List of forms of government

This article lists forms of government and political systems, according to a series of different ways of categorising them. The systems listed are of course not mutually exclusive, and often have overlapping definitions (for example autocracy, authoritarianism, despotism, totalitarianism, monarchism and tyranny).

Alphabetical list with hierarchy

The following list groups major political systems (recognized by political science) in alphabetical order. The various subtype political systems are listed below the main system of government.

By approach to regional autonomy

This list focuses on differing approaches that political systems take to the distribution of sovereignty, and the autonomy of regions within the state.

By political franchise

This list shows a division based on differences in political franchise (suffrage).

According to Weber's tripartite classification of authority

Max Weber in his tripartite classification of authority distinguished three ideal types of political leadership, domination and authority:

According to an etymologist approach

Finally, the list below present an etymologist's approach to forms of government: the following are real, possible or imaginary forms of government, all made different by the prefix and suffix combination. Nearly all use one of two suffixes: -archy meaning "leadership" (eg. anarchy - no leadership), and -cracy suffix from Greek "kratos" and means "strength" and "power" (e.g., democracy - people's power). The major exception is the Republic, which is derived from the Latin res publicae, which means "the public matter" or, more literally, "the thing of the people", i.e. socio-political affairs. For various extant terms, an example or annotation is juxtaposed.
  • adhocracy government in an unstructured fashion; an unstructured organization
  • anarchy absence of leadership
  • andrarchy/androcracy leadership by / government by males
  • aristocracy government by the nobility (aristo="the best")
  • atheocracy government where religion is forbidden
  • autarchy leadership by an absolute ruler
  • autocracy government by one individual, autarchy
  • bureaucracy government by civil servants; also the civil servants themselves
  • confederacy a union of sovereign states
  • corporatocracy government by corporations (industry)
  • cryptocracy government by secret or unknown leaders
  • demarchy leadership by the people by lot
  • democracy government by the people, either direct (through referendum or popular assembly) or via elections (representative form)
  • ethnocracy government by a particular ethnic group
  • geniocracy government by those of a higher than average intelligence
  • gerontocracy government by the aged - see the Spartan gerousia
  • gynarchy leadership by women; gynocracy (government by women)
  • hierarchy leadership by a ranked body
  • hierocracy government by priests or religious ministers
  • juristocracy government by judges (also judiciocracy)
  • kakistocracy government by the worst
  • kleptocracy government by thieves - not an existing form, but a negative appreciation of any regime where corruption is excessive
  • kritarchy leadership by equal freedoms
  • krytocracy government by judges
  • magocracy government by the magically adept (fictional)
  • malarchy leadership by bad leaders
  • matriarchy leadership by women or mothers
  • meritocracy government by those with merit
  • minarchy leadership with the smallest possible bureaucracy or size
  • monarchy leadership by one (usu. by hereditary rule)
  • nomocracy government through established laws
  • ochlocracy government by mobs
  • oligarchy leadership by the few; sometimes specified after their fixed number :
  • dyarchy leadership by two, as in a dual monarchy
  • heptarchy leadership by seven people
  • triumvirate government by three people
  • tetrarchy leadership by four people
  • omniarchy leadership by all
  • panarchy universal rule or dominion
  • pantarchy (literally) rule by all
  • particracy government by political parties
  • patriarchy leadership by fathers - the original Roman Senate, styling itself Patres ('fathers'), came close; usually just said of rule by men
  • plantocracy government by plantation owners
  • plutocracy government by the wealthy
  • polyarchy leadership by many people, a vague antonym to monarchy and oligarchy
  • pornocracy government by prostitution - none has yet to exist, although there is a period of the papacy known as the pornocracy.
  • ptochocracy government by the poor or peasant class
  • republic government by elected politicians
  • robocracy government by robots or other artificial intelligences (fictional)
  • sociocracy government by equal individuals, based on consent
  • stratocracy government by the armed forces - usually termed military dictatorship or junta
  • synarchy joint sovereignty, just as the condominium of Andorra
  • technocracy government by technical experts
  • thalassocracy sovereignty of the seas
  • theocracy government by a deity through clergy or by religious law
  • timocracy government by the propertied class
  • (Neo) Trinitarianism government of combined components of Tyranny, Totalitarianism and Technocracy

See also

External links

A political system is a system of politics and government. It is usually compared to the law system, economic system, cultural system, and other social systems. It is different from them, and can be generally defined on a spectrum from left, i.e.
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autocracy is a form of government in which the political power is held by a single self appointed ruler, usually a dictator. The term autocrat is derived from the Greek word autokratôr (lit. "self-ruler", or to: "rule by one's self").
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Authoritarianism describes a form of social control characterized by strict obedience to the authority of a state or organization, often maintaining and enforcing control through the use of oppressive measures. Authoritarian regimes are strongly hierarchical.
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Despotism is a form of government by a single authority, either an individual or tightly knit group, which rules with absolute political power. In its classical form, a despotism is a state where one single person, called a Despot
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Totalitarianism is a term employed by some scientists, especially those in the field of comparative politics, to describe modern regimes in which the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior.
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Monarchism is the advocacy of the establishment, preservation, or restoration of a monarchy as a form of government in a nation. A monarchist is an individual who supports this form of government out of principle, independent from the person, the king, who happens to be the
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tyrant is a single ruler holding vast, if not absolute power through a state or in an organization. The term carries connotations of a harsh and cruel ruler who places his/her own interests or the interests of a small oligarchy over the best interests of the general population
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Political science is a branch of social science concerned with theory, description, analysis and prediction of political behavior, political systems and politics broadly-construed.
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Anarchism (from Greek αναρχία , "without archons," "without rulers")[1] is a political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which reject compulsory government[2] and support its elimination,[3]
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Anarchist communism advocates the abolition of the State and capitalism in favor of a horizontal network of voluntary associations, workers' councils and/or commons through which everyone will be free to satisfy their needs.
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Libertarianism

Schools of thought
Agorism
Anarcho-capitalism
Geolibertarianism
Green libertarianism
Right-libertarianism
Left-libertarianism
Minarchism
Neolibertarianism
Paleolibertarianism
Progressive libertarianism


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This article has been tagged since July 2007.

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Anarcho-primitivism is an anarchist critique of the origins and progress of civilization. Primitivists argue that the shift from hunter-gatherer to agricultural subsistence gave rise to social stratification, coercion, and alienation.
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Socialism

Currents
Communism
Democratic socialism
Eco-socialism
Guild socialism
Libertarian socialism
Market socialism
Revolutionary socialism
Social democracy
Utopian socialism


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Anarcho-syndicalism is a branch of anarchism which focuses on the labour movement.[1] Syndicalisme is a French word meaning "trade unionism" – hence, the "syndicalism" qualification.
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The word "tribalism" can refer to two related but distinct concepts.

The first is a social system where human society is divided into small, roughly independent subgroups, called tribes.
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Authoritarianism describes a form of social control characterized by strict obedience to the authority of a state or organization, often maintaining and enforcing control through the use of oppressive measures. Authoritarian regimes are strongly hierarchical.
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autocracy is a form of government in which the political power is held by a single self appointed ruler, usually a dictator. The term autocrat is derived from the Greek word autokratôr (lit. "self-ruler", or to: "rule by one's self").
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Oligarchy (Greek Ὀλιγαρχία, Oligarkhía) is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society (whether distinguished by wealth, family or
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autocracy is a form of government in which the political power is held by a single self appointed ruler, usually a dictator. The term autocrat is derived from the Greek word autokratôr (lit. "self-ruler", or to: "rule by one's self").
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Enlightened absolutism (also known as benevolent or enlightened despotism) is a form of despotism in which rulers were influenced by the Enlightenment, a historical period.
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aristocracy refers to a form of government where power is held by a small number of individuals from a social elite or from noble families. The transmission of power is often hereditary.
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Economic systems

Ideologies and Theories
Primitive communism
Capitalist economy
Corporate economy
Fascist economy
Laissez-faire
Mercantilism
Natural economy
Social market economy
Socialist economy
Communist economy


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Despotism is a form of government by a single authority, either an individual or tightly knit group, which rules with absolute political power. In its classical form, a despotism is a state where one single person, called a Despot
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Diarchy (or dyarchy) is a society or an organization with two rulers on an equal standing. Diarchies are known from ancient Sparta, Rome, Carthage as well as from Germanic and Dacian tribes.
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dictatorship is an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by a dictator. It has three possible meanings:
  • Roman dictator was a political office of the Roman Republic. Roman dictators were allocated absolute power during times of emergency.

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A military dictatorship is a form of government wherein the political power resides with the military; it is similar but not identical to a , a state ruled directly by the military.
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The benevolent dictator is a more modern version of the classical "enlightened despot", being an undemocratic or authoritarian leader who exercises his or her political power for the benefit of the people rather than exclusively for his or her own self-interest or benefit, or for
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A Constitutional dictatorship, is when a nation's constitution allows for usually a single person to have absolute authority over all branches of government.

It may also be the form of government in which the nation's constitution puts certain limitations on the dictator.
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Matriarchy is a term, which is applied to form of society, in which the leading role is with the female and especially with the mothers of a community. [1] Some authors consider it as hypothetical form of human society.
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