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Do the kinds of political joke that get circulated in a polity depend on the structure - page 6 / 46

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Douglas Ayling

different kinds of humour circulated under the different regimes. It should suffice to say

that the nature of the validation attainable for the hypothesis is limited by these factors.

Regime types and ideology

This study uses the typology of major modern political regimes put forward by

Linz and Stepan in Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern

Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe. In this classificatory system,

possible

modern regime

types

are

democracy,

authoritarianism,

totalitarianism,

post-totalitarianism and sultanism. Their distinctiveness can be adumbrated along four

dimensions – namely those of pluralism, ideology, leadership and mobilisation. Since the

major modern regime types are ideal types, it is perfectly possible for an actual regime to

sit astride categories. An example of the latter would be pre-1989 Poland which Linz

regarded as “closer to the authoritarian regime type than the totalitarian or the standard

post-totalitarian”10.

10

Juan J. Linz, Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 2000), p.5

page 6

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