Democracy Athens, where philosophers there suggested that the people

Democracy and Authoritarianism are in thought not in opposition,
yet in their realistic application they can almost often be used
contradictorily. One ruling system exists to serve the people, the other to
serve the interest of the rulers. There are historical, political and social
reasons why countries are plunged in one system and not the other; there are
also reasons why countries succeed in democratisation and others fail. This
paper confronts the meaning of each of ruling system, their rulers, their
benefits and drawbacks and examples of each system in effect globally.


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Authoritarianism is a form of autocracy, where is there is one absolute
power (Gandhi & Przeworski, 2007). Democracy is a form of government
introduced in 5000 BC in Athens, where philosophers there suggested that the
people should be represented by an actor elected by the people and therein
every member of society holds equal power (Lasswell, 1950).

When discussed, democracy is usually favoured to democracy. The
idea that different people of all classes can unite to elect one person to
represent them and be their voice is whimsical, especially when considered
opposite to an inaccessible “harsh” system like authoritarianism. But when
looked at closely, the lines between the two systems are blurred and open to
debate. The USA is a country held to international standard as the epitome of
democracy, but when George W. Bush held office, his administration was
authoritarian as demonstrated by his decision after the 9/11 attacks to declare
himself the source of alarming powers to disobey more than 750 laws decreed by
congress (Savage, 2006).

When Barrack Obama followed, he was no different (even if his
actions were praised by a large liberal majority, they still fell under the
authoritarian umbrella) (Jacobson, 2011).

But when negotiating the fine lines of which regime falls under
which system, Juan Linz (1985) and W?odzimierz Weso?owski (1990)
identified certain characteristics that might help define those regimes. They
respectively argued that that which defines a regime is how “the State” is

The State in
democracy seen as part of the people. It is created by the people and reflects
their ethics and principles and tries to decree laws within these borders. The
State is constitutional; the constitution is drafted in parliament and that
constitution defines the extent of power that the State holds. The State is


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