Government in the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislators, administrators, and arbitrators. Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy of the state. A form of government, or form of state governance, refers to the set of political systems and institutions that make up the organization of a specific government. Government of any kind currently affects every human activity in many important ways.
For this reason, political scientists generally argue that government should not be studied by itself; but should be studied along with anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, science, and sociology. TYPES OF GOVERNMENT •Absolute monarchy A form of government where the monarch rules unhindered, i. e. , without any laws,constitution,orlegallyorganizedopposition. •Anarchy Anarchy is lack of government, as there is no governing authority; in anarchy there is no government and each individual has absolute liberty. It is important to note, however, that the lack of a government to enforce laws does not automatically imply that there are no laws; anarcho-capitalism in particular posits a form of anarchy with a body of explicit laws.
•Aristocracy A form of government in which a select few rule based on inherited hereditary right. A form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the principal persons of a state, or in a privileged order; an oligarchy •Autocracy A form of government in which the political power is held by a single, self-appointed ruler.
Government by a single person having unlimited power; despotism (domination through threat of punishment and violence) •Authoritarian A form of government in which state authority is imposed onto many aspects ofcitizens’lives. •Bureaucracy Administrationofagovernmentchieflythroughbureausordepartmentsstaffedwith non-elected officials •Commonwealth A nation, state, or other political entity founded on law and united by a compact of the people for the common good •Communist Asystemofgovernmentinwhichthestateplansandcontrolstheeconomy and a single – often authoritarian – party holds power; state controls are imposed with the elimination of private ownership of property or capital while claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared bythepeople(i. e. ,aclasslesssociety).
•Communist state A hypothetical stateless entity that follows after socialism as according to Marxist theory. •Confederations
Confederation produces the weakest central government. Member states in a confederation retain their sovereignty, delegating to the central government only those powers that are essential for its maintenance. The individual states jealously guard their power to tax and to make their own laws. The central government serves as a coordinating instrument to protect the interests of all its members.
It also represents the confederation in dealings with outside governments, but its actions are subject to the review and approval of the confederated states. •Constitutional A government by or operating under an authoritative document (constitution) that sets forth the system of fundamental laws and principles that determines the nature,functions,andlimitsofthatgovernment.
•Constitutional democracy Aform of governmentin whichthe sovereign power of the people is spelled out in a governing constitution. •Constitutional Government Today most governments derive their legitimacy from national constitutions that provide a legal framework for their rule and specify how power is to be exercised and controlled. Even one-party states, such as the traditional Communist countries and other nations in Africa, Asia, and South America, have found it necessary to establish formal constitutions.
In democratic countries the constitution can be amended or replaced by popular vote, either directly or through a system of elected representatives. In authoritarian one-party systems, however, all political power, including that of revising the constitution, resides with the leaders of the party. The constitution may thus be only a paper facade, and in order to understand how the country is governed one must examine the actual political process.
•Constitutional monarchy Asystemofgovernmentinwhichamonarchisguidedbyaconstitution whereby his/her rights, duties, and responsibilities are spelled out in written law orbycustom. •Corporatocracy A form of government where a corporation, a group of corporations, or government entities with private components, control the direction and governance of a country. •Demarchy A hypothetical political system run by randomly selected decision makers who have been selected by satiation. Think selecting a legislature or executive in the same manner that a jury is presently selected. •Democratic Republic Usually, a “democratic republic” is not democratic and is not a republic.
A government that officially calls itself a “democratic republic” is usually a dictatorship. Communist dictatorships have been especially prone to use this term. For example, the official name of North Vietnam was “The Democratic Republic of Vietnam. “
China uses a variant, “The People’s Republic of China •Democracy The word “democracy” literally means “rule by the people. ” In a democracy, the people govern. In its purest form it is the same thing as monocracy, but it is usually practiced in the form of a republic, which provides checks and balances and an establishment that is able to tap an unruly mob on its collective head •Dictatorship A dictatorship consists of rule by one person or a group of people. Very few dictators admit they are dictators; they almost always claim to be leaders of democracies.
The dictator may be one person, such as Castro in Cuba or Hitler in Germany, or a group of people, such as the Communist Party in China •Distribution of Authority Effective government in any form requires a workable method for distributing authority within the country.
The larger and more diverse the jurisdiction of the government, the stronger the tendency toward a federal system in which authority is “layered” or distributed among different levels. In countries with a relatively homogeneous population and with a common tradition, language, and sense of national history, the central governments may not be federal but unitary—that is, they may retain most of the administrative power at the center. Loosely allied autonomous states sometimes join together to create a type of central government known as a confederation, in which the central government exists only at the pleasure of the sovereign members. •Ecclesiastical A government administrated by a church.
•Emirate Similar to a monarchy or sultanate, but a government in which the supreme power is in the hands of an emir (the ruler of a Muslim state); the emir may be an absolute overlord or a sovereign with constitutionally limited authority. •Epistemocracy A utopian type of society and government in which people of rank, including those holding political office, are those who possess epistemic humility. •Ethnocracy A form of government where representatives of a particular ethnic group hold a number of government posts disproportionately large to the percentage of the total population that the particular ethnic group(s) represents and use them to advance the position of their particular ethnic group(s) to the detriment of others. In Nazi Germany ethnic groups Hitler supported held all the power.
Neo-Nazis often accuse Jews of possessing an ethnocracy in the person of the U. S. government, which they call the Zionist Occupation Government. •Exilarchy A form of government, usually theocratic or monarchic, that is established and constituted for rule over an ethnic or religious diaspora rather than over the place of origin whence the diaspora originates.
•Fascism The country is ruled by a totalitarian and corporatist government. It has also gone by the names Nazism, Baathism, Corporatism, and Falangism. •Federal (Federation) A form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided – usually by means of a constitution – between a central authority and a number of constituent regions (states, colonies, or provinces) so that each region retains some management of its internal affairs; differs from a confederacy in that the central government exerts influence directly upon both individuals as well as upon the regional units. •Federal republic.
A stateinwhichthepowersofthecentralgovernmentarerestrictedandin which the component parts (states, colonies, or provinces) retain a degree of self-government; ultimate sovereign power rests with the voters who chose their governmental representatives •Futarchy System of government proposed by Economist Robin Hanson based on the idea of voting on a certain outcome and then figuring out how to achieve it. •Geniocracy A system of government which was first proposed by Rael (leader of the International Raelian Movement) in 1977 and which advocates problem-solving and creative intelligence as criteria for regional governance •Gerontocracy A form of oligarchical rule in which an entity is ruled by leaders who are significantly older than most of the adult population.
•Gynecocracy Government by women •Islamic republic A particular form of government adopted by some Muslim states; although such a state is, in theory, a theocracy, it remains a republic, but its laws are required to becompatiblewiththelawsofIslam. •Kakistocracy Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens, “Government by the worst. ” Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens. •Kleptocracy A term applied to a government that extends the personal wealth and political power of government officials and the ruling class (collectively, kleptocrats) at the expense of the population. A government characterized by rampant greed and corruption •Kratocracy Government by those who are strong enough to seize power through force or cunning.
•Kritocracy or Krytocracy A government ruled by judges. •Kritarchy A form of order springing from judgments made from principles of natural rights. •Logocracy Government by words. •Maoism The theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism developed in China by Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung), which states that a continuous revolution is necessary if theleadersofacommuniststatearetokeepintouchwiththepeople. •Marxism The political, economic, and social principles espoused by 19th century economist Karl Marx; he viewed the struggle of workers as a progression of historical forces that would proceed from a class struggle of the proletariat.
(workers) exploited by capitalists (business owners), to a socialist “dictatorship oftheproletariat,”to,finally,aclasslesssociety-Communism. •Marxism-Leninism An expanded form of communism developed by Lenin from doctrines of Karl Marx; Lenin saw imperialism as the final stage of capitalism and shifted the focusofworkers’strugglefromdevelopedtounderdevelopedcountries. •Meritocracy A government or other organization wherein appointments are made and responsibilities are given based on demonstrated talent and abilityA group of leaders or officeholders selected on the basis of individual ability or achievement •Minarchy.
A political ideology which maintains that the state’s only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from aggression. •Mobocracy or Ochlocracy Government by mob or a mass of people, or the intimidation of constitutional authorities; think Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail “witch/duck” mob •Monarchy A form of government in which supreme power is absolutely or nominally lodged with an individual, who is the head of state, often for life or until abdication. A monarchy usually possesses more checks and balances than an autocracy or dictatorship. A monarchy consists of rule by a king or queen.
Sometimes a king is called an “emperor,” especially if there is a large empire, such as China before 1911. There are no large monarchies today. The United Kingdom, which has a queen, is really a republic because the queen has virtually no political power. •Monocracy Agovernmentinwhichthesupremepowerislodgedinthehandsofa monarch who reigns over a state or territory, usually for life and by hereditary right; the monarch may be either a sole absolute ruler or a sovereign – such as a king,queen,orprince-withconstitutionallylimitedauthority. •Noocracy A social and political system that is based on the priority of human mind. •Oligarchy.
A form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royal, wealth, intellectual, family, military or religious hegemony. •Panarchracy A political philosophy emphasizing each individual’s right to freely join and leave the jurisdiction of any governments they choose, without being forced to move from their current locale. •Parliamentary democracy A political system in which the legislature (parliament) selects the government – a prime minister, premier, or chancellor along with the cabinet ministers – according to party strength as expressed in elections; by this system, the government acquires a dual responsibility: to the people as well as to the parliament. •Parliamentary government (Cabinet-Parliamentary government)
A government in which members of an executive branch (the cabinet and its leader – a prime minister, premier, or chancellor) are nominated to their positions by a legislature or parliament, and are directly responsible to it; this type of government can be dissolved at will by the parliament (legislature) by means of a no confidence vote or the leader of the cabinet may dissolve the parliament if it cannolongerfunction. •Parliamentary monarchy.
A state headed by a monarch who is not actively involved in policy formation or implementation (i. e. , the exercise of sovereign powers by a monarch in a ceremonial capacity); true governmental leadership is carried out by a cabinet and its head – a prime minister, premier, or chancellor – who are drawn from a legislature(parliament). •Plantocracy A ruling class formed of plantation owners, leadership or government by this class of people •Plutocracy Rule by the wealthy or power provided by wealth.
A government or state in which the wealthy rule •Presidential A system of government where the executive branch exists separately from a legislature(towhichitisgenerallynotaccountable). •Republic A literal democracy is impossible in a political system containing more than a few people. All “democracies” are really republics. In a republic, the people elect representatives to make and enforce laws •Socialist republic or people’s republic A state run by a communist party that pretends to be following the progression from capitalism to socialism to communism hypothesized by Karl Marx. •Sociocracy A system of governance using consent-based decision making among equivalent individuals and an organizational structure based on cybernetic principles. •Socialism.
A government in which the means of planning, producing, and distributing goods is controlled by a central government that theoretically seeks a more just and equitable distribution of property and labor; in actuality, most socialist governments have ended up being no more than dictatorships over workers by a rulingelite. •Stratocracy A system of government in which there is no distinction between the military and the civil power. Government by the armed forces •Sultanate Similar to a monarchy, but a government in which the supreme power is in the hands of a sultan (the head of a Muslim state); the sultan may be an absolute rulerorasovereignwithconstitutionallylimitedauthority.
•Technocracy A form of government in which engineers, scientists, and other technical experts are in control of decision making in their respective fields. A government or social system controlled by technicians, especially scientists and technical experts •Theocracy A form of government in which a god or deity is recognized as the state’s supreme civil ruler. Since said god or deity is usually absent from decision making, a church sponsored leader or leaders will rule instead. A government ruled by or subject to religious authority •Theodemocracy A political system theorized by Joseph Smith, Jr. , founder of the Latter Day Saint movement (Mormons).
As the name implies, the democracy was meant to be a fusion of traditional republican democratic rights under the United States Constitution combined with theocratic elements. •Totalitarian A government that seeks to subordinate the individual to the state by controlling not only all political and economic matters, but also the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its population •Timocracy Either: a state where only property owners may participate in government; or a government where rulers are selected and perpetuated based on the degree of honor they hold relative to others in their society, peer group or class.
Unitary States In unitary states the national government performs all the governmental functions. Subnational national units administer matters within their jurisdiction, but their powers are set and delegated by the national authority. The national government retains the police power—the inherent power to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. Taxation and major lawmaking powers also rest almost entirely with the national government. .