the OSCE) do not consider them free or fair. Thirteen Russian journalists were assassinated between 2000 and 2003. Furthermore, most major television networks and newspapers are owned or controlled by the government and only openly support current government and state approved parties and candidates during elections.

Hyderabad State

Hyderabad State (pronunciation ), also known as Hyderabad Deccan, was an Indian princely state located in the south-central region of India with its capital at the city of Hyderabad. It is now divided into Telangana state, Hyderabad-Karnataka region of Karnataka and Marathwada region of Maharashtra.

The state was ruled from 1724 to 1857 by the Nizam who was initially a viceroy of the Great Mogul in the Deccan.

Hyderabad gradually became the first princely state to come under British paramountcy signing a subsidiary alliance agreement.Later, under the leadership of Asaf Jah V it changed its traditional heraldic flag. The dynasty declared itself an independent monarchy during the final years of the British Raj.

After the Partition of India, Hyderabad signed a standstill agreement with the new dominion of India, continuing all previous arrangements except for the stationing of Indian troops in the state. Hyderabad's location in the middle of the Indian union, as well as its diverse cultural heritage, was a driving force behind India's invasion and annexation of the state in 1948. Subsequently, Mir Osman Ali Khan, the 7th Nizam, signed an instrument of accession, joining India.

Law enforcement in Nepal

The Nepalese Police Force is the national police of Nepal. It is independent of the Nepalese Army. Although once brought under the Army in the name of "Unified Command", it is taken as a force separate from the Army.

In the days of its establishment, Nepal Police personnel were mainly drawn from the armed forces of the Nepali Congress Party which fought against feudal Rana autocracy in Nepal.

Liberal autocracy

A liberal autocracy is a non-democratic government that follows the principles of liberalism. Until the 20th century, most countries in Western Europe were "liberal autocracies, or at best, semi-democracies". One example of a "classic liberal autocracy" was the Austro-Hungarian Empire. According to Fareed Zakaria, a more recent example is Hong Kong until 1 July 1997, which was ruled by the British Crown. He says that until 1991 "it had never held a meaningful election, but its government epitomized constitutional liberalism, protecting its citizens' basic rights and administering a fair court system and bureaucracy". Friedrich Hayek contended that the regime of Augusto Pinochet in Chile was also a liberal autocracy, claiming that he had "not been able to find a single person even in much maligned Chile who did not agree that personal freedom was much greater under Pinochet than it had been under Allende". However, the historical record and many accounts by other observers indicate otherwise, citing the human rights abuses and suppression of civil society that occurred during Pinochet's rule.

The existence of real liberties in many of these autocracies is very questionable. For instance, 19th century autocracies often abolished feudal institutions like serfdom, guilds, privileges for the nobility and inequality before the law, but freedom of speech and freedom of association were at best limited. As such, liberal autocracy often preceded various forms of electoral democracy in the evolution of these nations, being much more open than feudal monarchies, but less free than modern liberal democracies. Hong Kong is arguably a special case, where during the latter stages of British colonial rule there was considerable freedom of speech and freedom of association, but also the common knowledge that China would not allow an independent state with free elections. It was also suggested that since 2005 Egypt has been leaning towards liberal autocracy

Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality

Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality (Russian: Правосла́вие, самодержа́вие, наро́дность, Pravoslávie, samoderzhávie, naródnost'), also known as Official Nationality, was the dominant ideological doctrine of Russian emperor Nicholas I. It was "the Russian version of a general European ideology of restoration and reaction" that followed the Napoleonic Wars."The Triad" of Official Nationality was originally proposed by Minister of Education Sergey Uvarov in his April 2, 1833 circular letter to subordinate educators. It was soon embraced by Nicholas and his establishment and gained wide public recognition, vocally supported by intellectuals like Mikhail Pogodin, Fyodor Tyutchev and Nikolai Gogol.Critics of the policy saw this principle as a call for Russification. Yet the very fact of its existence, being Russia's first statewide political ideology since the 16th century, indicated the nation's brewing transition to modernity.

Polity data series

The Polity data series is a widely used data series in political science research. The latest version, Polity IV, contains coded annual information on the level of democracy for most independent states with greater than 500,000 total population and covers the years 1800–2018. Polity's conclusions about a state's level of democracy are based on an evaluation of that state's elections for competitiveness and openness, the nature of political participation in general, and the extent of checks on executive authority. For each year and country, a "Polity Score" is determined which ranges from -10 to +10, with -10 to -6 corresponding to autocracies, -5 to 5 corresponding to anocracies, and 6 to 10 to democracies.

The Polity study was initiated in the late 1960s by Ted Robert Gurr; it is now continued by Gurr's former student, Monty G. Marshall, and sponsored by the Political Instability Task Force (PITF). The PITF is funded by the Central Intelligence Agency.The 2002 paper "Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy" claimed several problems with commonly used democracy rankings, including Polity, opining that the criteria used to determine "democracy" were misleadingly narrow.


In political science, a revolution (Latin: revolutio, "a turn around") is a fundamental and relatively sudden change in political power and political organization which occurs when the population revolts against the government, typically due to perceived oppression (political, social, economic) or political incompetence. In book V of the Politics, the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BC) described two types of political revolution:

Complete change from one constitution to another

Modification of an existing constitution.Revolutions have occurred through human history and vary widely in terms of methods, duration and motivating ideology. Their results include major changes in culture, economy and socio-political institutions, usually in response to perceived overwhelming autocracy or plutocracy.

Scholarly debates about what does and does not constitute a revolution center on several issues. Early studies of revolutions primarily analyzed events in European history from a psychological perspective, but more modern examinations include global events and incorporate perspectives from several social sciences, including sociology and political science. Several generations of scholarly thought on revolutions have generated many competing theories and contributed much to the current understanding of this complex phenomenon.

Notable revolutions during later centuries include the creation of the United States through the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), the French Revolution (1789-1799), the 1848 European Revolutions, the Russian Revolution in 1917, the Chinese Revolution of the 1940s, and the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

The Autocracy of Mr. Parham

The Autocracy of Mr. Parham is a novel by H. G. Wells. It was originally published in both Britain and America with illustrations by the British cartoonist Low (David Low).

The U.S. edition carried the subtitle His Remarkable Adventures in This Changing World. It was one of the first twenty "dollar books" from Doubleday, Doran & Co., released together 20 June 1930. (It was listed first in a newspaper advertisement that day, and subsequently numbered '1' in advertisement of all the dollar books with a simple numerical order form.) The U.K. edition from Heinemann was available 21 July 1930.A German translation by Helene Maria Reiff was published by Paul Zsolnay of Berlin in 1931, Der Diktator oder Mr. Parham wird allmächtig (The Dictator).

The Bulpington of Blup

The Bulpington of Blup, a 1932 novel by H. G. Wells, is a character study analyzing the psychological sources of resistance to Wellsian ideology, and was influenced by Wells's acquaintance with Carl Gustav Jung and his ideas.

The inner life of the protagonist, Theodore Bulpington, is dominated by a complex he calls "The Bulpington of Blup." This self-regarding, romantic, heroic personality comes over time to dominate his existence, falsifying his relations with the world. Theodore Bulpington develops into a pretentious fraud who finally affirms a modus vivendi of falsehood: "I am a lie. I accept it. I am a liar in a world of lies." The novel is also of interest for its extended analysis of psychological responses to World War I.The life of Ford Madox Ford inspired some aspects of the novel. The Bulpington of Blup is dedicated to Odette Keun, Wells's lover from 1924 to 1933.

Like Mr. Blettsworthy on Rampole Island and The Autocracy of Mr. Parham, The Bulpington of Blup did not sell as well as Wells's earlier novels; these are now among his "least read books," according to biographer David Smith. Wells believed that the novel was as good as Kipps, but critics have not shared this view.

Tsarist autocracy

Tsarist autocracy (Russian: царское самодержавие, transcr. tsarskoye samoderzhaviye) is a form of autocracy (later absolute monarchy) 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 (and distributed) by the Tsar. They had more power than constitutional monarchs, who are usually vested by law and counterbalanced by a legislative authority; they even had more authority on religious issues compared to Western monarchs. In Russia, it originated during the time of Ivan III (1440−1505), and was abolished after the Russian Revolution of 1917.


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