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Autocracies - Legitimisation and Participation

ITW AutocraciesThe ITW "Autocracies - Legitimisation and Participation" aims to produce a transcultural comparative study of 'autocracies' as a specific form of power and domination. The central question is whether and how the concept described by the Greek word 'autocracy' can be adequately applied to orders that differ significantly from those described by this word in ancient Greece.

As a first result of the transcultural approach, it can be stated that 'autocracy' does not adequately describe the political conditions in the regions studied by the participants, because it does not in any way take into account the ties between the supreme rulers and the elites. Through collaborative work, it also becomes apparent that 'autocracy' and 'tyranny' are clearly distinguishable from each other. Furthermore, the 'sacrality' of the office of ruler is discussed as an important factor in the separation from the elites, as well as their influence on the design of the electoral process, the appointments to the throne and the various forms in which power and domination are exercised.

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More on this topic: In September 2017, the sub-project Dahlmann organized the workshop "Die Entwicklung der Autokratie im Moskauer/Russischen Reich" [follow-up report in German]. The contributions to this event are collected in the volume: Dittmar Dahlmann/Diana Ordubadi (edd.), Die autokratische Herrschaft im Moskauer Reich in der 'Zeit der Wirren' 1598-1613 (Studien zu Macht und Herrschaft 2), Göttingen 2019.

A transcultural view is provided by the volume: Diana Ordubadi/Dittmar Dahlmann (edd.), Die ‚Alleinherrschaft‘ der russischen Zaren in der ‚Zeit der Wirren‘ in transkultureller Perspektive (Macht und Herrschaft 10), Göttingen 2021.

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