Dictators and Non-Democratic Governments
The worlds non-democratic or significantly non-democratic nations are classified in the categories below. See also Oppressive Regimes.
Monarchies With More Than Symbolic Power (Royal Dictatorships)
This section includes all non-symbolic monarchies. In many, there are no elections of any kind. In others, there is elected legislative input, but substantial executive and/or judicial power resides in a hereditary leader or very small hereditarily determined oligarchy.
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- Iran (Iran has functioning democratic institutions which are significantly constrained by religious leaders who have the authority to override most actions of the secular government and the free functioning of the electoral process).
Countries With One Party Governments
Countries With Dictators
For these purposes dictators are described as leaders who hold power not won or subject to removal in periodic democratic elections, who are not in power by virtue in inherited position or the backing of a broad based single party system. Concrete steps putting these countries firmly on the path to multi-party democracy have not been taken.
- Central African Republic
- Congo (Kinshasa)
- Congo (Brazzaville)
- Equatorial Guinea
- Myanmar (aka Burma)
Countries With Transitional Governments
The nations have not put into place a full set of elected officials through a free and fair electoral process although they are in the process of doing so, are merely in the process of appearing to do so, or have established some sort of multi-party consultative body by appointment.
Countries with Governments With Incomplete Control of their National Territories
- Afghanistan (entirety)
- Argentina (British Occupation of the Malvinas Islands]]
- Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh)
- China (Taiwan)
- Cuba (Guantanamo Bay)
- Cyprus (Republic of North Kidris)
- Georgia (Ossetia)
- India (Jammu & Kashmir)
- Iraq (entirety)
- Ireland (British Occupation of partsd of Ulster)
- Japan (Russian Occupation of the Northern Islands)
- Kurdistan (Turkish, Iranian and Syrian Occupation, parrital autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan)
- Lebanon (Israeli Occupation)
- Moldova (Republic of Transnistria)
- Pakistan (Northwest Territory-Pashtunistan)
- Rapa Nui (Chilean Occupation)
- Somalia (entirety)
- Sri Lanka (Tamil north)
- Sudan (Darfur)
See Also Countries with Flawed Democracies
Political Issues Involving Non-Democratic Governments
Should the U.S. Have Non-Democratic Allies?
As the listing above shows, many countries have non-democratic or "less than democratic" (anocratic) governments. Much of our manufacturing imports (think China) and much of our oil comes from these nations. Cooperation from other nations like Pakistan is important in achieving national goals like capturing Osama bin Laden and many of his important aides. Although Pakistan has been deliberately ineffective in this.
One theory suggests that the best way to bring the people of non-democratic nations to our way of thinking is to engage them and keep them exposed to "our world." Another suggests that the best way to transform non-democratic nations is to isolate them and crush them so that they have little choice but to reform if they want to advance. Unless we are willing to fall prey to the fallacy of the excluded middle there are other approaches to be taken. A combination of serving as a good example, patience, incentives and disincentives may assist in the democratization of non authoritarian regimes.
To the extent that we do deal with non-democracies, because we must, the United States needs to not compromise itself or its ideals any more than it has to in doing so.
Is Stable Non-Democratic Government Worse Than Coups and Corruption?
Did the Colonial Era End Too Abruptly Leading To Coups?
The vast majority of nations that received independence from colonial power started with brief periods of civilian democratic rule, but quickly saw those liberal democratic regimes dissolve into coups, one party rule and civil wars. This casts real doubt on the wisdom of the policy of colonial powers to grant independence immediately and en masse around 1960. The nations did gain independence, but the nature of the regimes that replaced colonial rule was, at best, no better than that of the colonial regime, and in many cases, far worse.
Four decades later, as we examine the end of the imperial era, the questions are what could have been done better and what lessons can be learned going forward?