List of countries by system of government

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

list of countries[edit]

NameConstitutional formHead of stateBasis of executive legitimacy
 AfghanistanRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 AlbaniaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 AlgeriaRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 AndorraConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 AngolaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 Antigua and BarbudaConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 ArgentinaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 ArmeniaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 AustraliaConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 AustriaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 AzerbaijanRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 The BahamasConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 BahrainConstitutional monarchyExecutiveMonarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 BangladeshRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 BarbadosConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 BelarusRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 BelgiumConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 BelizeConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 BeninRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 BhutanConstitutional monarchyExecutiveMonarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 BoliviaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 Bosnia and HerzegovinaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 BotswanaRepublicExecutivePresidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 BrazilRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 BruneiAbsolute monarchyExecutiveAll authority vested in absolute monarch
 BulgariaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Burkina FasoRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 BurundiRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 CambodiaConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 CameroonRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 CanadaConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Cape VerdeRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Central African RepublicRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 ChadRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 ChileRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 People's Republic of ChinaRepublicExecutivePower constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 ColombiaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 ComorosRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 Costa RicaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 Côte d'IvoireRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 CroatiaRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 CubaRepublicExecutivePower constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 CyprusRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 Czech RepublicRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Democratic Republic of the CongoRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 DenmarkConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 DjiboutiRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 DominicaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Dominican RepublicRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 East TimorRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 EcuadorRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 EgyptRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 El SalvadorRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 Equatorial GuineaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 EritreaRepublicExecutivePower constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 EstoniaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 EthiopiaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Fijin/an/aNo constitutionally-defined basis to current regime
 FinlandRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 FranceRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 GabonRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 The GambiaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 GeorgiaRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 GermanyRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 GhanaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 GreeceRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 GrenadaConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 GuatemalaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 GuineaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 Guinea-BissauRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 GuyanaRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 HaitiRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 HondurasRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 HungaryRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 IcelandRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 IndiaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 IndonesiaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 IranRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 IraqRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 IrelandRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 IsraelRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 ItalyRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 JamaicaConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 JapanConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 JordanConstitutional monarchyExecutiveMonarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 KazakhstanRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 KenyaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 KiribatiRepublicExecutivePresidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 KosovoRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 KuwaitConstitutional monarchyExecutiveMonarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 KyrgyzstanRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 LaosRepublicExecutivePower constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 LatviaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 LebanonRepublicExecutivePresidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 LesothoConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 LiberiaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 LibyaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 LiechtensteinConstitutional monarchyExecutiveMonarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 LithuaniaRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 LuxembourgConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 MacedoniaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 MadagascarRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 MalawiRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 MalaysiaConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 MaldivesRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 MaliRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 MaltaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Marshall IslandsRepublicExecutivePresidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 MauritaniaRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 MauritiusRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 MexicoRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 Federated States of MicronesiaRepublicExecutivePresidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 MoldovaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 MonacoConstitutional monarchyExecutiveMonarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 MongoliaRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 MontenegroRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 MoroccoConstitutional monarchyExecutiveMonarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 MozambiqueRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 MyanmarRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 NamibiaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 NauruRepublicExecutivePresidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
   NepalRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 NetherlandsConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 New ZealandConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 NicaraguaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 NigerRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 NigeriaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 North KoreaRepublicExecutivePower constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 NorwayConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 OmanAbsolute monarchyExecutiveAll authority vested in absolute monarch
 PakistanRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 PalauRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 PalestineRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 PanamaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 Papua New GuineaConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 ParaguayRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 PeruRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 PhilippinesRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 PolandRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 PortugalRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 QatarAbsolute monarchyExecutiveAll authority vested in absolute monarch
 Republic of the CongoRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 RomaniaRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 RussiaRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 RwandaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 Sahrawi RepublicRepublicExecutivePower constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Saint Kitts and NevisConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Saint LuciaConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 SamoaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 San MarinoRepublicExecutivePresidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 São Tomé and PríncipeRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Saudi ArabiaAbsolute monarchyExecutiveAll authority vested in absolute monarch
 SenegalRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 SerbiaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 SeychellesRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 Sierra LeoneRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 SingaporeRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 SlovakiaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 SloveniaRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Solomon IslandsConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 SomaliaRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 South AfricaRepublicExecutivePresidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 South KoreaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 South SudanRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 SpainConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Sri LankaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 SudanRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 SurinameRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 SwazilandAbsolute monarchyExecutiveAll authority vested in absolute monarch
 SwedenConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
  SwitzerlandRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 SyriaRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 TaiwanRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 TajikistanRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 TanzaniaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 Thailandn/an/aNo constitutionally-defined basis to current regime
 TogoRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 TongaConstitutional monarchyExecutiveMonarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Trinidad and TobagoRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 TunisiaRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 TurkeyRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 TurkmenistanRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 TuvaluConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 UgandaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 UkraineRepublicExecutivePresidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 United Arab EmiratesConstitutional monarchyExecutiveMonarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 United KingdomConstitutional monarchyCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 United StatesRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 UruguayRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 UzbekistanRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 VanuatuRepublicCeremonialMinistry is subject to parliamentary confidence
  Vatican CityAbsolute monarchyExecutiveAll authority vested in absolute monarch
 VenezuelaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 VietnamRepublicExecutivePower constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 YemenRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 ZambiaRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature
 ZimbabweRepublicExecutivePresidency is independent of legislature

Note that Switzerland is coloured in blue, despite resembling a parliamentary 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 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]