The right to rule which is widely perceived as legitimate. Legitimacy is an integral element of soft power. When power is exercised without legitimate authority, it can often lead to conflict. In the words of John Lloyd “every authoritarian state is despotic in its own way.”

Autocratic state A system of government in which a single leader or party is in possession of supreme and absolute power. Once viewed in a favourable manner, the term autocracy is often considered in a negative sense due to its association with dictatorial regimes.