Describe and Assess the Main Classifications of Political Systems.

Topics: Democracy, Third World, Second World Pages: 4 (1026 words) Published: October 23, 2008
Within the science of Politics there have been many studies into the different classifications of political systems. There are many different types of classifications but the three main and important classifications are that of Aristotle’s ‘classical’ classifications, the Three Worlds classification and Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilisations’.

It has been argued by many professionals that the most influential system of political classification is Aristotle’s ‘Classical’ Classification, devised in the fourth century BCE, which he based on his study of the 158 Greek city states which were in existence at the time, and thus being the very first political science argument in history. Aristotle argued that governments could be put into different categories on the basis of two fundamental questions. These questions where, “Who rules?” and “Who benefits from rule?” He believed that Government “could be placed in the hands of a single individual, a small group or the many.” (Heywood: 2002: 27). Aristotle continued to argue that Government could be pushed in the direction of benefiting the interests of the rulers or in the direction of benefiting the community as a whole. He showed this in this table:

Ruled By Who benefits? One Few Many Genuine Monarchy Aristocracy Polity Perverted Tyranny Oligarchy Democracy.
In this table, which Aristotle constructed, he argued that Monarchy, Aristocracy and Polity where to be preferred because they benefited the majority of people, unlike Tyranny, Oligarchy and Democracy which only benefited the few who ruled. All in all, Aristotle had wanted to identify the ‘ideal’ constitution, and had.

However, now Democracy is seen in a better light, and Aristotle’s argument has been made redundant by the creation of constitutional systems from the late eighteenth century onwards. The creation of the American constitution after the Wars of Independence, the radicalism in the French Revolution and the emergence of a new...
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