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1. government by an individual with unrestricted authority
2. the unrestricted authority of such an individual
3. a country, society, etc., ruled by an autocrat


rule by one person, especially arbitrary or absolute rule. Compare ABSOLUTISM.



a form of government involving the unlimited and unchecked sovereignty of one individual in a state. The despotic monarchies of the ancient East, the tyrannical governments in some ancient Greek states, the Roman and Byzantine empires, and absolute monarchies of recent times were autocracies. The notion of autocracy was also used to designate unlimited authority in any given sphere of state activity. In contemporary literature, the notion of autocracy also designates political regimes characterized by the supreme power of a “leader” (Führer, duce, caudillo) who is not controlled by representative organs.


References in periodicals archive ?
Based on polity score, the Project classified countries into five groups: Autocracy with polity scores ranging from (-10) to (-6), Closed Anocracy with polity scores from -5 to 0, Open Anocracy in which polity score is between 1 and 5, Democracy having a polity score between 6 and 9, and Full Democracy with the highest polity score of 10.
The courtroom as the site of shifting notions of autocracy and free will, law and crime would have provided a more nuanced understanding of fin-de-siecle Russia.
And as in Egypt now, torn countries can either devolve into anarchy, or stanch the bleeding through a return to autocracy.
There has been some debate regarding the degree to which autocracy or democracy affects economic growth; specifically, growth among countries with autocratic institutions exhibits higher variance, which some scholars interpret as evidence that a "benevolent autocrat" can overcome the political obstacles necessary to create economic growth.
This dreaded and strange apparition, bristling with bayonets, armed with chains, hung over with holy images; that something not of this world, partaking of a ravenous ghoul, of a blind Djinn grown up from a cloud, and of the Old Man of the Sea, still faces us with its old stupidity, with its strange mystical arrogance, stamping its shadowy feet upon the gravestone of autocracy [.
Meanwhile, Iraqi observers, politicians and academics think that the administration of the country should come out of its idealistic framework with a new majority government with a necessity for an opposition front within the Iraqi parliament to strengthen the democratic process in the country and to prevent autocracy.
McFaul dismisses Hong Kong and Singapore as exceptions to the rule that liberalism does not evolve from autocracy, alluding to the fact that those policies were the legatees of a British colonial tradition that bequeathed to them a legacy of the rule of law, civil liberties, and honest administration.
Justice and Charity said the constitution should be replaced by "a democratic one to mark a break with all aspects of autocracy .
Baxley holds that the key to understanding Kant's account of virtue is the concept of autocracy (a form of moral self-government in which reason rules over sensibility).
of Pavia) became particularly interested in how they play out in countries that had recently shifted from a planned to a market economy or from autocracy to democracy.
Over a 20-year period, an average autocracy would rack up twice as much debt as a percentage of GDP as an average democracy.