1. Chapter 16-Typologies-Jan 14.docx

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Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Nigmendra Narain

Chapter 16 –Classification of Political Systems January 13, 2013  Typologies –classifying a complicated set of facts based on their position along some dimension; process of organizing factual information about governmental systems produces broad schemes of classification The Classical Typology  Earliest, still useful typology is from Plato and Aristotle who classified governments with two questions in mind: Who rules? And In whose interest? o In response to the first question rule make be exercised by a single person, by a minority, or by a majority of the whole people o Plato held that rule may be conducted either lawfully or lawlessly  According to Aristotle, rule by law is in the general interest of the entire community whereas arbitrary rule represents exploitation of the ruled for the special interest of the governors o Rule in common interest tends to be seen as legit and gives rulers authority that the ruled will obey, while selfish gov’t does not seem legit to those who are oppressed and has to be sustained through coercion and fear  Combining these two dimensions of who and how yields a sixfold typology How is Rule Conducted? Lawful Lawless (in the common good) (in private interest) One Monarchy—a regime in which a Tyranny –one person rules sovereign authority is invested in arbitrarily one person who ruled within laws of the polis Who Rules? Few Aristocracy –a system in which Oligarchy –a regime where the political power was held by a wealthy minority used its power restricted class –usually wealthy to exploit and oppress the and those of noble ancestry – impoverished majority
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