I examine authoritarian regimes in relation to the political power configuration that is central to how autocracy is practised within their systems. First, Dominant Party Democracies have been ruled by the same dominant political party since the nation’s independence. Although there are regular and free elections, the hyper-incumbent ruling party can reconfigure electoral rules to stave off the opposition. Next, in Independent Military Democracies, the military is an independent branch of government, leading to oscillation between martial and civilian rule; even after civilian rule returns, the military retains a veto defending its core interests. Finally, in Communist Regimes, elections are a sham, and all levers of state power are subjected to the singular control of the Communist Party. These three regime types are not exhaustive of all authoritarian regimes, but they are the predominant ones in Asia. I explore the constitutional role of the courts in these three regime types.
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