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Merkel, Wolfgang (2004)
Publisher: DEU
Types: Article
Subjects: Staatsformen und Regierungssysteme, Politikwissenschaft, Systems of governments & states, Political science, Staat, staatliche Organisationsformen, Allgemeines, spezielle Theorien und Schulen, Methoden, Entwicklung und Geschichte der Politikwissenschaft, Political System, Constitution, Government, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Political Science, politisches System, Demokratie, autoritäres System, Regime, Diktatur, Totalitarismus, Herrschaft, dictatorship, regime, domination, authoritarian system, democracy, totalitarianism, political system
"The development of the term and the analytical concept of totalitarianism have gone through several stages since the 1920s. However, even in its most sophisticated form, the version seen in Friedrich/ Brzezinski, the concept exhibits substantial systematic classification problems and analytical weaknesses. This article attempts to frame the type of totalitarian regime within a general typology of political regimes. Special attention is dedicated to the problem of distinguishing autocratic from democratic rule, and of carving out the systematic difference between authoritarian and totalitarian regimes within the basic type of autocracy. Despite a systematic typology, all grey zones between the basic types cannot be clarified. Therefore, the typology should be complemented by a continuum on which regimes as they exist in reality, can be placed between the polar types of 'ideal democracy' and 'perfect totalitarianism'." (author's abstract)

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