Polity refers to the form of political organization, government, or state. A polity can refer to a specific system of government, such as a democracy, monarchy, or dictatorship, and it can also encompass the institutions, processes, and practices through which political power is exercised and decisions are made. The concept of polity can be used to describe both the structures and the cultural and social norms that shape the political system.

Source: Linz, J. J. (2000). Totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. Lynne Rienner Publishers.