Lecture 3 - Authoritarianosm ALL YOU'LL NEED FOR AUTHORITARIANISM FOR PSCI 110!!!!!!!!
SchoolUniversity of Waterloo
Course CodePSCI 110
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PSCI Jan 27 – Feb 8
Lecture 3 – Authoritarianism
Non-democratic system of government.
Mass participation in leadership selection is limited.
The leadership could be inherited, but the leader is never elected.
Elite Competition for office is limited.
Mass constraint on elites is very limited over the public. Elites are no longer
responsive to the opinion of the public.
Majority of the countries in the world are Authoritarian.
Main Characteristics of Authoritarianism
Ideologically diverse (from all kinds of political backgrounds; from the left and
Right: Latin America
Non-ideological (Kleptocracy): Africa
Highly legitimate: Support and legitimacy is higher in Authoritarian regimes than in
An advanced category of authoritarianism.
Fundamentalist ideology (radical or reactionary when proposed).
Centralization of public life. (Almost everything is controlled from the centre. Ex.
Central canteen, numbered schools, and major occupation is military).
Control over private life. Ex. Many family members could be informants; internal
level of control.
A regime can establish this control with a heavy use of violence.
Examples of Totalitarianism
Soviet Union under Stalin.
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PSCI Jan 27 – Feb 8
Khmer Rouge (Cambodia). (Communist movement in Cambodia; up to 2 million
people were killed or starved to death). One of the few that political ideologies was
reactionary. Regime ended in 1979.
Today would be North Korea.
Economy and Authoritarianism
Observation: most democracies are rich.
Theory: democracy Economic development?
Counter examples: Singapore/ South Korea/ Taiwan/ Chile/ India/ Mongolia.
Democratization Economic Development? Reduce Growth. Why?
Much bigger pressure for government to spend resources rather than invest.
Weaker States; general autonomy of states reduces. Reduces ability for state to
create economic growth.
Economic Development Democratization.
Wealth does not promote democratization.
Wealth stabilizes any regime type.
Why then are most democracies rich?
Poor democracies collapse under pressure because only high level of wealth is
Social Values under Authoritarianism
Collective Orientation = Individuals should listen to larger groups; Not follow
their own opinions.
Hierarchical Orientation = Priority by age or status. Always listen to political
leader at the top.
Means of Control
Violence (Wasteful, unsecure, people could turn against you).
Personality Cult (Regime creates mythical quality with leader; brainwashing, so
people submit to a leader faster; always under pressure to find successor/ heir
to the throne).
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