What are the main differences between authoritarian and democratic regimes?

1673 Words Nov 16th, 2004 7 Pages
Democratic and authoritarian are two very different and contradicting forms of political regimes. They differ in the way a country or a state is managed. In attempting to identify and discuss the differences between the two regimes, we should think what implications do the two regimes have on the political system. How are they different in terms of the institutions they inherent? How are rulers elected and which one provides the more comprehensive representation? How does the law making process differ, what implications do they have on the judiciary and civil rights? Is the distribution of power different in the two regimes? And finally which one is more prosperous economically and in providing a stable political system. I start off by …show more content…
They may exist as interest groups, media groups, trade unions or even environmental groups, all with varying interests. The elected government has to try and satisfy all these interests to the best of its ability in order stay popular. This will inevitably lead to fair play with government officials being answerable to the people. Corruption and mismanagement is less likely to be the case in this context.

"So, while democratic countries are not immune to corruption, democratic institutions certainly make it more difficult for corruption to go unnoticed" (Sullivan, date unknown)

In authoritarian regimes these institutions are not available, but if they do exist, the government controls them. Russia has long had the tradition of being a 'one party state' and the non-existence of more than one political party fails to provide the checks and balances with otherwise would have been the case. In Britain, the existence of the left wing, right wing and the middle allows representations of wide variety, rather than one party enforcing its own ideology.

The distribution of power is concentrated in authoritarian regimes; whether they are single party states or dictatorships. Leaders of such states are also the chiefs of the armed forces, secretary general of the party and head of states. This means that they are not accountable to anyone and there can be no one to