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 following right-wing policies. There are various definitions of the term "rightist", the most common being "conservative" or "reactionary". Those are often to some degree pro-market in economic matters and conservative in social ones. The term fascist dictatorship is sometimes erroneously used interchangeably with right-wing dictatorship. It is commonly accepted that Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy were ruled by fascist governments at some points of their history, but 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. 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[citation needed]). 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 and examples include the Slovak Republic under the Reverend Josef Tiso or Iran under the Ayatollahs Khomeini (1979–1989) and Khamenei (1989–present). Some right-wing dictatorships, like the Nazi Germany, were even openly hostile to certain religions.[1]


List of European right-wing dictatorships[edit]

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
  • 1923–1926
  • 1934–1945
 Croatia Independent State of Croatia Ustaše 1941–1945 Ante Pavelić
 Cyprus Republic of Cyprus EOKA B 1974 Nikos Sampson
 Estonia[citation needed] Republic of Estonia Patriotic League 1934–1940[2] Konstantin Päts
 France French State Collaborationist government 1940–1944 Philippe Pétain, Pierre Laval
 Germany Nazi Germany National Socialist German Workers' Party 1933–1945 Adolf Hitler
  • 1925–1926
  • 1936–1941
  • 1941–1944
  • 1967–1974
  • 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 National Government Nasjonal Samling


Vidkun Quisling

 Poland Second Polish Republic Sanation 1926–1939 Józef Piłsudski and Piłsudski's colonels
  • 1915
  • 1917–1918
  • 1926–1933
  • 1933–1974
  • 1938–1940
  • 1940–1941
  • 1941–1944
 Serbia Government of National Salvation None 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 former right-wing dictatorships[edit]

Country Historical name(s) Movement(s) Years of rule Dictator(s)
 China (Taiwan)  Republic of China Kuomintang 1928–1987
(Mainland China: 1928-1949, Taiwan: 1945-1987)
 Turkey Republic of Turkey Republican People's Party 1925–1945
 Indonesia Republic of Indonesia Golkar 1966–1998 Suharto
 South Korea Republic of Korea
 Japan  Empire of Japan Imperial with the Imperial Rule Assistance Association 1940–1945[2] Hirohito with Hideki Tojo
Manchuria, China  Manchukuo Concordia Association 1932–1945 Puyi with Zheng Xiaoxu and Zhang Jinghui
 Thailand  Kingdom of Thailand Khana Ratsadon 1932–1957 Plaek Phibunsongkhram
  • 1898
  • 1972–1986
 Cambodia 1968–1975 Lon Nol

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gottfried, Ted (2001). Heroes of the Holocaust. Twenty-First Century Books. pp. 24–25. ISBN 9780761317173. Retrieved 14 January 2017. Some groups that are known to have helped Jews were religious in nature. One of these was the Confessing Church, a Protestant denomination formed in May 1934, the year after Hitler became chancellor of Germany. One of its goals was to repeal the Nazi law "which required that the civil service would be purged of all those who were either Jewish or of partly Jewish descent." Another was to help those "who suffered through repressive laws, or violence." About 7,000 of the 17,000 Protestant clergy in Germany joined the Confessing Church. Much of their work has one unrecognized, but two who will never forget them are Max Krakauer and his wife. Sheltered in sixty-six houses and helped by more than eighty individuals who belonged to the Confessing Church, they owe them their lives. German Catholic churches went out of their way to protect Catholics of Jewish ancestry. More inclusive was the principled stand taken by Catholic Bishop Clemens Count von Galen of Munster. He publicly denounced the Nazi slaughter of Jews and actually succeeded in having the problem halted for a short time. ... Members of the Society of Friends--German Quakers working with organizations of Friends from other countries--were particularly successful in rescuing Jews. ... Jehovah's Witnesses, themselves targeted for concentration camps, also provided help to Jews.
  2. ^ "Chronological Table: Birth of the Constitution of". ndl.go.jp. National Diet Library. Retrieved June 5, 2020.