There are many different forms of government in the world. Autocracy is one such form of government. Autocracy, which is another type of monarchical form of government, refers to regimes in which power is concentrated in one center. But something more is required to fully explain autocracy. For this reason, we have told you what autocracy is, what kind of government an autocracy is, and which countries autocracy governs. Let’s start by answering the question, what is autocracy.

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What is autocracy?

Autocracy is a form of government in which the monarch has absolute control and decision-making power. Autocracies have existed since ancient times, when kings and emperors ruled large countries and tribal lands, and today they exist in the form of absolute monarchies and dictatorships. Unlike in a democracy, people living in countries with autocratic governments do not have a say in determining the laws of the country or how those laws are enforced. The autocratic ruler is accountable to no one; There is no system of checks and balances, there is no constitutional limitation on the power of the monarch. The ruler, the monarch, cannot be held accountable before the council of advisers, the judiciary, the public or the press.

In autocratic governments, the power of the ruler is absolute and opposition is not allowed. For this reason, scholars often associate autocracy with totalitarian regimes such as Adolf Hitler in Germany and Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. Autocracy is a general concept, not a specific form of government. Although autocratic rulers have complete power over the people of their country, their methods of government can be very different. Absolute monarchies and dictatorships still exist today. Today’s kings and queens often rule by inheritance, as they did in ancient times. Often dictators come to power after an effective revolution. This usually happens when a rebel group rises to protest and overthrow the current government. The dictator then takes control to establish a new order. Dictators, especially military dictators, seek their power by force. They mostly use an autocratic form of government.

Throughout history, in times of political unrest, people have tended to obey powerful leaders who could take control of their country. In fact, Niccolo Machiavelli, the 15th century Italian political philosopher, called autocracy a temporary measure and a way to restore political order and end opposition.

Now that we have learned what autocracy is, let’s look at the forms of autocracy.

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What are the forms of autocracy? Closed and electoral autocracy

What is autocracy

As in democracy, autocracy has its own forms. Autocracy itself is divided into two forms: closed autocracy and elective autocracy. A closed autocracy is an autocracy in which the president and legislatures are not elected through elections. So a citizen has no chance to help his country choose a leader.

An electoral autocracy holds public, multi-party elections that theoretically give citizens a role in electing government leaders. However, these elections tend to lack many of the guarantees that make them fair and free. An example of electoral autocracy is Russia, which is known for its corruption, including the expulsion or arrest of opposition candidates, massive government efforts to fill ballot boxes and intimidate voters, and regularly reviewed term limits. All these efforts were aimed at maintaining the power of autocratic leader Vladimir Putin.

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Which countries are autocracy?


Experts generally agree on several examples of historical autocracy, some of which continue:

  • Soviet Union led by Joseph Stalin
  • Italy led by Benito Mussolini
  • Japan led by Hirohito
  • Germany under Adolf Hitler
  • China led by Mao Zedong
  • Cuba led by Fidel Castro
  • Venezuela led by Nicol├ís Maduro
  • Russia led by Vladimir Putin

Countries with absolute monarchy:

  • Brunei
  • Oman
  • Train
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Eswatini
  • Vatican

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