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Authoritarian Regimes

By pattyrivxo Apr 19, 2015 712 Words

Patricia Rivera
University of Houston

Authoritarian regimes are a form of government, where the nation responds with blind obedience. The article explains that this type of government can vary depending on the geographical location of the nation along with poverty level and a couple of other factors. The three types of authoritarian regimes include: Military, Personalist, and Single-party. The Military authoritarian regime pertains to governments, which are led by the military. Geddes argues that in most authoritarian regimes the military can be indebted with their own disintegration. The military regimes can be held responsible for the splitting of their regime because within the military elite, there is no loyalty or incentive to cooperate. Military authoritarian regime is noted by most of the literature and records of Latin American nations. An example of a Military Authoritarian regime can be the Argentine nation from 1976-1983. This country’s military had taken control of the government and continued to hold the power in deciding who was chosen as president. The next type of authoritarian regime presented is the Personalist regime. This regime differs from the rest because it places most of the power in the hands of one leader. Every decision goes through this one person throughout the regime. A very well known example of a Personalist Authoritarian regime is Fidel Castro and the Cuban government. In this type of regime, the nation is blindly following one leader and their chosen group of officers. This type of regime can have the incentive to support each other and tends to be loyal. Geddes does mention that the one evident vulnerability of this type of regime is the health of the sole government leader. The last type of authoritarian regime discussed is the Single-Party regime. This type of regime is very resilient and is mainly only threatened by extreme events. Although, legally, other parties exist and compete in elections, all of the power belongs to that single party. The main difference between Single-Party and Personalist regimes is that the former has an organization or party making the decisions and having some sort of power over the individual leader. A great example of the Single-party authoritarian regime is the Partido Revolucionario Institucional in Mexico. Geddes states that the benefit of the single-party regime is that all the people in the group or party can benefit from unifying under the party. Geddes adds that this type of regime cannot be considered a democracy until a change or turnover of power has happened. Geddes states that military regimes have shorter life spans than other regimes. She explains that the uncertainty of the regimes eventually leads to their demise. The other various reasons that can add to the failing of the Military regime are economic catastrophe, instability and lack of support. In the article, Geddes states that when the Military regime is presented with various unexpected problems, they tend to split. Military regimes can only handle a minimal amount of economic turmoil before coming undone. The goals of military rulers are similar to those in personalist or single-party regimes. All the regimes want the government of the nation to be unified and effective, but they pursue these goals very differently. The Military regimes tend to have to worry about the survival of their military first before proceeding to be effective leaders. They are more susceptible to splits in power because they do not have a loyalty to a certain person or group. The single-party regime has the most loyalty of the three. They tend to stick together and try to see the government in place succeed, which therefore makes the economic situations work out. The personalist regime, works efficiently because the whole government organization is following the direction of one single person and the loyalty is clear to them and their ideas. Geddes makes many great points about the different aspects of each type of authoritarian regime. Perhaps, the most interesting being that all her research can help explain the transitions of power in history. She has given us countless data proving the patterns and examples discussed in this paper. Geddes has proved the characteristics of the different aspects of authoritarian regimes and has explained the likeliness of occurrences throughout the world.

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