is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state
This map was compiled according to the Wikipedia list of countries by system of government
. See there for sources.2
Several states constitutionally deemed to be multiparty republics are broadly described by outsiders as authoritarian states. This map presents only the de jure
form of government, and not the de facto
degree of democracy.
In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature
, and judiciary
. Government is a means by which organizational policies are enforced, as well as a mechanism for determining policy
. Each government has a kind of constitution
, a statement of its governing principles and philosophy.
While all types of organizations have governance, the term government
is often used more specifically, to refer to the approximately 200 independent national governments
and subsidiary organizations.
Definitions and etymology
The word government
derives, ultimately, from the Greek verb κυβερνάω [kubernáo
] (meaning to steer
(rudder), the metaphorical sense being attested in Plato
's Ship of State
The Columbia Encyclopedia defines government as "a system of social control under which the right to make laws, and the right to enforce them, is vested in a particular group in society".
While all types of organizations have governance, the word government
is often used more specifically to refer to the approximately 200 independent national governments
, as well as their subsidiary organizations.
The moment and place that the phenomenon of human government developed is lost in time; however, history does record the formations of early governments. About 5,000 years ago, the first small city-states appeared.
By the third to second millenniums BC, some of these had developed into larger governed areas: Sumer
, Ancient Egypt
, the Indus Valley Civilization
, and the Yellow River Civilization
The development of agriculture
and water control
projects were a catalyst for the development of governments.
On occasion a chief of a tribe was elected by various rituals or tests of strength to govern his tribe, sometimes with a group of elder tribesmen as a council. The human ability to precisely communicate abstract, learned information allowed humans to become ever more effective at agriculture,
and that allowed for ever increasing population densities. David Christian
explains how this resulted in states with laws and governments.
As farming populations gathered in larger and denser communities, interactions between different groups increased and the social pressure rose until, in a striking parallel with star formation, new structures suddenly appeared, together with a new level of complexity. Like stars, cities and states reorganize and energize the smaller objects within their gravitational field.
In the nineteenth and twentieth century, there was a significant increase in the size and scale of government at the national level.
This included the regulation of corporations
and the development of the welfare state
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.
It is especially important in the political science
fields of comparative politics
and international relations
. Like all categories discerned within forms of government, the boundaries of government classifications are either fluid or ill-defined.
Superficially, all governments have an official or ideal form. The United States is a constitutional republic, while the former Soviet Union was a socialist republic
. However self-identification is not objective, and as Kopstein and Lichbach argue, defining regimes can be tricky.
For example, Voltaire
argued that "the Holy Roman Empire
is neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire".
Identifying a form of government is also difficult because many political systems
originate as socio-economic movements and are then carried into governments by parties
naming themselves after those movements; all with competing political-ideologies. 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.
Other complications include general non-consensus or deliberate "distortion or bias
" of reasonable technical definitions to political ideologies and associated forms of governing, due to the nature of politics in the modern era. For example: The meaning of "conservatism
" in the United States
has little in common with the way the word's definition is used elsewhere. As Ribuffo notes, "what Americans now call conservatism much of the world calls liberalism
"; a "conservative
" in Finland would be labeled a "socialist
" in the United States.
Since the 1950s conservatism in the United States has been chiefly associated with the Republican Party
. However, during the era of segregation
many Southern Democrats
were conservatives, and they played a key role in the Conservative Coalition
that controlled Congress from 1937 to 1963.
Opinions vary by individuals concerning the types and properties of governments that exist. "Shades of gray" are commonplace in any government and its corresponding classification. Even the most liberal democracies limit rival political activity to one extent or another while the most tyrannical dictatorships must organize a broad base of support thereby creating difficulties for "pigeonholing
" governments into narrow categories. Examples include the claims of the United States as being a plutocracy
rather than a democracy since some American voters believe elections are being manipulated by wealthy Super PACs
One method of classifying governments is through which people have the authority to rule. This can either be one person (an autocracy, such as monarchy), a select group of people (an aristocracy), or the people as a whole (a democracy, such as a republic).
The difference of Commonwealths consisteth in the difference of the sovereign, or the person representative of all and every one of the multitude. And because the sovereignty is either in one man, or in an assembly of more than one; and into that assembly either every man hath right to enter, or not every one, but certain men distinguished from the rest; it is manifest there can be but three kinds of Commonwealth. For the representative must needs be one man, or more; and if more, then it is the assembly of all, or but of a part. When the representative is one man, then is the Commonwealth a monarchy; when an assembly of all that will come together, then it is a democracy, or popular Commonwealth; when an assembly of a part only, then it is called an aristocracy. Other kind of Commonwealth there can be none: for either one, or more, or all, must have the sovereign power (which I have shown to be indivisible) entire.
An autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power
is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of a coup d'état
or mass insurrection
, from ἄριστος aristos
"excellent", and κράτος kratos
") is a form of government that places power in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class
were aristocracies, although in modern constitutional monarchies the monarch himself or herself has little real power. The term aristocracy
could also refer to the non-peasant, non-servant, and non-city classes in the feudal system
Democracy is a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting
. In a direct democracy
, the citizens as a whole form a governing body and vote directly on each issue. In a representative democracy
the citizens elect representatives from among themselves. These representatives meet to form a governing body, such as a legislature
. In a constitutional democracy
the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority, usually through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech, or freedom of association.
A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a "public matter" (Latin: res publica
), not the private concern or property of the rulers, and where offices of states are subsequently directly or indirectly elected or appointed rather than inherited. The people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people.
A common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of state is not a monarch. Montesquieu
included both democracies
, where all the people have a share in rule, and aristocracies
, where only some of the people rule, as republican forms of government.
This section needs expansion
. You can help by adding to it
. (January 2013)
Federalism is a political concept in which a group
of members are bound together by covenant
with a governing representative head
. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of government in which sovereignty
divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units, variously called states, provinces or otherwise. Federalism is a system based upon democratic principles and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between national and provincial/state governments, creating what is often called a federation
. Proponents are often called federalists
Historically, most political systems originated as socioeconomic ideologies
. 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.
World administrative levels
Certain major characteristics are defining of certain types; others are historically associated with certain types of government.
This list focuses on differing approaches that political systems take to the distribution of sovereignty
, and the autonomy
of regions within the state.
- Sovereignty located exclusively at the centre of political jurisdiction.
- Sovereignty located at the centre and in peripheral areas.
- Diverging degrees of sovereignty.
- ^ Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. Columbia University Press. 2000.
- ^ The New Encyclopædia Britannica (15th edition)
- ^ Christian 2004, pp. 146–147.
- ^ Comparative politics : interests, identities, and institutions in a changing global order, Jeffrey Kopstein, Mark Lichbach (eds.), 2nd ed, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0521708400, p. 4.
- ^ Renna, Thomas (September 2015). "The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire". Michigan Academician. 42 (1): 60–75. doi:10.7245/0026-2005-42.1.60.
- ^ Leo P. Ribuffo, "20 Suggestions for Studying the Right now that Studying the Right is Trendy," Historically Speaking Jan 2011 v.12#1 pp. 2–6, quote on p. 6
- ^ Kari Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932–1968, p. 12, "...conservative southern Democrats viewed warily the potential of New Deal programs to threaten the region's economic dependence on cheap labor while stirring the democratic ambitions of the disfranchised and undermining white supremacy.", The University of North Carolina Press, 2000, ISBN 978-0-8078-4910-1
- ^ "Plutocrats – The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else"Archived 7 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan – via Wikisource.
- ^ Paul M. Johnson. "Autocracy: A Glossary of Political Economy Terms". Auburn.edu. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- ^ "Aristocracy". Oxford English Dictionary. December 1989. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
- ^ Oxford English Dictionary: "democracy".
- ^ Watkins, Frederick (1970). "Democracy". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (Expo '70 hardcover ed.). William Benton. pp. 215–23. ISBN 978-0-85229-135-1.
- ^ Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws (1748), Bk. II, ch. 1.
- ^ "Republic". Encyclopædia Britannica.
- ^ "republic". WordNet 3.0. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
- ^ "Republic". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
- ^ Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws, Bk. II, ch. 2–3.
- ^ Steele, David Ramsay (September 1999). From Marx to Mises: Post Capitalist Society and the Challenge of Economic Calculation. Open Court. p. 66. ISBN 978-0875484495. Marx distinguishes between two phases of marketless communism: an initial phase, with labor vouchers, and a higher phase, with free access.
- ^ Busky, Donald F. (20 July 2000). Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey. Praeger. p. 4. ISBN 978-0275968861. Communism would mean free distribution of goods and services. The communist slogan, 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs' (as opposed to 'work') would then rule
- ^ Shiach, Morag (2004). Modernism, Labour and Selfhood in British Literature and Culture, 1890–1930. Cambridge University Press. p. 224. ISBN 978-0-521-83459-9
- ^ Zwick, Mark and Louise (2004). The Catholic Worker Movement: Intellectual and Spiritual Origins . Paulist Press. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-8091-4315-3
- ^ Boyle, David; Simms, Andrew (2009). The New Economics. Routledge. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-84407-675-8
- ^ Novak, Michael; Younkins, Edward W. (2001). Three in One: Essays on Democratic Capitalism, 1976–2000. Rowman and Littlefield. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-7425-1171-2
- ^ Storck, Thomas. "Capitalism and Distributism: two systems at war," in Beyond Capitalism & Socialism. Tobias J. Lanz, ed. IHS Press, 2008. p. 75
- ^ Sinclair, Upton (1918). Upton Sinclair's: A Monthly Magazine: for Social Justice, by Peaceful Means If Possible. Socialism, you see, is a bird with two wings. The definition is 'social ownership and democratic control of the instruments and means of production.'
- ^ Schweickart, David. Democratic SocialismArchived 17 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice (2006): "Virtually all (democratic) socialists have distanced themselves from the economic model long synonymous with 'socialism,' i.e. the Soviet model of a non-market, centrally-planned economy...Some have endorsed the concept of 'market socialism,' a post-capitalist economy that retains market competition, but socializes the means of production, and, in some versions, extends democracy to the workplace. Some hold out for a non-market, participatory economy. All democratic socialists agree on the need for a democratic alternative to capitalism."
- ^ "Democracy Index 2017 – Economist Intelligence Unit" (PDF). EIU.com. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- Christian, David (2004). Maps of Time. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24476-4.
- Friedrich, Carl J.; Brzezinski, Zbigniew K. (1965). Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy (2nd ed.). Praeger.
- Adam Kuper and Jessica Kuper, ed. (2008). The Social Science Encyclopedia. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-47635-5.
- Haider-Markel, Donald P. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government. ISBN 978-0-19-957967-9.
- Krader, Lawrence (1968). Formation of the state. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. p. 118.
- de Mesquita, Bruce Bueno; Smith, Alastair (2011). The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics. Random House. p. 272. ISBN 9781610390446.
- Lewellen, Ted C. (2003). Political Anthropology: An Introduction (3rd ed.). ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-89789-891-1.
- Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce; Smith, Alastair; Siverson, Randolph M.; Morrow, James D. (2003). The Logic of Political Survival. The MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-63315-4.
- William J. Dobson (2013). The Dictator's Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy. Anchor. ISBN 978-0307477552.
- Smelser, Neil J.; Baltes, Paul B. (2001). International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-08-043076-8.
Last edited on 12 April 2021, at 04:06
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