The Corner

“Regime” Change

By the way, this has been bugging me for a long time. That Tennis piece refers to the “regime” as if mere elections change regimes. This is now a widespread usage of the word regime as if its interchangeable with “administration” (remember “regime change starts at home”?). But I could have sworn that the word “regime” was reserved for the structural nature of the government itself. The American Regime and the Bush Administration are not the same thing. At least that’s what I always thought. The president can change but the regime endures. Do I have that wrong?

Update: Emily in Ohio reports that the AP Stylebook is on my side:

Hi Jonah–

A quick look at my AP Stylebook tells me that a “regime” is a synonym for “political system”, like a democratic regime, an authoritarian regime. A “administration” is the officials who make up the executive branch of government. So you’re right–the regime in the system, the administration is the people in the exec. branch. So there can be no Bush “regime”.

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