Exploring the Differences Between Liberal Democratic, Authoritarian and Totalitarian Political Systems

Exploring the Differences Between Liberal Democratic, Authoritarian and Totalitarian Political Systems

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Exploring the Differences Between Liberal Democratic, Authoritarian and Totalitarian Political Systems

Defining political systems is a difficult thing to do as no single
system is completely static, they often change dependant on things
like war and trends in regimes, such as the recent insurgence in
‘liberal democracies’ means that the classifications of systems
changes over time. The British Westminster system is considered to be
a ‘liberal democracy’ however in the Second World War there were
several powers exercised by the government which do not fit with this
type of system for example control was exercised over the media and
labour and elections were put off. These powers were only used as a
result of the emergency situation, seemingly with the support of the
masses and once the war was over the situation reverted to that of the
pre war era but this illustrate how it can be difficult to apply all
encompassing guidelines which finitely define a certain political
system. Taking this into consideration though it is still important to
have some level of classification in place so that the systems can
first of all be more easily understood and also so that they can be
assessed as to how effective they are and how they could be improved.

In order to consider the differences between three political systems:
‘liberal democratic’, ‘authoritarian’ and ‘totalitarian’ the
individual definitions must first be established then any similarities
and differences evaluated and finally the practical consequences of
these must be highlighted.

Liberal democracy is a very popular political system in modern times.
It has several defining attribute...


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...nce this change has been successfully implemented the system
would then strictly speaking no longer be a totalitarian state and
would simply be authoritarian.

In conclusion authoritarian and totalitarian systems are very similar
though they do have some fundamental differences whereas liberal
democracy is inextricably different from both. The most important
difference is the legitimacy of the power being exercised by the
government. This massively affects the stability of a nation; people
who feel they have control over the politics in their country are much
less likely to revolt.


Bibliography

Ball, AR (2000): Modern Politics & Government, London: Macmillan Press
Ltd

Hague, R (2004): Comparative Government and Politics, New York:
Palgrave Macmillan

Heywood, A (2002): Politics, New York: Palgrave

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