List of countries by system of government

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This is a list of the states categorized by system of government.

List of countries[edit]

Name Constitutional form Head of state Basis of executive legitimacy
 Afghanistan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Albania Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Algeria Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Andorra Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Angola Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Antigua and Barbuda Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Argentina Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Armenia Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Australia Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Austria Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Azerbaijan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 The Bahamas Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Bahrain Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Bangladesh Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Barbados Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Belarus Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Belgium Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Belize Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Benin Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Bhutan Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Bolivia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Bosnia and Herzegovina Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Botswana Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 Brazil Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Brunei Absolute monarchy Executive All authority vested in absolute monarch
 Bulgaria Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Burkina Faso Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Burundi Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Cambodia Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Cameroon Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Canada Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Cape Verde Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Central African Republic Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Chad Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Chile Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 China Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Colombia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Comoros Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Costa Rica Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Côte d'Ivoire Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Croatia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Cuba Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Cyprus Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Czech Republic Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Democratic Republic of the Congo Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Denmark Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Djibouti Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Dominica Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Dominican Republic Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 East Timor Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Ecuador Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Egypt Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 El Salvador Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Equatorial Guinea Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Eritrea Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Estonia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Ethiopia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Fiji Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Finland Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 France Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Gabon Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 The Gambia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Georgia Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Germany Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Ghana Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Greece Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Grenada Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Guatemala Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Guinea Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Guinea-Bissau Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Guyana Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Haiti Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Honduras Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Hungary Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Iceland Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 India Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Indonesia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Iran Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Iraq Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Ireland Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Israel Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Italy Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Jamaica Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Japan Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Jordan Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Kazakhstan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Kenya Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Kiribati Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 Korea, North Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Korea, South Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Kosovo Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Kuwait Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Kyrgyzstan Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Laos Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Latvia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Lebanon Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Lesotho Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Liberia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Libya Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Liechtenstein Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Lithuania Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Luxembourg Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Macedonia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Madagascar Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Malawi Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Malaysia Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Maldives Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Mali Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Malta Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Marshall Islands Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 Mauritania Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Mauritius Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Mexico Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Federated States of Micronesia Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 Moldova Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Monaco Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Mongolia Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Montenegro Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Morocco Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Mozambique Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Myanmar Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Namibia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Nauru Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
   Nepal Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Netherlands Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 New Zealand Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Nicaragua Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Niger Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Nigeria Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Norway Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Oman Absolute monarchy Executive All authority vested in absolute monarch
 Pakistan Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Palau Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Palestine Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Panama Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Papua New Guinea Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Paraguay Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Peru Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Philippines Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Poland Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Portugal Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Qatar Absolute monarchy Executive All authority vested in absolute monarch
 Republic of the Congo Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Romania Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Russia Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Rwanda Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Saint Lucia Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Samoa Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 San Marino Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 São Tomé and Príncipe Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Saudi Arabia Absolute monarchy Executive All authority vested in absolute monarch
 Senegal Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Serbia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Seychelles Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Sierra Leone Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Singapore Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Slovakia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Slovenia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Solomon Islands Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Somalia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 South Africa Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 South Sudan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Spain Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Sri Lanka Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Sudan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Suriname Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 Swaziland Absolute monarchy Executive All authority vested in absolute monarch
 Sweden Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
  Switzerland Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Syria Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Taiwan Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Tajikistan Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Tanzania Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Thailand n/a n/a No constitutionally-defined basis to current regime
 Togo Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Tonga Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Trinidad and Tobago Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Tunisia Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Turkey Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Turkmenistan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Tuvalu Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Uganda Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Ukraine Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 United Arab Emirates Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 United Kingdom Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 United States Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Uruguay Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Uzbekistan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Vanuatu Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
  Vatican City Absolute monarchy Executive All authority vested in absolute monarch
 Venezuela Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Vietnam Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Western Sahara Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Yemen Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Zambia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Zimbabwe Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature

Note that Switzerland is coloured in blue, despite resembling a presidential republic system, in the way the president is not independent from legislature, and as he or she and ministry are being appointed by parliament, neither the President and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence, constituting a directorial system. Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Mauritania are Islamic Republics.

Map[edit]

A colo(u)r-coded legend of forms of government.

Legend[edit]

Note that this chart aims to represent de jure systems of government, not the de facto degree of democracy. Several states constitutionally deemed to be multiparty republics may also be broadly described as authoritarian states.

Systems of Governance[edit]

Presidential/Separated republics[edit]

These are systems in which a president is the active head of the executive branch of government and is elected and remains in office independently of the legislature. The following list includes democratic and non-democratic states:

Full presidential systems[edit]

In full presidential systems, the president is both head of state and head of government. There is generally no prime minister, although if one exists he or she serves purely at the pleasure of the president.

Presidential systems[edit]
Presidential systems with a prime minister[edit]

Semi-presidential systems[edit]

In semi-presidential systems, there is usually both a president and a prime minister. In such systems, the president has genuine executive authority, unlike in a parliamentary republic, but some of the role of a head of government is exercised by the prime minister.

Parliamentary republics[edit]

A parliamentary republic is a system in which a prime minister is the active head of the executive branch of government and also leader of the legislature. The president's degree of executive power may range from being reasonably significant (e.g. Pakistan) to little (e.g. India) or none at all (e.g. Ireland). Where the president holds little executive power, his or her function is primarily that of a symbolic figurehead.

Mixed republican systems[edit]

A combined head of state and government is elected by the legislature, however they are not subject to parliamentary confidence during their term (although their cabinet is).

Directorial systems[edit]

The directorial system contains elements of the presidential and the parliamental system. In a directorial republic a council jointly exercises both presidential and governmental powers (the council is the collective head of state). The council is elected by the parliament, but it is not subject to political confidence during its term which has a fixed duration.

Constitutional monarchies[edit]

These are systems in which the head of state is a constitutional monarch; the existence of their office and their ability to exercise their authority is established and restrained or held back by constitutional law.

Constitutional monarchies with ceremonial monarchs[edit]

Systems in which a prime minister is the active head of the executive branch of government. In some cases the prime minister is also leader of the legislature, in other cases the executive branch is clearly separated from legislature although the entire cabinet or individual ministers must step down in the case of a vote of no confidence.[8][9][dubious ] The head of state is a constitutional monarch who normally only exercises his or her powers with the consent of the government, the people or their representatives.

Constitutional monarchies with active monarchs[edit]

The prime minister is the nation's active executive but the monarch still has considerable political powers that can be used at their own discretion.

Absolute monarchies[edit]

Specifically, monarchies in which the monarch's exercise of power is unconstrained by any substantive constitutional law.

Theocracies[edit]

Main article: theocracy

States based on a state religion where the head of state is selected by some form of religious hierarchy.

Single political movement states[edit]

States in which political power is by law concentrated within a single political party whose operations are largely fused with the government hierarchy (as opposed to states where the law establishes a multi-party system but this fusion is not achieved anyway through electoral fraud or simple inertia). However, some do have elected governments.

Military junta states[edit]

The nation's military control the organs of government and all high-ranking political executives are also members of the military hierarchy.

Transitional[edit]

States which have a system of government which is in transition or turmoil and are classified with the current direction of change.

Systems of Internal Governance[edit]

Federal[edit]

Main article: Federal state

States in which the federal government shares power with semi-independent regional governments. The central government may or may not be (in theory) a creation of the regional governments; prime examples are Switzerland and the United States.

Unitary states[edit]

Main article: Unitary state

Regionalised unitary[edit]

Main article: Regional state

States in which the central government has delegated some of its powers to regional authorities.

Confederation[edit]

Main article: Confederation

European Union[edit]

The exact political character of the European Union is widely debated, some arguing that it is sui generis (unique), but others arguing that it has features of a federation or a confederation. It has elements of intergovernmentalism, with the European Council acting as its collective "president", and also elements of supranationalism, with the European Commission acting as its executive and bureaucracy.[15] But it is not easily placed in any of the above categories.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ While the office of prime minister exists, the president is both the head of state and government.
  2. ^ a b c Octávio Amorim Neto; Marina Costa Lobo (2010). "Between Constitutional Diffusion and Local Politics: Semi-Presidentialism in Portuguese-Speaking Countries". Social Science Research Network. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ In Bangladesh, a caretaker government during parliamentary elections. The Caretaker government is headed by a Chief Adviser and a group of neutral, non-partisan advisers chosen from the civil society. During this time, the president has jurisdiction over the defence and foreign affairs ministries.
  4. ^ Collective presidency consisting of three members; one for each major ethnic group.
  5. ^ Formerly a semi-presidential republic, it's now a parliamentary republic according to David Arter, First Chair of Politics at Aberdeen University, who in his "Scandinavian Politics Today" (Manchester University Press, revised 2008), quotes Jaakko Nousiainen in "From semi-presidentialism to parliamentary government" in Scandinavian Political Studies 24 (2) p95-109 as follows: "There are hardly any grounds for the epithet 'semi-presidential'." Arter's own conclusions are only slightly more nuanced: "The adoption of a new constitution on 1 March 2000 meant that Finland was no longer a case of semi-presidential government other than in the minimalist sense of a situation where a popularly elected fixed-term president exists alongside a prime minister and cabinet who are responsible to parliament (Elgie 2004: 317)". According to the Finnish Constitution, the President has no possibility to rule the government without the ministerial approval, and substantially has not the power to disband the parliament under its own desire. Finland is actually represented by its Prime Minister, and not by its President, in the Council of the Heads of State and Government of the European Union.
  6. ^ a b c Combines aspects of a presidential system with aspects of a parliamentary system. The president is elected by parliament and holds a parliamentary seat, much like a prime minister, but is immune from a vote of no confidence, unlike a prime minister.
  7. ^ The President of Switzerland serves in a primus inter pares capacity amongst the Swiss Federal Council, the seven-member executive council which constitutes both the presidency and the government.
  8. ^ Norwegian Parliament web page
  9. ^ CIA factbook on Norway
  10. ^ Bishop of Urgell and President of France serve as ex-officio co-princes who are have their interests known through a representative.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p One of sixteen constitutional monarchies which recognize Elizabeth II as head of state, who presides over an independent government. She is titled separately in each country (e.g. Queen of Australia), and notionally appoints a Governor-General to each country other than the United Kingdom to act as her representative. The prime minister is the active head of the executive branch of government and also leader of the legislature. These countries may be known as "Commonwealth realms"
  12. ^ The UAE's constitution establishes the state as a federation of emirates, with the federal president drawn from hereditary emirs, but each emirate in turn functions as an absolute monarchy
  13. ^ a b The Vatican is an elective absolute monarchy and a Roman Catholic theocracy; its monarch, the Pope, is the head of the global Roman Catholic Church. His power within the Vatican City State is unlimited by any constitution, but all persons resident within the Vatican have consented to obey the Pope, either by virtue of being ordained Catholic clergy or members of the Swiss Guard.
  14. ^ Iran combines the forms of a presidential republic, with a president elected by universal suffrage; and a theocracy, with a Supreme Leader who is ultimately responsible for state policy, chosen by the elected Assembly of Experts. Candidates for both the Assembly of Experts and the presidency are vetted by the appointed Guardian Council.
  15. ^ For more detailed discussion, see John McCormick, European Union Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), Chapters 1 and 2.

External links[edit]