|Part of the Politics series|
|Basic forms of government|
|List of forms of government|
A military dictatorship is a dictatorship in which the military exerts complete or substantial control over political authority, and the dictator is often a high-ranked military officer.
The reverse situation is to have civilian control of the military.
Most military dictatorships are formed after a coup d'état has overthrown the previous government. There have been cases, however, where the civilian government had been formally maintained but the military exercises de facto control—the civilian government is either bypassed or forced to comply with the military's wishes. For example, from 1916 until the end of World War I, the German Empire was governed as an effective military dictatorship, because its leading generals had gained such a level of control over Kaiser Wilhelm II that the Chancellor and other civilian ministers effectively served at their pleasure. Alternatively, the Empire of Japan after 1931 never in any formal way drastically altered the constitutional structure of its government, but from that point, it is typically seen as a military dictatorship, since the Army and Navy had the effective legal right to veto the formation of undesirable governments (and also to compel the resignation of an existing government that had lost their favor), and since key cabinet posts traditionally held by civilians (especially the Premiership) were instead filled by active flag officers.
Military dictatorships may gradually restore significant components of civilian government while the senior military commander still maintains executive political power. As an example, the Chilean military dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet conducted a plebiscite in 1980 that instituted a new constitution, thus legitimizing the regime's rule.
In the past, military juntas have justified their rule as a way of bringing political stability for the nation or rescuing it from the threat of "dangerous ideologies". For example, the threat of communism, socialism, and Islamism was often used. Military regimes tend to portray themselves as non-partisan, as a "neutral" party that can provide interim leadership in times of turmoil, and also tend to portray civilian politicians as corrupt and ineffective. One of the almost universal characteristics of a military government is the institution of martial law or a permanent state of emergency.
|Country||Previous form of government||Date adopted||Leading event|
|Sudan||Federal dominant-party presidential republic||April 11, 2019||2019 Sudanese coup d'état|
2021 Sudanese coup d'état
|Mali||Unitary semi-presidential republic||August 19, 2020||2020 Malian coup d'état|
2021 Malian coup d'état
|Myanmar||Unitary assembly-independent republic||February 1, 2021||2021 Myanmar coup d'état|
|Chad||Unitary dominant-party presidential republic||April 20, 2021||2021 Northern Chad offensive|
|Guinea||Unitary presidential republic||September 5, 2021||2021 Guinean coup d'état|
|Burkina Faso||Unitary semi-presidential republic||January 24, 2022||2022 Burkinabé coup d'état|
Country names in bold are ones that are currently a military dictatorship.
The shogunate was the hereditary military dictatorship of Japan (1192-1867).