Authoritarianism ( Latin auctoritas 'influence', 'validity', 'power') is seen in political science as a dictatorial form of rule that lies between democracy and dictatorial totalitarianism , but clearly differs from the latter. According to Juan Linz (1975), this delimitation results in three central defining features:
- limited pluralism ,
- no comprehensively formulated ideology ,
- neither extensive nor intensive mobilization.
The limited pluralism is to be seen as a central distinguishing feature. The freedom of action of political and social actors largely depends on authoritarian governance. To distinguish it from totalitarianism, it is more appropriate to speak of mentalities for authoritarianism than of (political) ideologies and world views . According to Theodor Geiger (1932), mentality is “subjective ideology”, but “objective spirit”. Mentalities are psychological predispositions and function informally.
The lack of a clear ideology leads to a loss of the ability to mobilize, the population lacks an emotional connection to the system. That is why authoritarian regimes formulate their policies pragmatically and at the same time try to enforce general values such as patriotism , nationalism , modernization , order, etc.
Social and political basis of authoritarian systems
Authoritarian systems are supported by certain social forces in a society. These may form their oligarchical power base. These social forces can in z. B. civil and military forces can be divided. That is, authoritarian states can be supported civil, military, tribal , religious or bureaucratic, etc.
Patterns of legitimation of authoritarian systems
Max Weber describes three forms of legitimacy : traditional, charismatic and rational legitimacy. With respect to authoritarian systems, only traditional and charismatic legitimacy matter. According to Max Weber, traditionally means: "the authority of the eternal yesterday: that by unimaginable validity and habitual attitude towards their observance of sacred mores" - this legitimation pattern applies above all to authoritarian states in which religion is the legitimation for the ruler and the political is not separated from the sacred. Examples of this are Saudi Arabia and Iran , although echoes of this pattern can also be found in parts of the western world (e.g. Bible Belt ), albeit with limited influence. According to Max Weber, charismatic means: “Born out of enthusiasm or need and hope, believing, very personal devotion” - this legitimation pattern applies above all to countries in which a political leader has gained popular recognition and anchored his rule in an authoritarian system . Cuba under Fidel Castro can be seen as an example of this .
Structural pattern of political power
In authoritarian systems, power is usually centralized. On the surface, a horizontal separation of powers exists at most formally. A comparison of industrialized and developing countries reveals a higher degree of personalization of the political. A leadership is called personalistic when it is concentrated in one person.
Relationship between those in power and those subject to it
The essential element in the relationship between those in power and those subject to power is violence “from above”, usually in the form of a secret police , the purpose of which is to protect the political power of the ruling class and to suppress any form of opposition . The political participation is controlled by those in power either prevented or.
The communication researcher Sarah Oats described the role of the mass media as a critical factor in the slide of a state into authoritarianism. The various strategies censorship , self-censorship or propaganda can be pursued to stabilize an established regime . By controlling the big media, according to Wegren, it is almost impossible for the media to trigger a debate , as is the case with a function of the media in open political systems.
In view of the growing popularity of right-wing populist parties, the media spoke of a crisis in liberalism in the 2010s . For example, the journalist Thomas Assheuer emphasizes that the sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf predicted as early as the 1990s that globalization would “ promote authoritarian rather than democratic constitutions”. The German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned several times in 2017 - in his inaugural speech to the Bundestag, on his first visit to France and in his first speech in the European Parliament - of a new "fascination with the authoritarian".
Typology of authoritarian regimes according to Juan J. Linz
- no party capable of mobilizing
- Leadership: a-charismatic military
- Pragmatic mentality
This type mostly follows a liberal-democratic system that had no system loyalties or no stable government.
- Military dictatorships in Latin America 1960s to 1990s
- Union of Myanmar
- Turkey ( 1960–1961 ), ( 1971–1973 ), ( 1980–1983 )
- State-decreed procedure for representing interests
- compulsory administrative limitation of conflicts within society
Ideological alternative for societies that, due to their economic and social complexity, cannot be governed by technocratic-authoritarian means alone.
- Austrofascism in Austria (1934–1938)
- Estado Novo in Portugal (1933–1974)
- Horthy - Hungary (1919 / 1920-1944)
Mobilizing authoritarian regimes
- emotional forms of legitimation through an affective identification with the government
- Plebiscitary forms of participation should help to secure support.
Post-colonial mobilizing regimes
- limited pluralism
- relative autonomy of society
- Heterogeneous political tendencies and forces
Especially in post-colonial Africa , social and economic disparities, ethnic, lingual and religious differences among the population and a weak bureaucracy led many state leaders to believe that only an authoritarian state would promise success. Most of these regimes have fallen victim to military coups or transformation into purely personal rule.
Under neopatrimonialism one, particularly widespread in Africa aptly rule type is referred to, which can be considered a hybrid of classic patrimonial and legal-rational domination. As a type of regime, he is somewhere between autocracy and democracy . Characteristic components of neopatrimonialism are clientelism and political patronage .
Racial Democracies and Ethnocracies
It is characteristic of racial democracies and ethnocracies that certain ethnic groups are excluded from political participation and have no democratic rights. Pressure is not only exerted on the discriminated population, in the historical examples non-white, but also on dissidents from the privileged class (historically: whites) who fight and question the separation policy .
- South Africa (until 1994)
- Rhodesia (until 1980, then again since 1987)
- Southern United States until the late 1960s
Incomplete totalitarian and pre-totalitarian regimes
Pre-totalitarianism describes the transition phase to totalitarianism.
Post-totalitarian authoritarian regimes
- Fading utopian long-term goals, ritualization or formulaic solidification of ideology
- gradual social, economic and cultural - but not political - repluralization
- bureaucratic leadership style of the political elite, tendency to legalize rule
- Ritualization or paralysis of social mobilization, with partial tolerance or even encouragement of escape into private life
- early post-totalitarianism: Bulgaria (1988/89)
- frozen post-totalitarianism: GDR (1971–1989), Czechoslovakia (1977–1989)
- mature post-totalitarianism: Hungary (1982–1988)
- Post-totalitarianism with sultanist features: Romania under Ceaușescu
- Transition from Post-Totalitarianism to Authoritarianism: Poland (1980s)
Typology of authoritarian regimes according to Wolfgang Merkel
The German political scientist Wolfgang Merkel defines ten different authoritarian typologies:
Communist-authoritarian party regime
- Party as the vanguard of the working class and thus the only legitimate center of power
- mostly one-party system or one in connection with satellite parties (e.g. the block parties in the GDR) next to her
- Close leadership circles (usually a Politburo ) make the decisions
- Collective leadership body
- Soviet Union 1924–1929, 1953–1956, 1985–1991
- People's Republic of Poland from 1956
- People's Republic of Hungary from 1956
- People's Republic of China from the 1990s
- Yugoslavia under Tito
- Leader principle
- corporatist ideology and organizational structure
- Party army
- Mass mobilization
- legitimizing recourse to premodern myths and patterns of order ( Germanism , Romanity )
- Fascist Italy
- Nazi Germany until 1938
- Independent state of Croatia
- Antonescu regime in Romania
- Slovak state
- National security
- Silence and order
- Modernization of economy and administration
- several variants
- Junta of acharismatic military
- low ideology pragmatism
- often follows liberal democracies
- Latin American military dictatorships of the 1960s and 1970s
- Greek military dictatorship
- South Korea 1961–1988
Military leadership regime
- mostly charismatic military leader
- later political solution of the regime from the military
- Legitimation through a direct plebiscitary relationship with the people
- Hungary under the imperial administrator Miklós Horthy
- Second Polish Republic under Józef Piłsudski
- Paraguay under Alfredo Stroessner
Military gangster regime and warlord rule
- pure repressive regime without value-oriented goals
- personal enrichment of the warlords and privatization of the military
- Result of disintegrating statehood
- mostly short-lived
- Mobutu regime in Zaire ( Democratic Republic of the Congo )
- Afghanistan 1990–1995
- Liberia under Charles Taylor 1997-2003
- Somalia since the 1990s
- "Organic democracy"
- state-controlled economic and professional classes
- permanent compulsory arbitration in the national interest
- Estado Novo in Portugal
- Francoist Spain and Fascist Italy in the early stages of the regime
Racist authoritarian regime
- Exclusion of a certain ethnic group or population group defined by their skin color from the democratic process and from civil rights
- democratic norms and procedures applied to the political system, which in the historical case studies mostly included white majorities or minorities
Authoritarian modernization regimes
- acts as either a military, one-party or leadership regime
- Lack of a traditional form of rule
- often from liberation movements emerged
- Peronist regime in Argentina
- Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser
- Turkey under Ataturk
- Algeria under Ben Bella
- Military dictatorship in Chile
- Religious doctrine of salvation as a state-prescribed worldview
- Tendency towards totalitarianism
- England / Great Britain 17th – 19th Century (constitutional monarchy)
- Sheikdoms in the Gulf region
- Royal dictatorships in Eastern Europe during the interwar period
Sultan authoritarian regimes
- Mixture of extremely personalized and erratic rule styles
- Family clan rule
Authoritarian pension regime
- Use of so-called pension income (mainly from oil exports)
- Little or no burden on subjects with taxes and duties
- oil exporting Arab countries
Authoritarianism in Social Psychology
Authoritarianism is understood socio-psychologically as an attitude , often also as a personality trait ( authoritarian personality or authoritarian character ) or serves as a generic term for fascistic and anti-democratic attitudes. Psychologically, the term is ambiguous, because it describes on the one hand extremely dominant behavior and on the other hand the willingness to submit to higher rank. In this respect, authoritarianism and obedience are related. In their well-known and much discussed experiments, Stanley Milgram ( Milgram experiment ) and Philip Zimbardo ( Stanford prison experiment ) examined the obedience behavior observed under simulated conditions that appeared realistic for the participants and asked about connections with other social attitudes and personality traits.
The American behavioral economist Karen Stenner argues that authoritarianism is not a personality trait, but should be viewed as a reaction to threats to the normative order, which is expressed in the fact that the “imagined 'we'” disintegrates, leading to fear of “ethnic disappearance” and before immigration.
Authoritarianism in the Psychological Experiment
In his conclusions from the Stanford Prison Experiment , a psychological study of human behavior in captivity, Philip Zimbardo writes: “The only link between personality and prison behavior was a finding that prisoners with a high degree of authoritarianism endured our authoritarian prison environment longer than did other prisoners. ”(The only connection between personality and prison behavior was the finding that prisoners with high levels of authoritarianism endured our authoritarian prison environment longer than other prisoners.)
- Jürgen Hartmann: Comparative government theory and system comparison. In: Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Ferdinand Müller-Rommel (Hrsg.): Comparative Political Science . 4th edition, Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 1997, ISBN 978-3-8100-3860-9 , p. 31 ff.
- Werner Herkner: textbook of social psychology. 6th edition, Huber, Bern 2001, ISBN 3-456-81989-7 .
- Juan José Linz : Authoritarian Regimes. In: Dieter Nohlen (Ed.): Dictionary State and Politics , Piper, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-492-22070-3 , pp. 40–43.
- Juan José Linz: Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes. Edited and translated by Raimund Krämer . 3. Edition. Potsdam text books 4. WeltTrends , Potsdam 2009, ISBN 978-3-941880-00-9 .
- Juan José Linz: An Authoritarian Regime: The Case of Spain. Edited and translated by Raimund Krämer and Christoph Sebastian Widdau. Potsdam text books 13. WeltTrends, Potsdam 2011, ISBN 978-3-941880-35-1 .
- Dieter Nohlen : Authoritarian Systems. In: Peter Waldmann , Klaus Ziemer (ed.): The Eastern and Southern Countries (= Lexicon of Politics in 7 Volumes, Vol. 4), CH Beck, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-406-36908-1 , p. 67– 74.
- Lars Rensmann , Steffen Hagemann , Hajo Funke : Authoritarianism and Democracy. Political theory and culture in global modernity (= science newsreel ). Wochenschau Verlag, Schwalbach 2011, ISBN 978-3-89974-679-2 .
- Susanne Rippl, Christian Seipel, Angela Kindervater (Ed.): Authoritarianism. Controversies and approaches in current research on authoritarianism. Leske and Budrich, Opladen 2000, ISBN 3-8100-2634-4 .
- Bernd Six: Generalized attitudes. In: Manfred Amelang (ed.): Encyclopedia of Psychology. Differential Psychology and Personality Research , Volume 3. Hogrefe, Göttingen 1966, ISBN 978-3-8017-0553-4 , pp. 1-50.
- Max Horkheimer : Authoritarian State . In: Ders .: Friedrich Pollock u. a .: Economy, law and the state under National Socialism. Analyzes in the Institute for Social Research 1939–1942. Edited by Helmut Dubiel , Alfons Söllner . European Publishing House and Syndicate Book Society , Frankfurt 1981 ISBN 3-434-00469-6 , pp. 55–80.
- Wolfgang Merkel System Transformation. An introduction to the theory and empiricism of transformation research . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-531-17201-9 , pp. 43–48.
- Database of indexed literature on authoritarianism
- Authoritarianism and xenophobia by Christoph Lüscher, University of Zurich , 1997
- Political science literature on authoritarianism in the Annotated Bibliography of Political Science
- Juan J. Linz : Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes. In: Fred I. Greenstein, Nelson W. Polsby (Eds.): Handbook of Political Science. Vol. 3: Macropolitical Theory. Addison-Wesley, Reading 1975, ISBN 0-201-02603-1 , pp. 175-411.
- Theodor Geiger : The social stratification of the German people. Sociographic experiment on a statistical basis. Enke, Stuttgart 1932 [ND ibid. 1987], ISBN 3-432-96201-0 , p. 77 ff.
- Professor of Political Communication Sarah Oates: Television, Democracy and Elections in Russia BASEES / Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies, Routledge, 2006, ISBN 978-1-1341-7847-6 , p. 149: “… mass media are critical factors in holding the slide in authoritarianism ".
- Thomas Heberer, Gunter Schubert (Ed.): Regime Legitimacy in Contemporary China: Institutional Change and Stability , Routledge Contemporary China Series, Verlag Routledge, 2008, ISBN 978-1-1340-3630-1 , p. 177.
- Stephen K. Wegren Putin's Russia: Past Imperfect, Future Uncertain Verlag Rowman & Littlefield, 6th edition 2015, ISBN 978-1-4422-3919-7 , p. 137.
- Thomas Assheuer: Crisis of Liberalism: An Authoritarian Offer. Zeit online, May 27, 2016, accessed March 12, 2017 .
- Thomas Kirchner: European Union: "The vast majority of Germans want Europe". sueddeutsche.de, April 4, 2017, accessed April 4, 2017 .
- Visit to France: Steinmeier warns of the “fascination of the authoritarian”. Time online, March 30, 2017, accessed April 4, 2017 .
- Karen Stenner: The Authoritarian Dynamic , Cambridge University Press, 2005.
- Ivan Krastev: On the way to a majority dictatorship? In: Henrich Geiselberger (Ed.): The great regression. Frankfurt 2017, pp. 117-134, here: p. 127.
- Also in: ders., Society in transition. Essays, speeches and lectures 1942–1970. Edited by Werner Brede. Fischer TB, Frankfurt 1972, ISBN 3-596-26545-2 ; again Fischer-Athenäum TB, Frankfurt 1990, ISBN 3-7610-4004-0 ISBN 3-8072-4004-7 .