Right-wing dictatorship

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A right-wing dictatorship (sometimes also referred to as a rightist dictatorship) is an authoritarian (or sometimes totalitarian) regime whose policy could be called rightist.

There are various definitions of the term "rightist." The broadest one includes all dictatorships that do not consider themselves communist. Those are usually pro-capitalist in economic matters and conservative in ideological ones.

The term fascist dictatorship is sometimes used interchangeably with the right-wing one. It is commonly accepted that Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy were ruled by fascist governments at some points of their history; how it refers to other right-wing regimes is a question of further debate. The Estado Novo in Portugal was a right-wing dictatorship which was corporatist in nature (much like Mussolini's fascism). Most South American dictatorships, during the second half of the 20th century, were right-wing: Pinochet, the Brazilian Military Government, etc. There have also been a number of military dictatorships installed by anti-communists which were generally conservative and rightist.

Military government[edit]

In the most common Western view, the perfect example of a right-wing dictatorship is any of those that once ruled in South America. Those regimes were predominantly military juntas and most of them collapsed in the 1980s. Communist countries, which were very cautious about not revealing their authoritarian methods of rule to the public, were usually led by civilian governments and officers taking power were not much welcomed there. Few exceptions include the Burmese Way to Socialism (Burma, 1966–1988), the Military Council of National Salvation (People's Republic of Poland, 1981–1983) or the North Korean regime's evolution throughout the rule of Kim Il-sung.

Religion and the government[edit]

Most right-wing regimes kept strong ties with local Churches (usually the Roman Catholic ones since most of those regimes happened in Catholic countries). This policy of a strong Church-state alliance is usually referred to as Austrofascism. The most pro-Catholic dictatorships were Portugal (1933–1974) and the Federal State of Austria (1934–1938). Non-Christian dictatorships include those in the Muslim world; the most famous being Iran since the revolution of 1979. There are several other examples of theocratic (and, therefore, right-wing) regimes in the region, like Somalia[clarification needed] or Afghanistan under the Taliban. While it is unclear whether a monarchy could be called a dictatorship, theocratic absolute monarchies of Saudi Arabia or Vatican City share many similarities with the regimes mentioned above. Many of those are/were led by spiritual leaders; examples include the Slovak Republic under the Reverend Josef Tiso or Iran under the Ayatollahs Khomeini (1979–1989) and Khamenei (1989–present).


In some post-communist countries, people involved in the previous regime took power in the years following the end of the Cold War. The most famous example of a European dictatorship of that sort is Belarus under Alexander Lukashenko.[clarification needed] Belarus and Azerbaijan were both considered "authoritarian regimes" by the Democracy Index as of 2008. Freedom House marks them "not-free states" together with Russia, so whether Russia is a dictatorship or just a seriously flawed democracy is a question of further debate. All three governments are non-communist and, especially in Russia, sometimes stay in total opposition to the communist parties. Therefore, they[original research?] could be called right-wing as well.

List of European right-wing dictatorships[edit]

Considering a right-wing dictatorship any non-democratic (non-parliamentary or pseudo-parliamentary political system, suppression of basic freedoms such as association and speech, prosecution of opponents, etc.) regime that is not communist, the list of European examples would be as following:

Country Historical name(s) Movement(s) Years of rule Dictator(s)
 Albania Principality of Albania, Albanian Republic, Albanian Kingdom None 1922–1939 Zog
 Austria Federal State of Austria Fatherland's Front 1934–1938 Engelbert Dollfuss, Kurt Schuschnigg
 Azerbaijan Republic of Azerbaijan New Azerbaijan Party 1993–present Heydar Aliyev, Ilham Aliyev
 Bulgaria Kingdom of Bulgaria None
  • 1923–1926
  • 1934–1945
 Croatia Independent State of Croatia Croatian Revolutionary Movement 1941–1945 Ante Pavelić
 Cyprus Republic of Cyprus EOKA B 1974 Nikos Sampson
 Estonia[citation needed] Republic of Estonia None 1934–1940[2] Konstantin Päts
 France French State Collaborationist government 1940–1944 Philippe Pétain
 Georgia[citation needed] Republic of Georgia Union of Citizens of Georgia 1995–2003 Eduard Shevardnadze
 Germany Third Reich NSDAP 1933–1945 Adolf Hitler
  • 1925–1926
  • 1936–1941
  • 1941–1944
  • 1967–1974
 Hungary Kingdom of Hungary
  • 1920–1944
  • 1944–1945
  • 1922-1943
  • 1943–1945
 Latvia Republic of Latvia Latvian Farmers' Union (disbanded after coup) 1934–1940 Kārlis Ulmanis
 Lithuania Republic of Lithuania Lithuanian Nationalist Union 1926–1940 Antanas Smetona
 Netherlands Reichskommissariat Niederlande National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands 1940–1945 Anton Mussert
 Norway Reichskommissariat Norwegen Nasjonal Samling 1940–1945 Vidkun Quisling
 Poland Second Polish Republic Sanation 1926–1939 Józef Piłsudski and Piłsudski's colonels
  • 1915
  • 1917–1918
  • 1926–1933
  • 1933–1974
 Romania Kingdom of Romania
  • 1938–1940
  • 1940–1941
  • 1941–1944
 Serbia Serbia 1941–1945 Milan Nedić
 Slovakia First Slovak Republic Hlinka's Slovak People's Party – Party of Slovak National Unity 1939–1945 Jozef Tiso
  • 1923–1930
  • 1939–1977
 Yugoslavia Kingdom of Yugoslavia 1929–1941
^ Semi-authoritarian regime.
^ Semi-authoritarian regime in the years 1938–1940.
^ Semi-authoritarian regime.


List of Asian right-wing dictatorships[edit]

Country Historical name(s) Movement(s) Years of rule Dictator(s)
 Republic of China Republic of China Kuomintang 1925–1989
 South Korea Republic of Korea Various 1961–1987
 Japan Empire of Japan Imperial Rule Assistance Association 1930s–1945
 Thailand Kingdom of Thailand Khana Ratsadon 1927–1957 Plaek Phibunsongkhram
 Philippines Republic of the Philippines 1965–1986 Ferdinand Marcos
 Cambodia 1968–1975 Lon Nol

See also[edit]