Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Regime (Comparative Politics)
Regimes are the various types of political systems found in the sovereign countries of the world. These can be defined as specific individual regime types or as contrasting types. In comparative politics, the concept of a political regime refers to the formal and informal structure and nature of political power in a country, including the method of determining office holders and the relations between the office holders and the society at large. These relations could or could not involve accountability of office holders to the demos and likewise could involve various freedoms granted to society or, conversely, none at all. The distinction as to whether a country is a democracy or not is thus a regime distinction—and indeed (as we shall see) the central regime distinction. The first use of the concept in modern political science was by David Easton. Easton contrasted the regime with the ongoing political community (the ...