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Contemporary Political Systems: Classifications and Typologies

Anton Bebler and Jim Seroka, editor
ISBN: 978-1-55587-147-5
1990/384 pages/LC: 89-39943
"One of the many strengths of this work is that it points out the many different methods by which a polity can be studied and compared and predictions concerning it can be made." —Perspectives on Political Science


Classification systems and typologies, if properly developed, can help formulate research questions, determine agendas for inquiry, and lead to the development of scientifically testable hypotheses and general theory building. In political science, however, influential classifications and typologies become obsolete faster than in many other disciplines. They are also used highly sel ectively and are given various meanings in various political and cultural environments. It is therefore important that cross-cultural comparative work in this field be regularly updated, revised, and improved, and that the classifications and typologies used most often be reevaluated.

Designed to accomplish these tasks, this seminal book is represents a full spectrum of political, ideological, and cultural environments. It is intended, as well, as a contribution toward consensus building in the international community of political scientists.


Anton Bebler is professor of political science at the University of Ljubljana (Yugoslavia). He is author of Military Rule in Africa, as well as several books in Slovenian and more than 200 articles. Jim Seroka is professor of political science and head of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, Pennsylvania State University-Erie. Previously he was professor in the Department of Political Science at Southern Illinois University. Among his numerous publications are Socio-Political Organizations in Contemporary Yugoslavia (with Rados Smiljkovic) and Developed Socialism in the Soviet Bloc (coedited with Maurice Simon).


  • Introduction—A. Bebler.
  • On Classification—A. Marradi.
  • The Theory of the Mixed Regime and the Problem of Power: A Machiavellian Meditation—B.J. Smith.
  • Democratic Political Systems—A. Lijphart.
  • Authoritarianism—L. Morlino.
  • On the Classification of Socialist Political Systems—B.N. Topornin.
  • Typologies of Socialist Systems—J. Seroka.
  • The Comparative Study of Third World Political Systems—V. Chirkin.
  • Typologies of Third World Political Systems—D. Berg-Schlosser.
  • A Neoinstitutional Typology of Third World Politics—F.W. Riggs.
  • Typologies Based on Political Parties—J.J. Wiatr.
  • Typologies Based on Civilian-Dominated vs. Military-Dominated Political Systems—A. Bebler.
  • Africa—C.E. Welch, Jr.
  • Arab World—B. Korany.
  • Latin America—C. Huneeus.
  • A Long Journey Begins With a Single Step—J. Seroka.