|Part of the Politics series|
In political science, a political system means the type of political organization that can be recognized, observed or otherwise declared by a state.
It defines the process for making official government decisions. It usually comprizes the governmental legal and economic system, social and cultural system, and other state and government specific systems. However, this is a very simplified view of a much more complex system of categories involving the questions of who should have authority and what the government influence on its people and economy should be.
The main types of political systems recognized are democracies, totalitarian regimes and, sitting between these two, authoritarian regimes with a variety of hybrid regimes. Modern classification system also include monarchies as a standalone entity or as a hybrid system of the main three.
According to David Easton, "A political system can be designated as the interactions through which values are authoritatively allocated for a society".. Political system refers broadly to the process by which laws are made and public resources allocated in a society, and to the relationships among those involved in making these decisions.
Further information: List of forms of government
The sociological interest in political systems is figuring out who holds power within the relationship between the government and its people and how the government’s power is used. According to Yale professor Juan José Linz there a three main types of political systems today: democracies, totalitarian regimes and, sitting between these two, authoritarian regimes (with hybrid regimes). Another modern classification system includes monarchies as a standalone entity or as a hybrid system of the main three. Scholars generally refer to a dictatorship as either a form of authoritarianism or totalitarianism.
Further information: Types of democracy
A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The political legitimacy and authority of the monarch may vary from restricted and largely symbolic (constitutional monarchy), to fully autocratic (absolute monarchy), and can span across executive, legislative, and judicial domains.The succession of monarchs in many cases has been hereditical, often building dynastic periods. However, elective and self-proclaimed monarchies have also been established throughout history. Aristocrats, though not inherent to monarchies, often serve as the pool of persons to draw the monarch from and fill the constituting institutions (e.g. diet and court), giving many monarchies oligarchic elements.
A hybrid regime[a] is a type of political system often created as a result of an incomplete democratic transition from an authoritarian regime to a democratic one (or vice versa).[b] Hybrid regimes are categorized as having a combination of autocratic features with democratic ones and can simultaneously hold political repressions and regular elections.[b] Hybrid regimes are commonly found in developing countries with abundant natural resources such as petro-states. Although these regimes experience civil unrest, they may be relatively stable and tenacious for decades at a time.[b] There has been a rise in hybrid regimes since the end of the Cold War.The term hybrid regime arises from a polymorphic view of political regimes that opposes the dichotomy of autocracy or democracy. Modern scholarly analysis of hybrid regimes focuses attention on the decorative nature of democratic institutions (elections do not lead to a change of power, different media broadcast government point of view and the opposition in parliament votes the same way as the ruling party, among others), from which it is concluded that democratic backsliding, a transition to authoritarianism is the most prevalent basis of hybrid regimes.[b] Some scholars also contend that hybrid regimes may imitate a full dictatorship.
Social anthropologists generally recognize four kinds of political systems, two of which are uncentralized and two of which are centralized.
Political scientists have outlined elaborated typologies of authoritarianism, from which it is not easy to draw a generally accepted definition; it seems that its main features are the non-acceptance of conflict and plurality as normal elements of politics, the will to preserve the status quo and prevent change by keeping all political dynamics under close control by a strong central power, and lastly, the erosion of the rule of law, the division of powers, and democratic voting procedures.
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