By Schott's Vocab – A Miscellany of Modern Words and Phrases (NY Times)

Definition: “Rule by the arrogant” – a term used to describe the governments of Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Writing recently for Botswana’s Mmegi Online, Michael Dingake offered this definition of arrogantocracy:

It is a new term, which defines a peculiar shade in a government, particularly in so-called democracies; generally the phenomenon manifests itself in parties who have been in power for a long time; invariably such [parties] become arrogant, conceited, too self-confident to imagine they can ever be disposed by earthly means.

Dingake asserted:

After so many years in power, arrogantocracy is creeping inexorably into the code of conduct of B.D.P. [Botswana Democratic Party] rulers. The extra-judicial killings, recorded in the country in the past 15 months are testimony.

Reports allege that approximately 12 people have died at the hands of Botswanan security forces since April 2008; however the country’s Defence Minister, Dikgakgamatso Seretse, has declared that a public enquiry into the deaths is unnecessary. According to Dingake:

Arrogantocracy is not new, under the BDP regime, which has been in the saddle for 43 years, but it has developed helicopter wings since April Fools day in 2008, under Ian Khama: Political and public service vacancies are reserved for relatives, ex-army sycophants, favorite party members, and generally for yes-men and yes-women, in full view of the public eye. “The dogs may bark but the caravan goes on!”

The term arrogantocracy has also been applied to the government of Zimbabwe. In July, Chenjerai Hove wrote in The Zimbabwean:

Zanu-PF rule is only describable with the help of a new word, arrogantocracy, rule by arrogance. Mugabe is arrogant enough to tell the Western governments from which he seeks aid … “to go hang.” That attitude has filtered down to his key allies.