- Form of government
A system of government is a term that refers to the set of political
institutionsby which a governmentof a stateis organized in order to exert its powers over a Community politics. [http://assets.cambridge.org/052184/3162/excerpt/0521843162_excerpt.pdf Kopstein and Lichbach, 2005] Synonyms include "regime type" and "system of government". This definition holds valid even if the government is unsuccessful in exerting its power. Regardless of its qualities, a failed government is still a form of government.Churches, corporations, clubs, and other sub-national entities also ha organization of states is discussed.
Nineteen states in the world do not explicitly name their government forms in their official names (the official name of
Jamaica, for instance, is simply "Jamaica"), but most have an official name which identifies their form of government, or at least the form of government toward which they are striving:
Australia, the Bahamas, and Dominicaare each officially a commonwealth.
Luxembourgis a grand duchy.
United Arab Emiratesis a collection of Muslim states, each an emiratein its own right.
Russia, Switzerland, and Saint Kitts and Nevisare each a federation.
Libyais a jamahiriya
* There are 33 kingdoms in the world, but only 18 named as such. The other 15 are known as
realms. Jordan is specifically titled the " HashemiteKingdom of Jordan," while Britain is formally the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Andorra, Liechtenstein, and Monacoare each a principality.
*The word "
republic" is used by 132 nations in their official names. Many specify a type of republic: China is titled a " people's republic; North Koreaa " democraticpeople's republic"; Egyptand Syria" Arabrepublics"; Guyanaa " cooperativerepublic"; Algeriais a "democratic and popular republic," Vietnama "socialist republic," Sri Lankaa "democratic socialist republic.
*States which wish to emphasize that their provinces have a fair amount of autonomy from the central government may specifically state this:
Germanyand Nigeriaare each a federal republic, Ethiopia is a federal democratic republic, the Comorosis a federal Islamic republic, and Brazilis a federative republic. The sometimes utilized name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedoniaemphasizes this nation's separateness from the neighboring Greek region of the same name. Government ideology is also a common signifier appended to "republic". Besides the Comoros, four other nations specifically dictate that they are Islamic republics. Asian nations influenced by Maoismmay emphasize their belief system by specifying the Peopleas a whole in their official names: Laosis a people's democratic republic, and Bangladeshand China are people's republics. Vietnamis a socialist republic. Finally, Tanzaniaemphasizes the cohesion of its state as a unitedrepublic.
* Eleven nations simply refer to themselves as
states, but a handful specify what kind of state. Micronesiais made up of federated states, Papua New Guineaand Samoaemphasize that they are independent states, while the United States of Americaand the United Mexican Statesare made up of constituent states.
Bruneiand Omanare sultanates.
Burmasimply states that it is a union.
Attributes of government
Beyond official typologies it is important to think about
regimetypes by looking at the general attributes of the forms of government [ [http://www.polisci.ccsu.edu/brown/regime_types.htm Regime Types ] ] :
clan/ kinship-based, chiefdom) or modern (bureaucracies)
*Personalistic or impersonal
Autocracy( totalitarianismor authoritarianism), oligarchy, or democracy
*Elective or hereditary
indirect elections ( United States Electoral College)
state religionwith religious toleration, theocratic
Constitutional monarchyor absolute monarchy
Majority governmentor coalition government
*Single-member district or
Party system: Non-partisan, single-party; dominant-party; two-party; multi-party
Separation of powers(executive, legislative, or judicial) or no separation of powers
*Parliamentary, presidential, or semi-presidential
*Single or multiple executive (
Switzerlandhas seven executives of the Swiss Federal Council, Francehas a dual executive of the Prime Minister and President; the United Stateshas a single executive, the President)
*Composition of the legislative power (rubber stamp or active)
Unicameralismor bicameralism(much more rarely, tricameralismand tetracameralism)
*Number of coalitions or party-appointed legislators in assemblies
Confederation, federation, or unitary
**Plurality ("first past the post")
Majoritarian(50 percent plus one), including two-round (runoff) elections
**Supermajoritarian (from 55 to 75 percent) - Senate
cloturerules, entrenched clauses, absolute majorities
**Unanimity - (100 percent) -
corporate governancefor board of directors
*Strong institutional capacity or weak capacity
*Legitimate or illegitimate (
De facto" (effective control) or " De jure" (nominal control) of government
*Sovereign, semi-sovereign, not sovereign
Racial segregation( Rhodesia) or desegregation
ZendocracyThe people ruled by technology folk; mostly PHP developers
Other empirical and conceptual problems
On the surface, identifying a form of government appears to be easy. Most would say that the United States is a
democratic republicwhile the former Soviet Union was a totalitarian state. However, as Kopstein and Lichbach (2005:4) argue, defining regimes is tricky. Defining a form of government is especially problematic when trying to identify those elements that are essential to that form. There appears to be a disparity between being able to identify a form of government and identifying the necessary characteristics of that form. For example, in trying to identify the essential characteristics of a democracy, one might say "elections." However, both citizens of the former Soviet Unionand citizens of the United Statesvoted for candidates to public office in their respective states. The problem with such a comparison is that most people are not likely to accept it because it does not comport with their sense of reality. Since most people are not going to accept an evaluation that makes the former Soviet Unionas democratic as the United States, the usefulness of the concept is undermined. In political science, it has long been a goal to create a typology or taxonomy of polities, as typologies of political systems are not obvious [Lewellen, Ted C. "Political Anthropology: An Introduction Third Edition". Praeger Publishers; 3rd edition (November 30, 2003)] . It is especially important in the political sciencefields of comparative politicsand international relations. One important example of a book which attempts to do so is Robert Dahl's Polyarchy(Yale University Press (1971)).
One approach is to further elaborate on the nature of the characteristics found within each regime. In the example of the
USand the Soviet Union, both did conduct elections, and yet one important difference between these two regimes is that the USSRhad a single-party system, with all other parties being outlawed. In contrast, the United States effectively has a bipartisansystem with political parties being regulated, but not forbidden. A system generally seen as a representative democracy(for instance Canada, Indiaand the United States) may also include measures providing for: a degree of direct democracyin the form of referendums and for deliberative democracyin the form of the extensive processes required for constitutional amendment.
Another complication is that a number of
political systemsoriginate as socio-economic movements and are then carried into governments by specific parties naming themselves after those movements. Experience with those movements in power, and the strong ties they may have to particular forms of government, can cause them to be considered as forms of government in themselves. Some examples are as follows:
*Perhaps the most widely cited example of such a phenomenon is the
communistmovement. This is an example of where the resulting political systems may diverge from the original socio-economic ideologiesfrom which they developed. This may mean that adherents of the ideologiesare actually "opposed" to the political systems commonly associated with them. For example, activists describing themselves as Trotskyists or communists are often opposed to the communist states of the 20th century.
Islamismis also often included on a list of movements that have deep implications for the form of government. Indeed, many nations in the Islamic worlduse the term "Islamic" in the name of the state. However, these governmentsin practice exploit a range of different mechanisms of power (for example debtand appeals to nationalism). This means that there is no single form of government that could be described as “Islamic” government. Islam as a political movement is therefore better seen as a loose grouping of related political practices rather than a single, coherent political movement.
*The basic principles of many other popular movements have deep implications for the form of government those movements support and would introduce if they came to power. For example,
bioregional democracyis a pillar of green politics.
List of countries by system of government
List of forms of government
List of European Union member states by political system
*cite book | first=Carles | last=Boix | title=Democracy and Redistribution | publisher=Cambridge University Press | location=New York | year=2003
* Bunce, Valerie. 2003. “Rethinking Recent Democratization: Lessons from the Postcommunist Experience.” World Politics 55(2):167-192.
*cite book | first=Josep M.| last=Colomer| title=Political Institutions | publisher=Oxford University Press | location=Oxford| year=2003
* Dahl, Robert "
Polyarchy" Yale University Press (1971
* Heritage, Andrew, Editor-in-Chief. 2000. World Desk Reference
*cite book | first=Arend | last=Lijphart | title=Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration | publisher=Yale University Press | location=New Haven | year=1977
*Linz, Juan. 2000. Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.
*Linz, Juan, and Stepan, Alfred. 1996. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southernn Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
*Lichbach, Mark and Alan Zukerman, eds. 1997. Comparative Politics: Rationality, Culture, and Structure, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
*Luebbert, Gregory M. 1987. “Social Foundations of Political Order in Interwar Europe,” World Politics 39, 4.
*Moore, Barrington, Jr. 1966. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World. Cambridge: Beacon Press, ch. 7-9.
* Comparative politics : interests, identities, and institutions in a changing global order/edited by Jeffrey Kopstein, Mark Lichbach, 2nd ed, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
* O’Donnell, Guillermo. 1970. Modernization and Bureaucratic-Authoritarianism. Berkeley: University of California.
* O’Donnell, Guillermo, Schmitter, Philippe C., and Whitehead, Laurence, eds., Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: comparative Perspectives. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
* Przeworski, Adam. 1992. Democracy and the Market: Political and Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America, New York: Cambridge University Press.
*Przeworski, Adam, Alvarez, Michael, Cheibub, Jose, and Limongi, Fernando. 2000. Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Well Being in the World, 1950-1990. New York: Cambridge University Press.
*Shugart, Mathhew and John M. Carey, Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics", New York, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992.
Taagepera, Reinand Matthew Shugart. 1989. Seats and votes: The effects and determinants of electoral systems, Yale Univ. Press.jimmy
= External links =jhioj
* [http://www.federalism-e.com Electronic interuniversity journal "Federalism-e"]
* [http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/20c-govt.htm Types of Governments from Historical Atlas of the 20th Century]
* [http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/othergov.htm Other classifications examples from Historical Atlas of the 20th Century]
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