Sultanism is a type of autocratic regime in which political power is concentrated in the hands of the ruler and is unbound by political and legal rules. Political authority engulfs social and economic life and follows no elaborate ideology. The regime elicits loyalty through favoritism toward its supporters, reprisals against its opponents, and the repression of civil society. Coined by sociologist Max Weber to describe absolute and highly personalistic authority, the term sultanism was used by political scientists for the purpose of regime classification to refer to a type of nondemocratic political system which is distinct from typical dictatorships and totalitarian regimes.

Key Characteristics of Sultanism

A sultanistic regime is typically a hybrid form of autocracy because it retains some formal elements of democratic rule but ...

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