There are many different types of government across the world. Some have become increasingly adopted over time, while others have began to diminish with the demise of past societies. Nonetheless, understanding how different countries govern themselves is important to learning how society functions on a national and international level. It can also bring insight into different types of economy and how it interacts with politics and the daily lives of a country’s citizens.
To understand governments, it is first important to take a look at the basic types of governments that are seen throughout the world.
The government has complete control, and sometimes uses force to instill its power. Sometimes there are elections or branches of government, but power is possessed within a small circle. When this occurs, it can make this type of government difficult to recognize. This can appear in monarchies, communism, or socialism (among other governments).
In this type of government, the people hold power and choose who leads them. Having fair representation and minimizing the risk of abusive power is one of the main focuses. To do this, lots of discussion, debate, and compromise is needed. Fair elections, civic and political participation, protecting the people’s rights, and law and order are encouraged. Democracies can be representative or direct.
The head of state differs from the head of government.
While their are several branches of government, a president rules over one. This president is elected by the people, as well as the representatives of some of the other branches.
Electorates determine policies without electing representation. Citizens can propose laws passed or propose amendments.
This type of government used to be the most common form. One person is appointed to rule over the country, and usually remains ruler throughout their life or until they are abdicated. Succession often comes through a bloodline — often royal and limited by gender. The two types of monarchy are constitutional and absolute. Constitutional monarchies outline the monarch’s power, and absolute monarchies grant the monarch endless power.
The ruling family serves as figures of the government. Other parts branches of the government, such as the Parliament in the UK, help govern as well.
The ruler of the monarchy has total control of the government.
These types of governments have a unique set of rules, including a group of qualities that grant power to a small group of people. Often, rulers are authoritative. A few people or families are placed into power. Power is placed to those not according to birth, but according to wealth or those who are more prepared to rule.
The elite and wealthy have overpowering influence over the government.
Wealthy men share power similar to a king and enrich themselves by using the common people. They rule city-states.
The military becomes the dominating political power.
The government is based off of a religious ideology, where there is little difference between the two. A ruler, leader, or council exists in governing within these boundaries.
In the type of government, authoritarianism is instilled and the ruler has no limitation to its power whatsoever. The ruler is often a single person that controls the economy, media, law enforcement, politics, and citizens’ personal lives. Citizens’ have no influence in the government whatsoever, and the government forceful.
Although the above are governments which have become a solid foundation for many societies, there are other types of government that are very commonly seen when a certain value is held highly. Some of these values consist of representation of the people, wealth and power, or religion.
Anarchy is the absence of a government. This usually takes place when a government collapses entirely.
In this type of government, the country is ruled by a small and elite class. This class is known as aristocrats, which are selected based off of their family history, education, and upbringing. They are often wealthy and have power over those is lower classes.
This type of government is similar to totalitarianism and authoritarianism, where dominance is asserted using military power. This is usually called a military dictatorship.
This type of government is often ruled by a single person with absolute power. A head of state can sometimes gain power when there is an economic or political issue. The military is typically used to instill the law and minimize the rights of the people. This can threaten and even kill the people under this government.
Federalism divides powers so that the federal government has central power, but the regional governments have their own reserved powers. This can cause different regions to have different laws.
The citizens have power in the government, when it is a true republic. They have the power to vote and change the laws of their government. Representatives are usually elected to represent the citizens and enact policies according to what they want.
In this type of government, the government is aligned with a specific religious ideology. Often, there is nearly no distinction between political and scriptural laws, and leadership and customs come through the religion. Religous clergymen often have high authority over the country. The ruler in this government can sometimes be considered to be some type of god or deity, and laws are created through religious texts. Other types of governments can be mixed with a theocracy.
This type of government rules over other territories outside of the central country. Often, this rule is over different types of indigineous people whose resources are made the most of. Economy, culture, religion, government is also introduced into the territory by the colonizer.
A group of people with the same ideals create a set of rules which the whole society must follow. The group of people can sometimes be a council of elders. This form of government is becoming decreasingly common.
It is important to acknowledge why a theocratic government is subcategorized under an oligarchical government, as well as its own type of government. In a theocratic government, the religious leaders of the government is the small group that one would see in a oligarchy. It has a distinction, however, because it focuses around and values religion.
Lastly, different types of government can also impact the type of economy a country has. It grants or restricts the rights of citizens, controls what comes in and out of the country, and can lead to the control or freedom of the most personal aspects of life.
This is a type of economy that helps to control the government and its political decisions and wealth. The government doesn’t run on the economy, but private-run corporations and businesses.
This type of government is authoritarian and focused on a single political party. It is inspired by the philosophy of Karl Marx, who believed in public ownership and strict control of the economy. The society of the country is classless.
Originally a theory created by Karl Marx, this type of government owns everything and prohibits any private ownership. It usually aims to have a classless society.
In this type of government, competition is not encouraged, and the people are expected to cooperate instead. The central government controls the economy, and each person benefits according to their needs and ability. It is essentially a combination of communism with free-market capitalism.
A classless society is also maintained within this type of government. However, making small changes through laws and reforms are encouraged.