What's the difference in Bureaucracy, Autocracy, Aristocracy and Monarchy?

Bureaucracy, Autocracy, Aristocracy and Monarchy


"A system of government in which most of the important decisions are taken by state officials rather than by elected representatives."
Bureaucracy is a term that refers to both a body of non-elective government officials and an administrative policy-making group. Historically, a bureaucracy was a government administration managed by departments staffed with nonelected officials. Today, bureaucracy is the administrative system governing any large institution. The public administration in many countries is an example of a bureaucracy.

Who coined the Word Bureaucracy?

The term "bureaucracy" is French in origin and combines the French word bureau – desk or office – with the Greek word κράτος kratos – rule or political power. It was coined in the mid-18th century by the French economist Jacques Claude MarieVincent de Gournay and was a satirical pejorative from the outset.

Karl Marx theorised about the role and function of bureaucracy in his Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, published in 1843. In his Philosophy of Right, Hegel had supported the role of specialised officials in the role of public administration, although he never used the term "bureaucracy" himself. Marx, by contrast, was opposed to the bureaucracy.

Bureaucratic administration means fundamentally domination through knowledge
–Max Weber


"Autocracy is a  system of government by one person with absolute power."
An autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularised mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of a coup d'état or mass insurrection). Absolute monarchy (such as Saudi Arabia) and dictatorship are the main historical forms of autocracy.

Autocracy Examples/Counties:

An Autocracy is a rule by one man or woman. Effectively both Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and Saddam Hussein's Iraq were all autocracies, where the only person who truly is the final decision-maker is the person at the top.


"Aristocracy is a form of government that places power in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class."
The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best"'Aristocracy' is the highest class of people in society, who are of noble birth and hold ceremonial titles/offices.

Examples/Countries of Aristocracy:

In the United Kingdom and other European countries, such as Spain and Denmark, in which hereditary titles are still recognised, aristocrat still refers to the descendant of one of approximately 7,000 families with hereditary titles, many still in possession of considerable wealth.


"Monarchy is a form of government with a monarch at the head."
A monarchy is a form of government in which a group, usually a family called the dynasty, embodies the country's national identity and one of its members, called the monarch, exercises a role of sovereignty.
The actual power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic (crowned republic), to partial and restricted (constitutional monarchy), to completely autocratic (absolute monarchy).
Monarchy was the most common form of government until the 19th century, but it is no longer prevalent. Where it exists, it is now usually a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch retains a unique legal and ceremonial role, but exercises limited or no official political power: under the written or unwritten constitution, others have governing authority.

Examples /Countries of Monarchy

Currently, 47 sovereign nations in the world have monarchs acting as heads of state, 19 of which are Commonwealth realms that recognise Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state. All European monarchies are constitutional ones, with the exception of the Vatican City which is an elective monarchy, but sovereigns in the smaller states exercise greater political influence than in the larger. The monarchs of Cambodia, Japan, and Malaysia "reign, but do not rule" although there is considerable variation in the degree of authority they wield. Although they reign under constitutions, the monarchs of Brunei, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Swaziland appear to continue to exercise more political influence than any other single source of authority in their nations, either by constitutional mandate or by tradition.