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92 votes
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Why do dictators ban their people from traveling?

People are resources, dictators (and oppressive regimes in general) don't want them to defect to other countries because they want them working for their regime. Some of them are going to be people ...
IllusiveBrian's user avatar
91 votes

What would stop a representative democracy becoming a dictatorship?

The only obstacle between a government by the people and a dictatorship are the people.
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
87 votes
Accepted

Why don't right-wing dictators crown themselves king?

tl;dr: Because the middle ages are over. You no longer want to be King - you want to be President Most of the world used to be ruled by kings and emperors, but today the only remaining absolute ...
Philipp's user avatar
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81 votes
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What does North Korea gain from making voting compulsory?

In "democracies" where the votes are meaningless (for example, because there is only one candidate, opposition candidates don't get fair treatment or votes are cast under intimidating ...
Philipp's user avatar
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80 votes
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What would stop a representative democracy becoming a dictatorship?

Most democratic countries have a constitution which says how the state functions and what kinds of laws can and can not be made. Laws which contradict the constitution are usually declared invalid by ...
Philipp's user avatar
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61 votes
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How do dictators maintain their grip on power?

This is a question that the selectorate theory tries to answer. Essentially: As a dictator, you need to identify the people who are essential to you remaining in power. For example: the controllers ...
yeah22's user avatar
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52 votes

Why do dictators ban their people from traveling?

I am old enough to have caught the communism era within one Eastern-European country (Romania). Trying to leave the country was a criminal offence and many died trying to do so. Many people that had ...
Alexei's user avatar
  • 53.4k
47 votes

Why do (some) dictator colonels not appoint themselves general?

It is not necessary. The army generals are OK taking orders from "Colonel X", because he is the head of state, whether or not he is a higher rank. (If they weren't, the Colonel wouldn't be ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
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45 votes

What would stop a representative democracy becoming a dictatorship?

A good example of a system trying to prevent this is the Constitution of Norway. The constitution has various ways to protect itself from being altered in undesirable ways. Changes to the ...
Fiksdal's user avatar
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42 votes
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Are there any examples of a king or dictator choosing to give up power by moving towards a more democratic governmental system?

Bhutan is the best example I can think of - the 'Dragon King' of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck ruled the country for 33 years, and then voluntarily devolved power to transform his kingdom into a ...
sfxedit's user avatar
  • 9,408
41 votes

Why don't right-wing dictators crown themselves king?

The short answer would be: Because even dictators cannot simply do whatever they want. Let's for example take a look at one of the oldest dictators of history: Caesar Augustus. Now, technically ...
AuronTLG's user avatar
  • 6,079
41 votes
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What is a "democratic dictatorship", and how is it not a a contradiction in terms?

The term 'democratic' literally means 'rule by the people'. In the West we normally associate that with a particular set of institutions — capitalist property rights, free and fair elections, open ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
38 votes

What did Putin do to ensure that he doesn't get overthrown by a military coup or to reduce the likelihood of it?

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin protected himself against the possibility of a military coup or a popular uprising by a combination of measures: FSB (formerly KGB) officers ...
Timur Shtatland's user avatar
36 votes

When the dictators execute the coup and become the head of the country do they pay the international debts of country?

Sovereign debt is not cancelled by a change in regime. But sovereign nations cannot be compelled to do anything. If I have a personal or business debt that I can't or won't pay, then there is a ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
34 votes

Why do dictators ban their people from traveling?

An excellent example is the German Democratic Republic. In the view of the leading socialists they were the worker's paradise and a counterexample to the fascist Germany in the West (that was not ...
Thorsten S.'s user avatar
  • 4,702
34 votes

Why do soldiers not rebel in impoverished dictatorships?

Because you'll get tied to a post and blown up by artillery. In the case of North Korea specifically, there were multiple cases where Kim Jong-Un executed high-ranking members of his military by ...
nick012000's user avatar
  • 4,418
31 votes

How do dictators maintain their grip on power?

What makes you think there is a common secret? There are parallels and differences between all those cases. A government will not hold unless it is supported by a significant part of the population. ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 111k
30 votes
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To what extent can citizens of democracies be held responsible for the acts of their governments?

I can understand the temptation to say "well, you voted for these people, so you're responsible for anything and everything they do", but like most things in politics, it's just not that ...
F1Krazy's user avatar
  • 3,586
29 votes

Why do (some) dictator colonels not appoint themselves general?

In both the French and British militaries, colonel is the highest rank short of general. Colonels generally command regiments; generals are in charge of larger groups like divisions, corps, or entire ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
29 votes

What is a "democratic dictatorship", and how is it not a a contradiction in terms?

"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." A dictatorship can always manipulate terminology towards whatever they say it is. It's not like democracies can't manipulate ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
28 votes

In general, is the ineffectivness to provide basic standards of living of authoritarian states more attributable to malice or incompetence?

Authoritarian governments don't "suck at their jobs", because their job is a different one than that of a democratically elected government. In order to stay in power, a democratically ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 77.7k
28 votes

Are there any examples of a king or dictator choosing to give up power by moving towards a more democratic governmental system?

He's in the doghouse these days for dodgy financials and elephant safaris but Juan Carlos of Spain seems to somewhat fit the role in 1975. King Juan Carlos I began his reign as head of state without ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

Why didn’t the Framers of the US Constitution clarify who has the power to suspend habeas corpus?

I'd expect that if you asked the framers, they would say that they were pretty clear about who can suspend habeas corpus-- Congress. The only reference to habeas corpus in the Constitution is in ...
Justin Cave's user avatar
  • 6,253
24 votes

What did Putin do to ensure that he doesn't get overthrown by a military coup or to reduce the likelihood of it?

The question mentions "military coup", but traditionally in Russia (including the Soviet and pre-Soviet times), the military didn't play a significant political role, despite its might. ...
Zeus's user avatar
  • 1,136
24 votes

What does North Korea gain from making voting compulsory?

There are three main reasons. First, political scientists and psychologists who have studied voting in one party regimes find that people who cast votes, even if they have no choice about whom they ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 82.6k
21 votes
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Why is Singapore currently considered to be a dictatorial regime and a multi-party democracy by different publications?

Why is Singapore considered to be a dictatorial regime and a multi-party democracy at the same time? Because it isn't fully one or the other. "Competitive authoritarian" is an intermediate ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 82.6k
21 votes

Why do soldiers not rebel in impoverished dictatorships?

An answer dealing with authoritarian/totalitarian regimes in general and not especially tied to DPRK The risk/benefit ratio as perceived by the average soldier does not favor a revolt. In a ...
fraxinus's user avatar
  • 6,339
20 votes

What is a "democratic dictatorship", and how is it not a a contradiction in terms?

I don't know anything about the Chinese constitution, but the original meaning of the word dictator came from the Roman republic. The idea was that the democratic assembly was good for peacetime ...
Codename 47's user avatar
19 votes

What makes North Koreans to never manifest any rebellion or movement for democracy or civil rights? How come Kim Jong-un so successful at this?

To some extent because the Kims have fully embraced being despots and successfully coopted their military in supporting them. A lot of the successful rebellions, or at least protest movements, in the ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
19 votes

What is a "democratic dictatorship", and how is it not a a contradiction in terms?

This is possibly a vestige of the term "dictatorship of proletariat", re-assessed. The Marxist-Leninists believe that any form of state (government) is the dictatorship of the ruling class. ...
Anixx's user avatar
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