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Understanding what authoritarianism is | University of Amsterdam | Political Science Department


Totalitarianism vs. Authoritarianism


What is Authoritarianism? (Authoritarianism Explained, Authoritarianism Defined)


Why People Love Authoritarians


Democracy is inefficient; authoritarianism is not

Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms. Individual freedoms are subordinate to the state and there is no constitutional accountability under an authoritarian regime. Juan Linz's influential 1964 description of authoritarianism characterized authoritarian political systems by four qualities:Limited political pluralism, that is such regimes place constraints on political institutions and groups like legislatures, political parties and interest groups; A basis for legitimacy based on emotion, especially the identification of the regime as a necessary evil to combat "easily recognizable societal problems" such as underdevelopment or insurgency; Minimal social mobilization most often caused by constraints on the public such as suppression of political opponents and anti-regime activity; Informally defined executive power with often vague and shifting powers.
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