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Systems of Government

There are 33 differing forms of government Each square below represents an instance of
practised around the world. each form of government.
The Economist regularly surveys the states Note that not all sub-systems are mutually
that exercise these forms of government, and exclusive. For example, New Zealand
groups them into four paradigms according to practices bicameralism, is a constitutional
their practice of democracy: Full Democracies, monarchy, a parliamentary democracy, and a
Flawed Democracies, Hybrid Regimes, and semi‑direct democracy.
Authoritarian Regimes.

Flawed Democracies Authoritarian Regimes

Authoritarian Regime

Authoritarian Regime
Flawed Democracy

Flawed Democracy
Full Democracy

Full Democracy
Hybrid Regime

Hybrid Regime
A Absolute Monarchy S Military Junta
A A 8 H The monarch exercises ultimate governing A government led by a committee of military leaders. 5
E authority as head of state and government, without Fiji, for example.
constitutional limitations. Saudi Arabia, for example.
A A Q T Non-Sovereign Democracy
B Constitutional Monarchy A democracy run by chief executive, not appointed by 1
A P The monarch exercises governance within the bounds 12 5 2 6 the people. Hong Kong, for example.
A of a constitution. New Zealand, for example.
U Democratic Republic
A C Islamic Monarchy
A political system in which the country is ruled by
A monarchy in an Islamic state. Oman, for example. law, has representative government, and is democratic 1
A A I F in nature. Democratic Republic of the Congo,
C D Federal Republic for example.
A federation of partially self-governing states with
A L V restricted central government powers, where the head
V Democratic Dictatorship
A of state is not a monarch. Comoros, for example. A system of government where the state represents
and acts on behalf of the people, but may use
A A 1 E Federalism dictatorial powers on the basis that dictatorship is 1
A federation of partially self-governing states a necessary evil, without which, government may
A 2 with restricted central government powers. India,
7 5 3 4
collapse and create a situation worse than dictatorship.
G S for example. People’s Republic of China, for example.
F Islamic Republic W Constitutional Democracy
A republic in an Islamic state. Iran, for example.
A A D A democracy that spells out the sovereign power
of the people in a constitution. South Africa,
G Republic
for example.
A form of government where the head of state and
A A B R other officials are elected to represent the people.
12 8 15
X Representative Democracy
Mexico, for example.
P A form of government where elected individuals
exercise sovereignty. Dominican Republic,
A O H Semi-Presidential Republic
for example.
A republic where the president and prime minister are
1 3
active participants in the day-to-day administration of Y Semi-Direct Democracy
B Q the state. Lithuania, for example. A form of government where sovereignty is lodged in
the assembly of all citizens who choose to participate.
I Socialist Republic
Canada, for example.
A broad term, used by Socialists to show their
M O Z G preference towards a republican form of government. Z Unitary State
5 Socialism is the theory of common ownership, and A sovereign state governed as one single unit in
cooperative production management and resource which the central government is supreme and
5 T allocation. North Korea, for example. administrative divisions exercise only powers that the
central government chooses to delegate. Bangladesh,
J Constitutional Republic
for example.
J E K The head of state exercises governance within the 1 4 2
bounds of a constitution. United States, for example.
L 1 Consociationalist
A form of government involving guaranteed group
P 7 K Confessionalist Parliament
representation. Often known as power sharing.
A system of government that distributes political and
Zimbabwe, for example.
B institutional power proportionally among religious
communities. Lebanon, for example.
E Y 6 L M 2 Single-Party Communism
Communism aims for a classless and stateless society,
J L Parliamentary Republic
structured on common ownership of production,
A republic with a parliamentary system of 10 15 10 1
free resource access, and the end of wage labour
government. Switzerland, for example. 4
and private property. Communism is regarded as the
M Parliamentary Democracy fulfilment of Socialism. Single-party communism
A democracy with a parliament. Australia, 21 9 3 is a communist system of government with a single
for example. political party. Cuba, for example.

N Parliamentary System 3 Songun Regime

A system of government in which the executive An official governing policy whereby the military
branch (who administer the state) and legislative 1 gets first cut on food, clothing, medicine, and other 1
Full Democracies Hybrid Regimes branch (who set laws) are intertwined, lead by a head
of government. Lesotho, for example.
necessities. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,
for example.

O Semi-Presidential System 4 Incomplete Bicameralism

A system of government where the president and In Slovenia, a minor part of the legislative power
7 5 5 1
prime minister are active participants in the day-to- resides in the National Council, with the major
day administration of the state. France, for example. balance held by the National Assembly.
Democracy is a set of practices and principles that
5 Bicameralism
institutionalise and protect freedom. They include P Presidential System
A system of government where an executive branch The practice of having two legislative or
14 11 1
government based on majority rule and the consent of presides (hence the name), separate from a legislative
4 12 6 10 parliamentary chambers, providing checks and
balances against each other. Iceland, for example.
the governed, the existence of free and fair elections, the branch. Costa Rica, for example.

protection of minorities, and respect for basic human Q Presidential Republic 6 Unicameralism
The practice of having one legislative or 9 10
A republic with a presidential system of government. 2 3 3
rights. Democracy presupposes equality before the law, Guatemala, for example. parliamentary chamber. Norway, for example.
due process, and political pluralism. 7 Unelected Executive
R Jamahiriya
Is an Arabic term generally translated as ‘state of the 1 A system of government run by a chief executive not 1
masses’. Libya, for example. appointed by the people. Hong Kong, for example.

8 Single-Party State
A type of government in which a single political
party forms the government and no other parties 1
are permitted to run candidates for election.
Turkmenistan, for example.
Design by Gareth Parry
Data from Wikipedia Total Count 82 101 47 73
Week #32 20110227