European Political Science

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 84–96 | Cite as

Classifying political regimes 1800–2016: a typology and a new dataset

  • Carsten AnckarEmail author
  • Cecilia Fredriksson
Research Dataset


In the present text, we introduce a classification scheme where we decompose democracies and autocracies into several categories. Based on this classification scheme, we create a global dataset covering the time period 1800–2016. In the dataset, we make yearly observations for all countries that have been independent at any point in time since the Second World War. Regarding democracies, we first distinguish between republics and monarchies. We then split the category of republics into presidential, semi-presidential, and parliamentary systems. Within the category of monarchies, almost all systems are parliamentary, but a few countries are conferred to the category semi-monarchies. Authors differ markedly in terms of how autocratic regimes should be classified. In the present dataset, we classify autocratic countries into the following main categories: absolute monarchy, military rule, party-based rule, personalist rule, and oligarchy. Within the categories party-based rule and oligarchy, we also identify a number of subcategories.


Autocracy Democracy Global dataset Political regimes 

Supplementary material

41304_2018_149_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 29 kb)
41304_2018_149_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (639 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 639 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceÅbo Akademi UniversityTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Department of Management and OrganizationStockholm School of EconomicsStockholmSweden

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