Authoritarian Rule Essay

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From previous chapters, we can define democracy as, “a regime in which citizens have basic rights of open association and expression and the ability to change the government through some sort of electoral process (Drogus & Orvis, 2015).” This means, that people living under a democratic rule have the liberty to express their thoughts and ideas—along with other basic human rights—and the ability to elect and choose new representatives if those currently surviving are not properly fulfilling their duties. Authoritarian rule, however, does not share the same characteristics as a democracies, and are usually ruled by a small group, or a single ruler—the “Supreme Leader” (Drogus & Orvis, 2015). Though there are many clear-cut definitions of each, …show more content…
But these forms of “participation” are strictly controlled and limited, and are often riddled with corruption. These attempts at participation amongst the regime is a result of the Dictator’s Dilemma—an authoritarian ruler’s repression creates fear, which then breeds uncertainty about how much support the ruler has; in response, the ruler spends more resources than is rational to co-opt the opposition (Drogus & Orvis, 2015). This cycle of fear forces authoritarian rulers to open some form of participation amongst the citizens and show a greater respect for their human rights if they wish to gain better control over the territory and legitimacy as ruler. Similarly, we can see examples of democracies that have taken away certain rights and freedom of citizens in the name if national security. Here in the US, during times of war it isn’t uncommon for the government to have a tighter hold over the rights and freedoms of citizens. After the 9/11 terrorist attack, the US entered the “War on Terror” and citizens gave up certain freedoms in the name of national security. Over a decade later, the government has yet to reestablish the proper balance between security and liberty, and continues the passing of laws and policies that undermine civil liberties and government transparency (Rights and the 'War on Terror ', …show more content…
When does a democracy cross into authoritarian regime, and visa versa? Regardless of the types, all governments require some form of bureaucracy to be taken as a legitimate government, and the way the bureaucracy us run determines the level of authoritarian or democratic control. Less-institutionalized (the degree to which government processes and procedures are established) bureaucracies have greater advantages for authoritarian rulers (Drogus & Orvis, 2015). Top leaders can make use of corruption (promoting officials to use their positions for their personal business) to maintain loyalty and weaken institutions of the state (Drogus & Orvis, 2015). Where as institutionalized states function more like there were originally designed to do. Over time, the gain strength and the politicians are more likely to follow the rules in place. The level of bureaucracy plays a big role in determining where the lines between authoritarian and democratic regimes lies. Governments with limited bureaucratic procedures is more like to fall under authoritarian classification and a government with a strong, developed

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