From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
A political system is a system of politics and government. It is usually compared to the legal system, economic system, cultural system, and other social systems. It is different from them, and can be generally defined on a spectrum from left, e.g. communism, to the right, e.g. fascism. However, this is a very simplified view of a much more complex system of categories involving the views: who should have authority, how religious questions should be handled, and what the government's influence on its people and economy should be.
There are several definitions of "political system":
- A political system is a complete set of institutions, interest groups (such as political parties, trade unions, lobby groups), the relationships between those institutions and the political norms and rules that govern their functions (constitution, election law).
- A political system is composed of the members of a social organization (group) who are in power.
- A political system is a system that necessarily has two properties: a set of interdependent components and boundaries toward the environment with which it interacts.
- A political system is a concept in which theoretically regarded as a way of the government makes a policy and also to make them more organized in their administration.
- A political system is one that ensures the maintaining of order and sanity in the society and at the same time makes it possible for some other institutions to also have their grievances and complaints put across in the course of social existence.
Commonalities between political systems:
- Interdependent parts
Basic forms of political systems
The following are examples of political systems, some of which are typically mutually exclusive (eg Monarchy and Republic), while others may (or may not) overlap in various combinations (eg Democracy and Westminster system, Democracy and Socialism).
- Anarchism (Rule by all/no one)
- Democracy (Rule by majority)
- Monarchy. (Rule by monarch) Monarchies are one of the oldest political systems known, developing from tribal structure with one person the absolute ruler.
- Meritocracy (Rule by best)
- Technocracy (Rule by scientist/intellectuals)
- Republic. (rule by law) The first recorded Republic was in India in the 6th century BC.
- Sultanates. (Rule by Allah) an Islamic political structure combining aspects of Monarchy and Theocracy.
- Islamic Democracy. (Rule by majority in islamic context) an Islamic and democratic political structure, which combines aspects of Theocracy (as the framework) and Democracy (as the decision making method under Islam's ethical system). Iran's constitution is based on such a system.
- Theocracy (Rule by alleged representitive of God)
- Westminster system (rule by republic and representitive democracy through parliament)
- Feudalism (Rule by lord/king)
Anthropological forms of political systems
Anthropologists generally recognize four kinds of political systems, two of which are uncentralized and two of which are centralized.