The simplest definition of non-democratic regimes is ‘rule by other means than democracy’, which is taken from the definition of war as ‘politics by other means’ (Clausewitz, 1984 : 87). Like war between or within states, non-democratic rule appears outdated and yet continues to be a factor in world affairs that requires close attention and careful analysis. However, political science’s main reason for studying non-democratic regimes is that they show why and how a modern state might be ruled by other means than representative democracy. Many states in the past have been ruled ‘by other means’, some still are and more may well be in the future.
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