From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A vetocracy is a dysfunctional system of governance whereby no single entity can acquire enough power to make decisions and take effective charge.[1] Coined by American political scientist Francis Fukuyama,[2] the term points to an excessive ability or willingness to use the veto power within a government or institution (without an adequate means of any override). Such limitations may point to a lack of trust among members or hesitance to cede sovereignty.

Some institutions which have been hampered by perceptions of vetocratic limitations (and even responsible for their downfall) include the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Articles of Confederation, the Confederate States of America,[citation needed] and the League of Nations.[3] The present-day United Nations Security Council has been criticized for its inability to take decisive action due to the exclusive rights of veto power of permanent members.[3] Fukuyama has argued that the United States was facing such a crisis under the republic's first constitution, the Articles of Confederation.[4]


  1. ^ Friedman, Thomas L. (April 21, 2012). "Opinion | Down With Everything (Published 2012)". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Klein, Ezra (October 26, 2016). "Francis Fukuyama: America is in "one of the most severe political crises I have experienced"". Vox.
  3. ^ a b "Dangers of 'Vetocracy' in the UN".
  4. ^ "Book Traces History and Decline of Political Power as Power of 'No' Rises | PBS NewsHour | April 11, 2013 | PBS". PBS. January 20, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-01-20.

External links[edit]