Five-Fold Classification of the Political Systems Offered By Shills

Five-Fold Classification of the Political Systems Offered By Shills are as follows:

1. Political Democracy:

It is the form of the government which is prevalent in England, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Holland, West Germany, Italy, India and Japan.

Shill has described it as a “regime of civilian rule through representative institutions and public liberties”.

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Its main characteristics are the supremacy of the Parliament and the responsibility of the executive to it, independence of the judiciary, rule of law, freedom of speech and press, and to form associations. In this form of government the opposition parties are allowed to exist and contest elections.

Criticism of the opposition parties by the government is not only tolerated but also welcomed. The Opposition leader also receives the salary and allowances, and all other amenities like a Minister.

2. Tutelary Democracy:

It refers to a political system which observes the norms and values of a democracy and thus tries to emulate the ways of the democracy. Shill describes such a system as the best because in it, the executive remains the strongest and the legislature has a restricted role. Opposition is also allowed to exist and operates through the executive. Rule of law also exists.

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3. Modernising Oligarchy:

This system falls midway between traditional oligarchy and political democracy. In such a type of government the rule is either in ‘he hands of a civilian government which maintains its authority with the help of military or the rule of the country is in the hands of the military which keep all powers and gives the form of legitimacy to its rule.

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In this form of government no opposition is allowed to exist but the Parliament is kept only to ratify the decisions of the executive and administrators. The elections are banned and the position of bureaucracy is exalted. Such a type of oligarchy is not liked by the people at all because they are deprived of the right to choose their representatives and have no say in the running of the government.

4. Traditional Oligarchy:

In this type of government rulers come to power on the alone or by a combination of kinship and selection of person qualified by kinship to participate in the selection process. So it is based on strong dynastic constitutionalism associated with traditional religious beliefs.

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The ruler choose his ministers on the basis of kinship or amongst his confidants. The ruler exercises his authority with the help of his counselors. In such a type of government there is no place for the legislature and the Opposition is not allowed to exist. There is also a prevalence of fundamentalism in such a type of government.

5. Totalitarian Oligarchy:

In such a type of government either the all powerful ruler of the rightist type as existed in Fascist Italy or Nazi Germany is found or leftist type of the ruler like Stalin exists. In China also such type of totalitarian rule existed in the time of Mao-Tse Tung. There is absolutely no scope of opposition parties, independent judiciary or the rule of law.


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Classification given by Kautsky:

The type of political system given by Shills has been modified in various ways by other writers like Kautsky and David Apter.

Kautsky divides political development into five categories:

(1) Traditional autocratic authoritarianism;

(2) Totalitarianism of the aristocrats;

(3) Totalitarianism of the intellectuals;

(4) Democracy. However, he makes it quite clear that it “should not be mistaken for an adequate description of any or all existing political system”.

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He adds, “There are indefinite number of variations, sub-types, and mixed and transitional forms that make it impossible to and any of the five types in pure form”. He emphasises this point only that by formulating these five types in pure form, it is possible to facilitate comparisons and thereby formulate generalisations and advance our understanding of political process.

Classification given by David Apter:

In the process of modernisation, Apter offers a quite complex theory of stages and alternate paths of political development in the large framework of political modernisation. He starts from the traditional societies and regarding change, he offers three types of authority (hierarchical, pyramidal and segmental) and two value types (instrumental and consummatory) There is scope in Apter’s scheme also for the analysis of modernising autocracies, military oligarchies and other complete pattern of political modernisation.

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