A one-party state
, single-party state
, one-party system
, or single-party system
is a type of unitary state
in which only one political party
has the right to form the government, usually based on the existing constitution.
All other parties are either outlawed or allowed to take only a limited and controlled participation in elections
. Sometimes the term de facto
one-party state is used to describe a dominant-party system that, unlike the one-party state, allows (at least nominally) democratic multiparty elections, but the existing practices or balance of political power effectively prevent the opposition from winning power.
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.
One-party states explain themselves through various methods. Most often, proponents of a one-party state argue that the existence of separate parties runs counter to national unity. Others argue that the one party is the vanguard
of the people, and therefore its right to rule cannot be legitimately questioned. The Soviet government
argued that multiple parties represented the class struggle
and because of this the Soviet Union
legally authorized and recognized a single party leading the proletariat, namely the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Most one-party states have been ruled by parties forming in one of the following three circumstances:
- an ideology of Marxism–Leninism and international solidarity (such as the Soviet Union for most of its existence);
- some type of nationalist or fascist ideology (such as the Kingdom of Italy under the National Fascist Party or Germany under the Nazi Party);
- parties that came to power in the wake of independence from colonial rule. One-party systems often arise from decolonization because a single party gains an overwhelmingly dominant role in liberation or in independence struggles.
One-party states are usually considered to be authoritarian
, to the extent that they are occasionally totalitarian
. On the other hand, not all authoritarian or totalitarian states operate upon one-party rule. Some, especially amongst absolute monarchies
and military dictatorships
, have no need for a ruling party, and therefore make all political parties illegal.
The term "communist state
" is sometimes used in the West to describe states in which the ruling party
subscribes to a form of Marxism–Leninism. However, such states may not use that term themselves, seeing communism
as a phase to develop after the full maturation of socialism
, and instead use descriptions such as "people's republic
", "socialist republic
", or "democratic republic
". One peculiar example is Cuba
where, despite the role of the Communist Party
being enshrined in the constitution, no party, including the Communist Party, is permitted to campaign or run candidates for elections
. Candidates are elected on an individual referendum
basis without formal party involvement, although elected assemblies predominantly consist of members of the Communist Party alongside non-affiliated candidates.
Current one-party states
As of 2021 the following countries are legally constituted as one-party states:
Former one-party states
- ^ The Republic of China controlled the mainland from 1912 to 1949 and the island of Taiwan since 1945, in which the ROC currently administers the Free area. This government served China in the United Nations from 1945 to 1971. See Political status of Taiwan and the One-China policy for various viewpoints.
- ^ Although there was an official democratic opposition, the MDB, ARENA was de facto the only governing party.
- ^ Clark, William Roberts; Golder, Matt; Golder, Sona Nadenichek (2012-03-23). Principles of Comparative Politics. SAGE. ISBN 9781608716791.
- ^ Cuba: Elections and Events 1991–2001Archived 2007-03-01 at the Wayback Machine Latin American Election Statistics Home
- ^ Afghanistan: A Country Study
- ^ Afghanistan 1977
- ^ "Presidential Decree on Syria's New Constitution". Syrian Arab News Agency. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
- ^ Chulov, Martin (27 February 2012). "Syrian regime rockets bombard Homs". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
- ^ a b c d e f The Constitution of the Russian Federation: A Contextual Analysis By Jane Henderson
- ^ Ideology And Political System By Kundan Kumar
- ^ The Search for a Cameroonian Model of Democracy or the Search for the Domination of the State Party: 1966-2006
- ^ Central African Republic Unions Strike for Democracy 1990-1993
- ^ Mediterranean Fascism 1919–1945
- ^ a b China at War: Regions of China, 1937-1945
- ^ a b 12th Period - Second Republic of Portugal
- ^ Fascism and Resistance in Portugal: Communists, Liberals and Military
- ^ Following the appointment of Marcelo Caetano as Prime Minister in 1968, the opposition was allowed to run to the 1969 Portuguese legislative election, before being banned
- ^ Law 21/1976, of June 14, on the Right of Political Association.
Last edited on 13 May 2021, at 00:28
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