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1. (esp of a political unit) a system or policy of economic self-sufficiency aimed at removing the need for imports
2. an economically self-sufficient country
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005




the practice or policy of economic self-sufficiency
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



self-sufficiency, self-satisfaction; in the economic sense, the creation of a closed, self-sufficient economy in a separate capitalist country, leading to a break in traditional international economic ties.

In a pure form, autarky existed only in precapitalistic formations in a natural economy. Autarky as a policy is in conflict with the demands of the international division of labor. Under imperialism, when all countries are closely connected by a system of international economic relations, there are only tendencies toward autarky, arising as a result of the intensification of the contradictions of capitalism. These tendencies were most powerful during the 1930’s when, as a result of the world economic crisis of 1929–33, a break occurred in the previously existing foreign trade and other economic relationships, and countries conducted a policy of “ruining their neighbor.” In the most aggressive imperialistic countries autarky began to serve the aims of creating a relatively closed economy capable of producing all that was necessary for conducting a war under the conditions of economic blockade. Autarky was the official economic theory of Fascism. After World War II autarkic tendencies—for instance, high obstructive duties—are to some degree inherent in several closed trade economic blocs such as the European Economic Association and the European Association for Free Trade.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The growth rates are just as defined in the case of an autarkic country with an evolving economic structure.
Between the Acts, therefore, shares to a certain extent Leonard's view that a wholly isolated, self-contained English culture and nationhood, suggestive of "the economically autarkic sovereign independent state," has in the present day been made an "anachronism and an impossibility" by the "large-scale industrialization of production" since the nineteenth century, which has made nations inextricably interdependent ("De Profundis" 468-69).
In China, the results were similar, as the political embrace of Communism meant going autarkic and giving the state a massive role in the economy.
Moreover, and critically, I read the Catauro as a vernacular manifestation of the metaphoric oscillation between protocubano as an isolated isleno standing belligerently behind autarkic frontiers, or as an archipelagic island-hopper with his mouth full of foreign tastes and taxonomies.
A firm (which those authors interpret to be a bank) can improve on autarkic production by pooling its investors' risks of idiosyncratic shocks to their respective preferences.
As Reagin demonstrates, the regime hitched the housewife to its autarkic economic program to cut back on imported materials and private consumption in order to finance arms production.
This is still evident today in the familial and other connections between Zanzibar and the Omani and Hadhramawti coasts, which are being reinvigorated following the Zanzibar Revolution of 1964 and the failure of its autarkic socialist model in the 1980s.
Similarly, the reforms launched by Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s transformed China from an autarkic economic backwater to the economic powerhouse it has become today.
Rawls uses a thought experiment in which members of a hypothetical autarkic community are required to choose fundamental principles of justice from behind a "veil of ignorance"--that is, without knowing vital elements of their identity, such as their economic situation, their talents, or their conceptions of the good.
Many others work as domestic slaves in an autarkic, inefficient command economy.
What is moderately bad news at the moment will become terrible news only if economic distress in the advanced countries -- especially the US -- is allowed to morph into xenophobia and all-out protectionism; if large emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil fail to realise that they have become too important to free ride on global economic governance; and if, as a consequence, others overreact by turning their back on the world economy and pursue autarkic policies.