Totalitarianism And Authoritarianism Book Chapter

Palous, M. (2008). Totalitarianism And Authoritarianism . 2129-2142. 10.1016/B978-012373985-8.00180-X

cited authors

  • Palous, M



  • Totalitarianism and authoritarianism are relatively new political terms that have appeared only in the twentieth century. They denote contemporary autocratic political regimes; that is, the form of government where the ruler is endowed with, and exerts, absolute power. Such political regimes, however, have existed from the very beginning of human history. Therefore, the first question we may like to have answered touches upon these terms themselves. How are they related to other, older concepts that were used previously and actually are still being used as a name for autocracies, such as tyranny, dictatorship, despotism, or absolutism? The answer can be obtained when we look at the history of political discourse in the twentieth century. Before we do that, however, let us try to clarify the generic problem underlying our theme: what are autocratic and nonautocratic forms of government?. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • January 1, 2008

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 2129

end page

  • 2142