Illiberal democracy

An illiberal democracy is a governing system in which, although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties; thus it is not an open society. There are many countries "that are categorized as neither 'free' nor 'not free', but as 'probably free', falling somewhere between democratic and nondemocratic regimes".[1]

The rulers of an illiberal democracy may ignore or bypass constitutional limits on their power. They also tend to ignore the will of the minority which is what makes the democracy illiberal.[2] Elections in an illiberal democracy are often manipulated or rigged, being used to legitimize and consolidate the incumbent rather than to choose the country's leaders and policies.[3]

Some theorists argue that illiberal democracy is fundamentally undemocratic and therefore prefer terms such as electoral authoritarianism,[4] competitive authoritarianism,[5] or soft authoritarianism.[6][7]