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FIELD LISTING :: GOVERNMENT TYPE Print
This entry gives the basic form of government. Definitions of the major governmental terms are as follows. (Note that for some countries more than one definition applies.):


Country Comparison to the World

CountryGOVERNMENT TYPE
Afghanistan presidential Islamic republic
Albania parliamentary republic
Algeria presidential republic
American Samoa presidential democracy; a self-governing territory of the US
Andorra parliamentary democracy (since March 1993) that retains its chiefs of state in the form of a co-principality; the two princes are the president of France and bishop of Seu d'Urgell, Spain, who are represented in Andorra by the co-princes' representatives
Angola presidential republic
Anguilla parliamentary democracy (House of Assembly); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
Antarctica Antarctic Treaty Summary - the Antarctic region is governed by a system known as the Antarctic Treaty System; the system includes: 1. the Antarctic Treaty, signed on 1 December 1959 and entered into force on 23 June 1961, which establishes the legal framework for the management of Antarctica, 2. Recommendations and Measures adopted at meetings of Antarctic Treaty countries, 3. The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (1972), 4. The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1980), and 5. The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (1991); the 38th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting was held in Sofia, Bulgaria in May 2015; at these annual meetings, decisions are made by consensus (not by vote) of all consultative member nations; by January 2016, there were 53 treaty member nations: 29 consultative and 24 non-consultative; consultative (decision-making) members include the seven nations that claim portions of Antarctica as national territory (some claims overlap) and 21 non-claimant nations; the US and Russia have reserved the right to make claims; the US does not recognize the claims of others;
Antarctica is administered through meetings of the consultative member nations; decisions from these meetings are carried out by these member nations (with respect to their own nationals and operations) in accordance with their own national laws; the years in parentheses indicate when a consultative member-nation acceded to the Treaty and when it was accepted as a consultative member, while no date indicates the country was an original 1959 treaty signatory; claimant nations are - Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, NZ, Norway, and the UK; nonclaimant consultative nations are - Belgium, Brazil (1975/1983), Bulgaria (1978/1998), China (1983/1985), Czech Republic (1962/2017), Ecuador (1987/1990), Finland (1984/1989), Germany (1979/1981), India (1983/1983), Italy (1981/1987), Japan, South Korea (1986/1989), Netherlands (1967/1990), Peru (1981/1989), Poland (1961/1977), Russia, South Africa, Spain (1982/1988), Sweden (1984/1988), Ukraine (1992/2004), Uruguay (1980/1985), and the US; non-consultative members, with year of accession in parentheses, are - Austria (1987), Belarus (2006), Canada (1988), Colombia (1989), Cuba (1984), Denmark (1965), Estonia (2001), Greece (1987), Guatemala (1991), Hungary (1984), Iceland (2015), Kazakhstan (2015), North Korea (1987), Malaysia (2011), Monaco (2008), Mongolia (2015), Pakistan (2012), Papua New Guinea (1981), Portugal (2010), Romania (1971), Slovakia (1962/1993), Switzerland (1990), Turkey (1996), and Venezuela (1999); note - Czechoslovakia acceded to the Treaty in 1962 and separated into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993;
Article 1 - area to be used for peaceful purposes only; military activity, such as weapons testing, is prohibited, but military personnel and equipment may be used for scientific research or any other peaceful purpose; Article 2 - freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation shall continue; Article 3 - free exchange of information and personnel, cooperation with the UN and other international agencies; Article 4 - does not recognize, dispute, or establish territorial claims and no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force; Article 5 - prohibits nuclear explosions or disposal of radioactive wastes; Article 6 - includes under the treaty all land and ice shelves south of 60 degrees 00 minutes south and reserves high seas rights;
Article 7 - treaty-state observers have free access, including aerial observation, to any area and may inspect all stations, installations, and equipment; advance notice of all expeditions and of the introduction of military personnel must be given; Article 8 - allows for jurisdiction over observers and scientists by their own states; Article 9 - frequent consultative meetings take place among member nations; Article 10 - treaty states will discourage activities by any country in Antarctica that are contrary to the treaty; Article 11 - disputes to be settled peacefully by the parties concerned or, ultimately, by the ICJ; Articles 12, 13, 14 - deal with upholding, interpreting, and amending the treaty among involved nations;
other agreements - some 200 recommendations adopted at treaty consultative meetings and ratified by governments; a mineral resources agreement was signed in 1988 but remains unratified; the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed 4 October 1991 and entered into force 14 January 1998; this agreement provides for the protection of the Antarctic environment through six specific annexes: 1) environmental impact assessment, 2) conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora, 3) waste disposal and waste management, 4) prevention of marine pollution, 5) area protection and management and 6) liability arising from environmental emergencies; it prohibits all activities relating to mineral resources except scientific research; a permanent Antarctic Treaty Secretariat was established in 2004 in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Antigua and Barbuda parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Argentina presidential republic
Armenia semi-presidential republic
note: a constituional referendum approved in December 2015 will change the government type to a parliamentary system, replacing the semi-presidential system and becoming effective for the 2017-18 electoral cycle
Aruba parliamentary democracy (Legislature); part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Australia parliamentary democracy (Federal Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Austria federal parliamentary republic
Azerbaijan presidential republic
Bahamas, The parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Bahrain constitutional monarchy
Bangladesh parliamentary republic
Barbados parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Belarus presidential republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship
Belgium federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy
Belize parliamentary democracy (National Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Benin presidential republic
Bermuda parliamentary democracy (Parliament); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
Bhutan constitutional monarchy
Bolivia presidential republic
Bosnia and Herzegovina parliamentary republic
Botswana parliamentary republic
Brazil federal presidential republic
British Virgin Islands parliamentary democracy (House of Assembly); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
Brunei absolute monarchy or sultanate (locally known as Malay Islamic Monarchy)
Bulgaria parliamentary republic
Burkina Faso presidential republic
Burma parliamentary republic
Burundi presidential republic
Cabo Verde parliamentary republic
Cambodia parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Cameroon presidential republic
Canada federal parliamentary democracy (Parliament of Canada) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Cayman Islands parliamentary democracy (Legislative Assembly); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
Central African Republic presidential republic
Chad presidential republic
Chile presidential republic
China communist state
Christmas Island non-self-governing overseas territory of Australia
Cocos (Keeling) Islands non-self-governing overseas territory of Australia
Colombia presidential republic
Comoros federal presidential republic
Congo, Democratic Republic of the semi-presidential republic
Congo, Republic of the presidential republic
Cook Islands self-governing parliamentary democracy (Parliament of the Cook Islands) in free association with New Zealand
Costa Rica presidential republic
Cote d'Ivoire presidential republic
Croatia parliamentary republic
Cuba communist state
Curacao parliamentary
Cyprus Republic of Cyprus - presidential democracy; Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (self-declared) - semi-presidential democracy
note: a separation of the two main ethnic communities inhabiting the island began following the outbreak of communal strife in 1963; this separation was further solidified when a Greek military-junta-supported coup attempt prompted the Turkish intervention in July 1974 that gave the Turkish Cypriots de facto control in the north; Greek Cypriots control the only internationally recognized government on the island; on 15 November 1983, then Turkish Cypriot "President" Rauf DENKTAS declared independence and the formation of a "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"), which is recognized only by Turkey
Czechia parliamentary republic
Denmark parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Djibouti semi-presidential republic
Dominica parliamentary republic
Dominican Republic presidential republic
Ecuador presidential republic
Egypt presidential republic
El Salvador presidential republic
Equatorial Guinea presidential republic
Eritrea presidential republic
Estonia parliamentary republic
Ethiopia federal parliamentary republic
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) parliamentary democracy (Legislative Assembly); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
Faroe Islands parliamentary democracy (Faroese Parliament); part of the Kingdom of Denmark
Fiji parliamentary republic
Finland parliamentary republic
France semi-presidential republic
French Polynesia parliamentary democracy (Assembly of French Polynesia); an overseas collectivity of France
Gabon presidential republic
Gambia, The presidential republic
Georgia semi-presidential republic
Germany federal parliamentary republic
Ghana presidential republic
Gibraltar parliamentary democracy (Parliament); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
Greece parliamentary republic
Greenland parliamentary democracy (Parliament of Greenland); part of the Kingdom of Denmark
Grenada parliamentary democracy (Parliament); a Commonwealth realm
Guam presidential democracy; a self-governing unincorporated territory of the US
Guatemala presidential republic
Guernsey parliamentary democracy (States of Deliberation); a Crown dependency of the UK
Guinea-Bissau semi-presidential republic
Guinea presidential republic
Guyana parliamentary republic
Haiti semi-presidential republic
Holy See (Vatican City) ecclesiastical elective monarchy; self described as an "absolute monarchy"
Honduras presidential republic
Hong Kong presidential limited democracy; a special administrative region of the PRC
Hungary parliamentary republic
Iceland parliamentary republic
India federal parliamentary republic
Indonesia presidential republic
Iran theocratic republic
Iraq federal parliamentary republic
Ireland parliamentary republic
Isle of Man parliamentary democracy (Tynwald); a Crown dependency of the UK
Israel parliamentary democracy
Italy parliamentary republic
Jamaica parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Japan parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Jersey parliamentary democracy (Assembly of the States of Jersey); a Crown dependency of the UK
Jordan parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Kazakhstan presidential republic
Kenya presidential republic
Kiribati presidential republic
Korea, North communist state
Korea, South presidential republic
Kosovo parliamentary republic
Kuwait constitutional monarchy
Kyrgyzstan parliamentary republic
Laos communist state
Latvia parliamentary republic
Lebanon parliamentary republic
Lesotho parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Liberia presidential republic
Libya in transition
Liechtenstein constitutional monarchy
Lithuania semi-presidential republic
Luxembourg constitutional monarchy
Macau presidential limited democracy; a special administrative region of the PRC
Macedonia parliamentary republic
Madagascar semi-presidential republic
Malawi presidential republic
Malaysia federal constitutional monarchy
note: nominally headed by paramount ruler (commonly referred to as the king) and a bicameral Parliament consisting of a nonelected upper house and an elected lower house; all Peninsular Malaysian states have hereditary rulers (commonly referred to as sultans) except Melaka (Malacca) and Pulau Pinang (Penang); those two states along with Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia have governors appointed by government; powers of state governments are limited by federal constitution; under terms of federation, Sabah and Sarawak retain certain constitutional prerogatives (e.g., right to maintain their own immigration controls)
Maldives presidential republic
Mali semi-presidential republic
Malta parliamentary republic
Marshall Islands presidential republic in free association with the US
Mauritania presidential republic
Mauritius parliamentary republic
Mexico federal presidential republic
Micronesia, Federated States of federal republic in free association with the US
Moldova parliamentary republic
Monaco constitutional monarchy
Mongolia semi-presidential republic
Montenegro parliamentary republic
Montserrat parliamentary democracy (Legislative Council); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
Morocco parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Mozambique presidential republic
Namibia presidential republic
Nauru parliamentary republic
Nepal federal parliamentary republic
Netherlands parliamentary constitutional monarchy; part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
New Caledonia parliamentary democracy (Territorial Congress); an overseas collectivity of France
New Zealand parliamentary democracy (New Zealand Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Nicaragua presidential republic
Nigeria federal presidential republic
Niger semi-presidential republic
Niue self-governing parliamentary democracy (Fouo Ekepule) in free association with New Zealand
Norfolk Island parliamentary democracy (formerly the Legislative Assembly); overseas territory of Australia; note - in May 2015, the Australian Parliament passed the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 which abolished Norfolk Island self-government and replaced it with an interim Advisory Council effective 1 July 2015
Northern Mariana Islands presidential democracy; a commonwealth in political union with the US
Norway parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Oman absolute monarchy
Pakistan federal parliamentary republic
Palau presidential republic in free association with the US
Panama presidential republic
Papua New Guinea parliamentary democracy (National Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Paraguay presidential republic
Peru presidential republic
Philippines presidential republic
Pitcairn Islands parliamentary democracy (Island Council); overseas territory of the UK
Poland parliamentary republic
Portugal semi-presidential republic
Puerto Rico presidential democracy; a self-governing commonwealth in political association with the US
Qatar absolute monarchy
Romania semi-presidential republic
Russia semi-presidential federation
Rwanda presidential republic
Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha parliamentary democracy (Legislative Council); limited self-governing overseas territory of the UK
Saint Kitts and Nevis federal parliamentary democracy (National Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Saint Lucia parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Saint Pierre and Miquelon parliamentary democracy (Territorial Council); overseas collectivity of France
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines parliamentary democracy (House of Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Samoa parliamentary republic
San Marino parliamentary republic
Sao Tome and Principe semi-presidential republic
Saudi Arabia absolute monarchy
Senegal presidential republic
Serbia parliamentary republic
Seychelles presidential republic
Sierra Leone presidential republic
Singapore parliamentary republic
Sint Maarten
Slovakia parliamentary republic
Slovenia parliamentary republic
Solomon Islands parliamentary democracy (National Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Somalia federal parliamentary republic
South Africa parliamentary republic
South Sudan presidential republic
Spain parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Sri Lanka presidential republic
Sudan presidential republic
Suriname presidential republic
Svalbard
Swaziland absolute monarchy
Sweden parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Switzerland federal republic (formally a confederation)
Syria presidential republic; highly authoritarian regime
Taiwan semi-presidential republic
Tajikistan presidential republic
Tanzania presidential republic
Thailand constitutional monarchy; note - interim military-run government since May 2014
Timor-Leste semi-presidential republic
Togo presidential republic
Tokelau parliamentary democratic dependency (General Fono); a territory of New Zealand
Tonga constitutional monarchy
Trinidad and Tobago parliamentary republic
Tunisia parliamentary republic
Turkey parliamentary republic
Turkmenistan presidential republic; highly authoritarian
Turks and Caicos Islands parliamentary democracy (House of Assembly); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
Tuvalu parliamentary democracy (House of Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Uganda presidential republic
Ukraine semi-presidential republic
United Arab Emirates federation of monarchies
United Kingdom parliamentary constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
United States federal presidential republic
Uruguay presidential republic
Uzbekistan presidential republic; highly authoritarian
Vanuatu parliamentary republic
Venezuela federal presidential republic
Vietnam communist state
Virgin Islands presidential democracy; a self-governing territory of the US
Wallis and Futuna parliamentary democracy (Territorial Assembly); overseas collectivity of France
Western Sahara legal status of territory and issue of sovereignty unresolved -territory contested by Morocco and Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro), which in February 1976 formally proclaimed a government-in-exile of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), near Tindouf, Algeria, led by President Mohamed ABDELAZIZ; territory partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania in April 1976 when Spain withdrew, with Morocco acquiring northern two-thirds; Mauritania, under pressure from Polisario guerrillas, abandoned all claims to its portion in August 1979; Morocco moved to occupy that sector shortly thereafter and has since asserted administrative control; the Polisario's government-in-exile was seated as an Organization of African Unity (OAU) member in 1984 - Morocco between 1980 and 1987 built a fortified sand berm delineating the roughly 80 percent of Western Sahara west of the barrier that currently is controlled by Morocco; guerrilla activities continued sporadically until a UN-monitored cease-fire was implemented on 6 September 1991 (Security Council Resolution 690) by the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)
Yemen in transition
Zambia presidential republic
Zimbabwe semi-presidential republic