A theoretical problem in defining “regime identity” of a political regime in conceptual and comparative terms is that there are no generally accepted theoretical criteria that could be used to demarcate the beginning and ending of a political regime and to assess the nature of a regime change in communist and post-communist countries. This article attempts to address the significance of this problem, revisit the utility of the totalitarian model, and develop a refined macro-model that can serve as the means to solve the problem and as reference points to define regime identity, assess and measure the regime change in theoretical and comparative terms. The refined model can serve both to observe, explain, and predict the regime change in general and to enrich our understanding of specific cases in particular. Based on the insights yielded by the new model, other researchers could modify this model by using techniques of formal modeling or by dropping some features while retaining others of the model.

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