regime [negative connotations?]

jiamajia

Senior Member
Mandarin
If a media outlet uses 'regime' to describe a government, such as the Khadafy regime and the Chinese Communist regime, can we assume that contempt and distain are shown in the adoption of this particular word?
 
  • English - United Kingdom
    Not necessarily, but it does have negative connotations. If you look up 'regime' in the WR dictionary it notes that the word is used to describe a government, especially an authoritarian one. A less loaded term would be 'administration'.
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    For the present, calling a government a "regime" does have negative connotations. If the reference is to a particular sset of officials, a more neutral term, besides "administration," would be "government": "the Canadian government." To describe the whole complex of political and social institutions and arrangements in a country, terms like "political system" and "polity" do not have the negative connotations of "regime": "The Canadian political system is a federal polity with many features adopted from the historically unitary British system."

    The word "regime" also has a less pejorative historical meaning. The "old regime," a partial translation of French "ancien régime," was the political and social order in Europe before the French revolution, especially in the one or two centuries immediately preceding the Revolution. It did not necessarily end in 1789 in all countries. To enthusiasts of the French Revolution, "old regime" and "ancien régime" are pejoratives, but historians use the term to refer to the time period without making any value judgments about it.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    If a media outlet uses 'regime' to describe a government, such as the Khadafy regime and the Chinese Communist regime, can we assume that contempt and distain disdain are shown in the adoption of this particular word?
    Yes, particularly if the government in question is headed by a single, powerful individual who is neither a democratically elected leader nor a hereditary monarch, or by a group that maintains its power by force rather than by free elections.
     

    manon33

    Senior Member
    English - England (Yorkshire)
    Yes, particularly if the government in question is headed by a single, powerful individual who is neither a democratically elected leader nor a hereditary monarch, or by a group that maintains its power by force rather than by free elections.
    I agree. I have however heard the phrase 'the Thatcher regime' used to describe the years from 1979-1991 in the UK.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If a media outlet uses 'regime' to describe a government, such as the Khadafy regime and the Chinese Communist regime, can we assume that contempt and distain are shown in the adoption of this particular word?
    I agree. I have however heard the phrase 'the Thatcher regime' used to describe the years from 1979-1991 in the UK.
    Doesn't that rather prove the point?
     
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