classifying the various forms of government has been one of the principal concerns of political analysis through the ages. this process can be traced back to the fourth century BCE, when Aristotle made the fi rst recorded attempt to describe the political regimes then in existence, using terms such as ‘democracy’, ‘oligarchy’ and ‘tyranny’ that are still commonly employed today. From the eighteenth century onwards, governments were increasingly classifi ed as monarchies or republics, or as autocratic or constitutional regimes. during the twentieth century, these distinctions were further sharpened. the ‘three worlds’ classifi cation of political systems, which was particularly fashionable during the cold War period, created an image of world politics dominated by a struggle between democracy and totalitarianism.
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- Regimes of the modern world
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- CHAPTER 5