Classification systems and typologies, if properly developed, can help formulate research questions, determine agendas for inquiry, and lead to the development of scientifically testable hypotheses and general theory building. In political science, however, influential classifications and typologies become obsolete faster than in many other disciplines. They are also used highly selectively and are given various meanings in various political and cultural environments. It is therefore important that cross-cultural comparative work in this field be regularly updated, revised, and improved, and that the classifications and typologies used most often be re-evaluated.
Theoretical and historical concerns. Introduction, A. Bebler; on classification, Alberto Marradi; the theory of the mixed regime and the problem of power - a Machiavellian meditation, Bruce James Smith; modern typologies, democratic political systems, Arend Lijphart; authoritarianism, Leonardo Morlino; on the classification of socialist political systems, Boris N.Topornin; typologies of socialist systems, J.Seroka; the comparative study of third world political systems, Veniamin Chirkin; typologies of third world political systems, Dirk Berg-Schlosser; a neo-institutional typology of third world politics, Fred W.Riggs; typologies based on political parties, Jerzy J.Wiatr; typologies based on civilian-dominated vs. military-dominated political systems, A.Bebler; classifications by geographic area - African, Claude E.Welch, Jr; Arab world, Bahgat Korany; latin America, Carlos Huneeus; conclusions - a long journey begins with a single step, J.Seroka.