The political transformations that were the catalysts of the new world order

of the 1990s, as well as those which resulted from it, were both numerous

and dramatic. Whatever the causes of the ‘‘great transformation’’ of the

1980s, classical typologies of states, and ultimately of various political

forms, fell apart with the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. The

easily discernible ‘‘three worlds of politics’’, with their sharply divided pat-

terns of interaction between their respective states and societies, gave way to

a much more complicated set of political relationships. In the new era, the worlds of politics have not just changed but indeed become revolutionized,

making it necessary to reformulate traditional notions of comparative poli-

tics. Neither states nor societies, nor in fact the relationships between them,

can any longer be properly conceptualized within the context of analytical

frameworks developed over the past forty years or so. As recent global

events have demonstrated, such conventional labels as ‘‘democratic’’, ‘‘com-

munist’’, and ‘‘authoritarian’’, or even different variations of them, are no

longer strictly applicable. A new typology is needed to account adequately for the new patterns of relationships that have evolved during the ‘‘New

World Order’’ between states and societies.