Authoritarianism

Discipline: Political Science

A critical term for despotic regimes.

Authoritarianism is characterized by or favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom, and expects unquestioning obedience.

Authoritarianism is a manner rather than a style of governing, which neither takes seriously nor tolerates the expression of dissenting opinion nor the pursuit of contrary policies. Sometimes used as an alternative to totalitarianism by conservatives who do not wish to use that designation for military or despotic regimes which sustain private industrial property.

Source:
David Robertson, The Penguin Dictionary of Politics (London, 1985)

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