Back to Standard Web Page

Government type

This page shows the value of the Government type information field for all countries in the Country Guide.

Notes on this field are available at the Information Field Notes page.

Afghanistan

no functioning central government, administered by factions

Albania

emerging democracy

Algeria

republic

American Samoa

NA

Andorra

parliamentary democracy (since March 1993) that retains as its heads of state a coprincipality; the two princes are the president of France and bishop of Seo de Urgel, Spain, who are represented locally by coprinces' representatives

Angola

transitional government, nominally a multiparty democracy with a strong presidential system

Anguilla

NA

Antarctica

Antarctic Treaty Summary - the Antarctic Treaty, signed on 1 December 1959 and entered into force on 23 June 1961, establishes the legal framework for the management of Antarctica. Administration is carried out through consultative member meetings - the 23rd Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting was in Peru in May 1999. At the end of 1999, there were 44 treaty member nations: 27 consultative and 17 acceding. Consultative (voting) members include the seven nations that claim portions of Antarctica as national territory (some claims overlap) and 20 nonclaimant nations. The US and some other nations that have made no claims have reserved the right to do so. The US does not recognize the claims of others. The year in parentheses indicates when an acceding nation was voted to full consultative (voting) status, while no date indicates the country was an original 1959 treaty signatory. Claimant nations are - Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the UK. Nonclaimant consultative nations are - Belgium, Brazil (1983), Bulgaria (1998) China (1985), Ecuador (1990), Finland (1989), Germany (1981), India (1983), Italy (1987), Japan, South Korea (1989), Netherlands (1990), Peru (1989), Poland (1977), Russia, South Africa, Spain (1988), Sweden (1988), Uruguay (1985), and the US. Acceding (nonvoting) members, with year of accession in parentheses, are - Austria (1987), Canada (1988), Colombia (1988), Cuba (1984), Czech Republic (1993), Denmark (1965), Greece (1987), Guatemala (1991), Hungary (1984), North Korea (1987), Papua New Guinea (1981), Romania (1971), Slovakia (1993), Switzerland (1990), Turkey (1995), Ukraine (1992), and Venezuela (1999). 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 in 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; 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 activities 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 include - Agreed Measures for the Conservation of Antarctic Fauna and Flora (1964); Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (1972); Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1980); a mineral resources agreement was signed in 1988 but was subsequently rejected; 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 five specific annexes on marine pollution, fauna, and flora, environmental impact assessments, waste management, and protected areas; it prohibits all activities relating to mineral resources except scientific research.

Antigua and Barbuda

constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style parliament

Argentina

republic

Armenia

republic

Aruba

parliamentary democracy

Australia

democratic, federal-state system recognizing the British monarch as sovereign

Austria

federal republic

Azerbaijan

republic

Bahamas, The

constitutional parliamentary democracy

Bahrain

traditional monarchy

Bangladesh

republic

Barbados

parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth

Belarus

republic

Belgium

federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch

Belize

parliamentary democracy

Benin

republic under multiparty democratic rule; dropped Marxism-Leninism December 1989; democratic reforms adopted February 1990; transition to multiparty system completed 4 April 1991

Bermuda

parliamentary British overseas territory with internal self-government

Bhutan

monarchy; special treaty relationship with India

Bolivia

republic

Bosnia and Herzegovina

emerging democracy

Botswana

parliamentary republic

Brazil

federative republic

British Virgin Islands

NA

Brunei

constitutional sultanate

Bulgaria

parliamentary democracy

Burkina Faso

parliamentary

Burundi

republic

Cambodia

multiparty liberal democracy under a constitutional monarchy established in September 1993

Cameroon

unitary republic; multiparty presidential regime (opposition parties legalized in 1990) (Note: preponderance of power remains with the president)

Canada

confederation with parliamentary democracy

Cape Verde

republic

Cayman Islands

British crown colony

Central African Republic

republic

Chad

republic

Chile

republic

China

Communist state

Christmas Island

NA

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

NA

Colombia

republic; executive branch dominates government structure

Comoros

independent republic

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

dictatorship; presumably undergoing a transition to representative government

Congo, Republic of the

republic

Cook Islands

self-governing parliamentary democracy

Costa Rica

democratic republic

Cote d'Ivoire

republic; multiparty presidential regime established 1960

Croatia

presidential/parliamentary democracy

Cuba

Communist state

Cyprus

republic (Note: a disaggregation of the two ethnic communities inhabiting the island began after the outbreak of communal strife in 1963; this separation was further solidified following the Turkish intervention in July 1974 following a Greek junta-based coup attempt, which gave the Turkish Cypriots de facto control in the north; Greek Cypriots control the only internationally recognized government; on 15 November 1983 Turkish Cypriot "President" Rauf DENKTASH declared independence and the formation of a "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC), which has been recognized only by Turkey; both sides publicly call for the resolution of intercommunal differences and creation of a new federal system (Greek Cypriot position) or confederate system (Turkish Cypriot position) of government)

Czech Republic

parliamentary democracy

Denmark

constitutional monarchy

Djibouti

republic

Dominica

parliamentary democracy; republic within the Commonwealth

Dominican Republic

representative democracy

Ecuador

republic

Egypt

republic

El Salvador

republic

Equatorial Guinea

republic

Eritrea

transitional government (Note: following a successful referendum on independence for the Autonomous Region of Eritrea on 23-25 April 1993, a National Assembly, composed entirely of the People's Front for Democracy and Justice or PFDJ, was established as a transitional legislature; a Constitutional Commission was also established to draft a constitution; ISAIAS Afworki was elected president by the transitional legislature; the constitution, ratified in August 1997, did not enter into effect, pending parliamentary and presidential elections; those elections have been postponed indefinitely following the start of the border conflict with Ethiopia)

Estonia

parliamentary democracy

Ethiopia

federal republic

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

NA

Faroe Islands

NA

Fiji

republic (Note: military coup leader Maj. Gen. Sitiveni RABUKA formally declared Fiji a republic on 6 October 1987)

Finland

republic

France

republic

French Guiana

NA

French Polynesia

NA

Gabon

republic; multiparty presidential regime (opposition parties legalized in 1990)

Gambia, The

republic under multiparty democratic rule

Georgia

republic

Germany

federal republic

Ghana

constitutional democracy

Gibraltar

NA

Greece

parliamentary republic; monarchy rejected by referendum 8 December 1974

Greenland

parliamentary democracy within a constitutional monarchy

Grenada

constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style parliament

Guadeloupe

NA

Guam

NA

Guatemala

constitutional democratic republic

Guernsey

NA

Guinea

republic

Guinea-Bissau

republic, multiparty since mid-1991

Guyana

republic within the Commonwealth

Haiti

elected government

Holy See (Vatican City)

monarchical-sacerdotal state

Honduras

democratic constitutional republic

Hong Kong

NA

Hungary

parliamentary democracy

Iceland

constitutional republic

India

federal republic

Indonesia

republic

Iran

theocratic republic

Iraq

republic

Ireland

republic

Israel

parliamentary democracy

Italy

republic

Jamaica

constitutional parliamentary democracy

Japan

constitutional monarchy

Jersey

NA

Jordan

constitutional monarchy

Kazakhstan

republic

Kenya

republic

Kiribati

republic

Korea, North

authoritarian socialist; one-man dictatorship

Korea, South

republic

Kuwait

nominal constitutional monarchy

Kyrgyzstan

republic

Laos

Communist state

Latvia

parliamentary democracy

Lebanon

republic

Lesotho

parliamentary constitutional monarchy

Liberia

republic

Libya

Jamahiriya (a state of the masses) in theory, governed by the populace through local councils; in fact, a military dictatorship

Liechtenstein

hereditary constitutional monarchy

Lithuania

parliamentary democracy

Luxembourg

constitutional monarchy

Macau

NA

Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of

emerging democracy

Madagascar

republic

Malawi

multiparty democracy

Malaysia

constitutional monarchy (Note: Malaya (what is now Peninsular Malaysia) formed 31 August 1957; Federation of Malaysia (Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore) formed 9 July 1963 (Singapore left the federation on 9 August 1965); nominally headed by the paramount ruler and a bicameral Parliament consisting of a nonelected upper house and an elected lower house; Peninsular Malaysian states - hereditary rulers in all but Melaka, Penang, Sabah, and Sarawak, where governors are appointed by the Malaysian Government; powers of state governments are limited by the federal constitution; under terms of the federation, Sabah and Sarawak retain certain constitutional prerogatives (e.g., the right to maintain their own immigration controls); Sabah - holds 20 seats in House of Representatives, with foreign affairs, defense, internal security, and other powers delegated to federal government; Sarawak - holds 28 seats in House of Representatives, with foreign affairs, defense, internal security, and other powers delegated to federal government)

Maldives

republic

Mali

republic

Malta

parliamentary democracy

Man, Isle of

parliamentary democracy

Marshall Islands

constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 21 October 1986

Martinique

NA

Mauritania

republic

Mauritius

parliamentary democracy

Mayotte

NA

Mexico

federal republic

Micronesia, Federated States of

constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 3 November 1986

Moldova

republic

Monaco

constitutional monarchy

Mongolia

republic

Montserrat

NA

Morocco

constitutional monarchy

Mozambique

republic

Myanmar

military regime

Namibia

republic

Nauru

republic

Nepal

parliamentary democracy

Netherlands

constitutional monarchy

Netherlands Antilles

parliamentary

New Caledonia

NA

New Zealand

parliamentary democracy

Nicaragua

republic

Niger

republic

Nigeria

republic transitioning from military to civilian rule

Niue

self-governing parliamentary democracy

Norfolk Island

NA

Northern Mariana Islands

commonwealth; self-governing with locally elected governor, lieutenant governor, and legislature

Norway

constitutional monarchy

Oman

monarchy

Pakistan

federal republic

Palau

constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 1 October 1994

Panama

constitutional democracy

Papua New Guinea

parliamentary democracy

Paraguay

constitutional republic

Peru

constitutional republic

Philippines

republic

Pitcairn Islands

NA

Poland

republic

Portugal

parliamentary democracy

Puerto Rico

commonwealth

Qatar

traditional monarchy

Reunion

NA

Romania

republic

Russia

federation

Rwanda

republic; presidential, multiparty system

Saint Helena

NA

Saint Kitts and Nevis

constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style parliament

Saint Lucia

Westminster-style parliamentary democracy

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

NA

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth

Samoa

constitutional monarchy under native chief

San Marino

republic

Sao Tome and Principe

republic

Saudi Arabia

monarchy

Senegal

republic under multiparty democratic rule

Serbia and Montenegro

republic

Seychelles

republic

Sierra Leone

constitutional democracy

Singapore

parliamentary republic

Slovakia

parliamentary democracy

Slovenia

parliamentary democratic republic

Solomon Islands

parliamentary democracy

Somalia

none

South Africa

republic

Spain

parliamentary monarchy

Sri Lanka

republic

Sudan

transitional - previously ruling military junta; presidential and National Assembly elections held in March 1996; new constitution drafted by Presidential Committee, went into effect on 30 June 1998 after being approved in nationwide referendum

Suriname

constitutional democracy

Svalbard

NA

Swaziland

monarchy; independent member of Commonwealth

Sweden

constitutional monarchy

Switzerland

federal republic

Syria

republic under military regime since March 1963

Taiwan

multiparty democratic regime headed by popularly elected president

Tajikistan

republic

Tanzania

republic

Thailand

constitutional monarchy

Togo

republic under transition to multiparty democratic rule

Tokelau

NA

Tonga

hereditary constitutional monarchy

Trinidad and Tobago

parliamentary democracy

Tunisia

republic

Turkey

republican parliamentary democracy

Turkmenistan

republic

Turks and Caicos Islands

NA

Tuvalu

constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy; began debating republic status in 1992

Uganda

republic

Ukraine

republic

United Arab Emirates

federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved to member emirates

United Kingdom

constitutional monarchy

United States

federal republic; strong democratic tradition

Uruguay

republic

Uzbekistan

republic; effectively authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch; executive power concentrated in the presidency

Vanuatu

republic

Venezuela

federal republic

Vietnam

Communist state

Virgin Islands

NA

Wallis and Futuna

NA

Western Sahara

legal status of territory and question 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); territory partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania in April 1976, 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 OAU member in 1984; guerrilla activities continued sporadically, until a UN-monitored cease-fire was implemented 6 September 1991

Yemen

republic

Zambia

republic

Zimbabwe

parliamentary democracy
Copyright © 2001 International Opportunities. All Rights Reserved.
Site Version 1.75 - Last updated December 20, 2006

Back to Standard Web Page