Difference Between Autocracy and Dictatorship

A dictatorship is a grade of authorities in which a dictator exercises absolute command, whereas an autocracy is a style of government in which supreme power is concentrated in the hands of a single individual whose decisions are non restricted by legal constraints.

What is autocracy?

Definition: Autocracy is a organization of government in which total say-so is consolidated in the hands of a unmarried leader or a pocket-size number of powerful individuals. The phrase is derived from two Greek words: automobile, which means “self,” and cratic, which means “dominion.”

Characteristics of autocracy

Autocratic governments are characterized by the following:

  • Leader or leaders make decisions with little or no consultation from their denizens or team members.
  • Leaders exercise contained authority over policies and procedures.
  • The leader is always directly responsible for the squad members.

Types of autocracies

Autocracy tin can manifest itself in a diversity of ways, but these frequently overlap. Despotism, oligarchy, and fascism are three prevalent forms.


Despotism is a system of authorities in which a unmarried authority, either an private or a modest group, exercises absolute political authority. Despotism, in its strict definition, is a situation in which one human possesses all power and authority and everyone else is considered his slave. This sort of tyranny was the earliest recorded form of government and civilisation; Egypt’southward Pharaoh epitomizes a classical despot. The phrase has caused a connotation of despotic potency. Withal, under the credo of chivalrous or enlightened despotism, which gained popularity in 18th-century Europe, absolute monarchs used their power to enact a number of changes in their countries’ political institutions and society. This movement was near certainly sparked in significant role past Enlightenment principles.

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Oligarchy is a system of government in which political authorisation is essentially placed in the hands of a small, elite segment of the population (whether distinguished by wealth, family, or war machine prowess). The term oligarchy originates from the Greek for “few” (5 ófligon) and “dominion.”

All through history, some oligarchies publicly granted political authority to a minority group, occasionally claiming to be an aristocracy (“arrangement by the ‘best’ and ‘brightest’”). These governments were frequently ruled by prominent families, whose children were raised and coached to exist the oligarchy’s heirs. This authority, however, may not be exerted overtly, with oligarchs choosing to remain “the authority behind the throne,” exercising control using economic methods.


Fascism is a political ideology, motility, or system that elevates nation and often race higher up the private and advocates for a consolidated autocratic government led by a dictator, strict economical and social regulation, and the repression of opposition. Fascist administrations included Italy’s National Fascist Political party under Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or the Nazi Political party, from 1925 to 1943.

Faced with a plethora of autocratic regimes, political scientists have begun classifying and analyzing the several varieties of gimmicky autocratic regimes. Equally a outcome, scholars take seen an increase in autocratic governments. The most prevalent grade, balloter or competitive authoritarianism (Levitsky & Way 2010), is defined past the presence of autonomous procedures simply a lack of liberal democratic substance.


What is a dictatorship?

Dictatorships are often portrayed equally harshly repressive regimes in which power is concentrated in the easily of a single private.

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A dictatorship is a system of governance in which a single individual or a minor group of individuals has the ability to make decisions without effective constitutional constraints.

The dictator has absolute ability in a dictatorship. They are not called to business relationship for their acts and are allowed to do any they desire, including restricting citizens’ freedoms and liberties, the freedom of expression and religious freedom. Interestingly, the majority of mod dictatorial regimes do not refer to their leader by the term “dictator,” but rather by a variety of titles. Amid these titles are President, King Prime Minister, and so along. Cambodia, Mainland china, North korea and Russian federation are all examples of existing dictatorial regimes.

Characteristics of Dictatorships

Hadenius & Teorell (2007) expanded on this classification by suggesting v distinct categories: monarchies, military regimes, 1-party regimes, and restricted multiparty regimes. Cheibub et al. (2010), proposed a new nomenclature system for dictatorships, distinguishing between royal, military, and noncombatant dictatorships. This thematic study reveals that in that location exist dictatorial governments that take democratic façades or even some performance autonomous institutions, some of them belongings regular elections, accept operational political parties and fifty-fifty legislatures.

Comparing between Autocracy and Dictatorship

At that place is little distinction between dictatorship and autocracy considering both systems are ruled by a single private. Autocracy and dictatorship share a number of characteristics. In that location are also parallels in the use of strength and the punishments meted out to those who disobey the leader’south commands.

Autocracy vs. Dictatorship: Comparison Chart


While autocracies and dictatorships have long been vilified, they do have three meaning advantages: efficiency, security, and conformity. When a government is managed by a single individual or grouping of individuals, at that place is less waste product than when the government is divided into numerous branches. It is more manageable. Leaders can achieve their goals without having to bargain with resistant legislators or those wanting more power than they merit.


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