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The article reviews the state of the recent comparative research on political regime and regime changes and the democratization prospects after authoritarian regime breakdown. The main methodo-logical problems facing the researchers of political regimes who use the regime variable in comparative research are the conceptualization, classification and operationalization of political regimes in which political changes may or may not occur. The author studies typologies of nondemocratic political regimes, the aspects of one-party, military and personalist regimes, their survival logic and the democratization prospects for every type of authoritarian regimes. Each type of authoritarianism has its own logic and inner dynamics, hence different regime-changing trajectories. Particular attention is paid to hybrid regimes as the most conceptually blurred category. Methodological problems of studying regime change include concept stretching, conceptu-alization of successes and failures and also the distinguishing of potentially relevant cases in order to increase the number of cases, since the events studied are rare events. The article proceeds to study the po-litical changes from the perspective of democratic transition theories and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of two main approaches to studying political regime changes, i.e. the structure-oriented and the agency-oriented.

About the authors

O G Kharitonova

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) under Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia

Author for correspondence.
Email: o.haritonova@inno.mgimo.ru
Vernadskogo Av., 76, Moscow, Russia, 119454

Kharitonova Oxana - associate professor, PhD (political science), MGIMO University, Russian Federation.


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