Autocratic and Democratic Leadership

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10 January 2022

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There are numerous advantages and drawbacks of both autocratic and democratic federal authorities, not to mention, lots of apparent variations. Surprisingly, there are likewise some similarities in between these two distinct governing designs. Autocracy as outlined by the Merriam Webster on-line dictionary is, “A government in which somebody has countless energy.” Opposingly, democracy as outlined by Danzinger, teacher and former chair of the department of presidency on the University of California is “A governance by leaders whose authority is predicated on a limited mandate from a universal voters that selects amongst real choices and has some rights to political participation and opposition” (173 ).

Most leadership qualities can be categorized into these two groups extra separating them into 2 distinctive management designs. An autocratic chief tends to guide with an iron fist comparable to the design of a police state, whereas a democratic leader tends to take a somewhat softer technique governing with approval and compliance from individuals. Throughout this paper I will provide an evaluation of basic qualities of each autocratic and democratic authorities and leaders, in addition to a quick introduction of the favorable and unfavorable parts of both governing techniques.

Each governing design is made to work within its own surroundings, governing its people and doing what is best for its nation.

Autocracy requires an absence of separation of powers, so absolutely the ruler can’t beopposed by any other efficient source. For example, a checks and balances’ system would hinder an autocratic federal authorities as a end result of the leader would not have outright power.

Autocracies can take the kind of a totalitarian/dictoral federal authorities, where a country is under the rule of 1 individual. Often times, autocratic rulers work to better their nations only because it in turn offers wonderful benefits for the rulers themselves. “An autocratic federal government is one which takes full advantage of the online income the ruling clique extracts from the relaxation of the population; this extraction, in flip, is the excellence in between the tax revenues the routine gathers and the quantities it invests on public services, navy activities, and curiosity.” (Niskanan, 182).

Basically, out of the increase in output that results from the net income extracted from the inhabitants, the chief obtains extra resources for his or her personal functions than for the general public. Also, for the reason that public population is a supply of tax-income for the leader, the chief then has incentive to guard his or her individuals from warfare, terrorist attacks, etc. Hence, the monopolization of earnings tax can even have a positive have an result on on most of the people. The public can additionally be benefitted as a end result of they get hold of the revenue they have made that has not been taken in taxes.

A commonly used phrase individuals use when talking about autocratic governments is, “An absolute ruler fails absolutely,” but is this necessarily the case in an autocratic government? Unlimited power of a ruler could solely be thought of harmful if it falls into the incorrect arms. The time period autocracy has become synonymous with the title of dictator, however, not all dictatorships are necessarily a unfavorable form of government. For example, Hugo Chavez, leader of Venezuela has created the Bolivarian Revolution, “A shut duplicate of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal-a progressive revenue tax, public works, social security, low-cost electricity-makes him wildly well-liked with the poor. And most Venezuelans are poor” (Palast 42). On the other hand, many people argue that Chavez is in fact a nasty leader. A frequent view of the American government portrays Chavez as a threat to international oil prices and regional financial system. Just like there’s a great and dangerous aspect to autocratic leaders, there are heaps of pros and cons when carefully inspecting an autocratic authorities.

Many might argue that an autocratic style of government is corrupt and unjust. However, there are numerous constructive features of autocracy. Decisions are made quickly with out strenuous contemplation from different political powers. For example, if a dictator wished to cross a legislation making it illegal to wear blue denims in his or her nation he could move the law with out consent from anyone else. If a president wished to make the same regulation, it must be overseen and contemplated by numerous different events before passing. Not solely is an autocratic government fast to make decisions, it additionally defines a transparent backside line. Topics of controversy are not left as a lot as the interpretation of the basic public, and differing opinions usually are not expressed as a outcome of the common public inhabitants of an autocratic government is usually discouraged from expressing particular person opinions.

Unfortunately there are also many negative elements of autocracy. Mainly, it has the potential to disregard the wants of the majority. Ultimately, all decisions are left as much as the chief, creating a doubtlessly skewed consequence as far as the wants of the public go. The views and norms of a complete state may be held solely in the hands of one person and evidently could have fairly a adverse impact. Irrational choices can be made, with just about no hope of being stopped. If an autocratic leader happens to be having a nasty day and makes an irrational and harsh choice, it may have a negative influence on the entire nation.

One could wonder why the residents of an autocratic authorities would tolerate such a harsh and extreme chief, why not just overthrow him?The similar logic of collective motion that ensured that there are not any social contracts within the historical report whereby massive groups agreed to obtain the benefits of government also implies that the plenty shall not overthrow an autocrat just because they would be better off to do so. Historical evidence from no less than the primary pharos through Saddam Hussein indicates that resolute autocrats can survive even when they impose heinous amounts of struggling upon their peoples. When they are replaced, it’s for different causes (Mancur 23).

The opposite of autocracy might be regarded as democracy. Democracy is a broadly accepted form of authorities that works for the folks by allowing them to choose on their very own representation. Not solely are the individuals represented by a leader of their choice, however are additionally capable of give opinions as to the on goings of their country. “Democracy is a sign of the existence of a powerful civil society that is primarily based on various middleman teams, from women’s associations and labor unions to cooperatives and trade councils. Such groups function in all probability the best instruments for communicating social calls for to decision makers.” (Gangi 41).

Democracy is said to have originated in medieval Europe as a explanation for three details;First, late medieval Europe had quite a few political characteristics that distinguished it from other main world civilizations. These characteristics an important of which have been consultant assemblies constituted as a foundation for liberal democracy which offered Europe with a predisposition toward democratic political institutions. Second, the ‘military revolution’ of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led to the strengthing of monarchal energy in international locations counting on home assets to finance fashionable armies. In these international locations, medieval constitutionalism was done away with and expansive autocracies had been built demolishing the predisposition. Third, in nations that avoided the army revolution, navy modernization didn’t destroy constitutional authorities, and a liberal political end result became more probably (Downing 3).

Much like autocracy requires an absence of separation of powers, democracy wants a separation of powers. A democratic government is divided into three branches. The executive branch consists of the presidential party which in turn consists of the president, the vice president, and all the cupboard members. This branch assists in finishing up the regulation. The president is allowed to move or veto a invoice despatched by the legislature. The legislative department or “Bicameral Congress” consists of the Senate (100 seats, one-third are renewed every two years; 2 members are elected from every state by well-liked vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives (435 seats; members are instantly elected by in style vote to serve two-year terms)” (

The legislative branch writes laws on a invoice to enable them to be sent to the senator, after which to the representatives, and then to the president. The judicial branch is in command of the courtroom techniques consisting of the “Supreme Court (nine justices; nominated by the president and confirmed with the recommendation and consent of the Senate; appointed to serve for life); United States Courts of Appeal; United States District Courts; State and County Courts” ( The judicial branch applies the legislation by hearing and making selections on various authorized instances. Just like some other government, democracy can differ from country to nation.

A democratic authorities could are out there in many different varieties similar to participatory democracy, representative democracy, electoral democracy, liberal democracy, and so forth, hence there are close to countless optimistic and unfavorable aspects. Singapore practices an electoral democracy where “All citizens periodically vote to have the ability to choose political leaders from amongst alternative contenders” (Danziger 173), that means that the federal government picks the candidates that the citizens can vote for. In 2006 the Freedom House described America as a liberal democracy which is a authorities where “Citizens take pleasure in not solely electoral democracy but in addition these extensive political rights and civil liberties regarding participation, private freedoms, and opposition” (173). However, I feel that America is better categorized as a consultant democracy the place “Citizens elect people to represent them within the political process and to allocate values on their behalf” (172). Because of all the totally different situations within the many kinds of democracies one may surprise what exactly defines democracy.

One of the key characteristics of American democracy is common suffrage. Universal suffrage consists of the best to vote no matter race, religion, gender, social standing, economic standing, and so on. Suffrage has been a continually developing side of democracy for hundreds of years. According to Wikipedia, African American suffrage started in 1866, and women’s suffrage began in 1920. A second democratic characteristic is equality of all folks. Within the US Constitution it’s implied that beneath a democratic government each particular person is entitled to equal safety beneath the regulation, freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and so on, along with varied other economic, social, cultural, civil, political, and group-oriented rights. Democracy bases itself on offering fair and equal alternatives for all people no matter their race, intercourse, faith, economic/social standing, etc. The idea of American democracy totally supporting equality introduced many immigrants right here, with promises of equal opportunity. Along with all of the rights and privileges residents of a democratic government have, there are additionally some adverse elements.

The larger democracies get, the tougher voting and vote tallying turns into. For example, through the Gore vs. Bush presidential elections the vote counts in Florida were misinterpreted, and many people thought the outcome of the election was skewed because of vote fraud. Also, democracy is hailed as one of the truthful governments, however catering to the wants of solely the majority truly excludes the minority. No matter how minuscule the minority may be, they’re still be exploited by the bulk. Lastly, the larger a democratic system becomes, the less peaceable and environment friendly it turns into. Mancur Olsen provides an excellent example of this negative side of democracy in his essay Autocracy, Democracy, and History.

If there are say 5 related folks, every of them will get about a fifth of the features from the creation of a peaceful [democratic] order. …The advantages of such an order are so large that one fifth of the positive aspects may eaisly exceed the entire sacrifice. Moreover, when there are only a few individuals in a bunch it goes to be clear that the welfare of every particular person is determined by whether one another particular person acts in a group-oriented or anti-social method. Thus every person by making clear that the cooperation by others will convey forth cooperation from him but that non-cooperation is not going to, can increase the chance that others will match his habits. This not solely increases the probability of peaceful [democratic] interaction but even makes it easily attainable that cooperation will attain a super or group optimum extent (Olsen 3).

Hence, democracies work better for relatively small teams. Mancur argues that a democracy is better than raw anarchy, but democracy continues to be removed from excellent. (2)In conclusion, both autocratic and democratic governments have many sturdy and weak factors. Some unfavorable features of autocracy such as income tax monopoly can have a optimistic have an result on on an entire country’s inhabitants, while some optimistic elements of democracy such as majority ruling can have adverse impacts such as excluding the minority.

The pros and cons of a authorities are what ultimately define that government’s fundamental construction. If a government has a disorganized electoral system, power may probably fall into the mistaken leaders palms. If a government has a very strict electoral policy, the folks could additionally be misrepresented as a end result of the truth that they do not have full freedom to decide on their chief. Each governmental style works for the betterment of their citizens whether it’s by strict rule, or lax rule. All in all, governments working towards the betterment of their residents, are really working in the course of the betterment of the human population as an entire.

Works Cited

“Autocracy.” Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary. 2004. .

Danziger, James. Understanding the Political World: A Comparative
Introduction to Political Science. New York: Pearson Education Inc, 2007.

Downing, Brian. The Military Revolution and Political Change: Origins of Democracy andAutocracy in Early Modern Europe. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992.

Gangi, Akbar. “The Struggle Against Sultanism.” Journal of Democracy 2005: sixteen.four. ProjectMuse Scholarly Journals Online. Wayne State University Library. Wayne State University Library, Detroit, MI. 16 Apr 2007.

Olsen, Mancur. “Autocracy, Democracy, and History.” Online working paper #22, 1991.

2 April 2007.

Niskanan, William. Autocratic, Democratic and Optimal Government: Fiscal Choices and Economic Outcomes. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publications, 2004.

Palast, Greg. “Hugo Chavez.” The Progressive. July 2006. 10 April 2007.

“United States.” 2007. The World Fact Book. four April 2007.


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StudyScroll. (2022). Autocratic and Democratic Leadership [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 30 September, 2023]

"Autocratic and Democratic Leadership" StudyScroll, Jan 10, 2022. Accessed Sep 30, 2023.

"Autocratic and Democratic Leadership" StudyScroll, Jan 10, 2022.

"Autocratic and Democratic Leadership" StudyScroll, 10-Jan-2022. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 30-Sep-2023]

StudyScroll. (2022). Autocratic and Democratic Leadership. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 30-Sep-2023]

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