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Definition of 'Autarky'

Autarky is the economic policy of a state or region that seeks to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of essential goods and services. This is often done through protectionist trade policies, such as tariffs and quotas, which aim to keep out foreign competition. Autarky can be seen as a way to protect a country from economic shocks, such as embargoes or natural disasters. However, it can also lead to economic stagnation and inefficiency, as it can prevent a country from taking advantage of the benefits of specialization and trade.

There are two main types of autarky:

* **Absolute autarky** is the complete absence of trade with other countries. This is a very rare and difficult to achieve, as it requires a country to be able to produce all of the goods and services that it needs.
* **Partial autarky** is the situation where a country seeks to reduce its dependence on foreign trade. This can be done through a variety of measures, such as tariffs, quotas, and subsidies.

The main arguments in favor of autarky are that it can:

* Protect a country from economic shocks, such as embargoes or natural disasters.
* Promote national security by reducing dependence on foreign suppliers.
* Foster economic development by encouraging domestic production.

However, there are also a number of arguments against autarky, including that it can:

* Lead to economic stagnation and inefficiency.
* Make a country less competitive in the global economy.
* Increase the cost of goods and services.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to pursue autarky is a complex one that must be made on a case-by-case basis. There are a number of factors that need to be considered, such as the size of the country, its natural resources, and its economic development level.

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