The Categories of States

  • W. Gordon East
  • J. R. V. Prescott


Understanding is better than classification, yet beyond doubt an analysis that also includes an attempt to categorise assists understanding of our present states system. This can be done in a variety of ways on the basis of selected criteria. Criteria are provided by international law, by degrees of political power which reflect a combination of economic, military and diplomatic strength, by types of political structure, by geographical content and character, by systems of government, by national composition of the population and, not least in importance, by the levels of maturity attained. Other categories are indicated by the use of such terms, applied to states, as ‘residual’,’ successor’, ‘neutral’, ‘unaligned’ and ‘buffer’, each of which throws one ray of light on their diversity. It need hardly be added that these various classifications are not mutually exclusive and that each embraces variant forms.


Federal Republic Federal State Communist Party Unitary State Small State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© W. Gordon East and J. R. V. Prescott 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Gordon East
    • 1
  • J. R. V. Prescott
    • 2
  1. 1.University of LondonUK
  2. 2.University of MelbourneAustralia

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