Break Your Myths on the Types of Governments

Types of Governments

Table of Contents

James Monroe, the 5th President of the United States of America, said, “The best form of the government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of the evil.”

Did you know that there are 16 types of government in countries across the world? Let us dive deeper into what these 16 types are, how they protect the people, their uniqueness, and why particular countries follow these government types. 

Key Take-Aways

  1. Types of Governments
  2. Functioning of different types of Governments
  3. Countries following different types of Governments

Types of governments

Republic Government

Republic Government is a type of government in which its citizens’ power is held. 

In this particular type of government, the power is given to the leaders by electing them as their leaders. The leader’s duty is to serve the citizen’s interests and are responsible for the overall growth of the nation rather than a specific segment. 

A republic government is built on the principles of representative government, citizenship, and popular sovereignty.

In a republic government, people are the ultimate source of political power, and government officials are answerable to both the people and the law, therefore, reducing the risk of government abuse. 

The major drawback of this government is that with the immense liberty the citizens have, there are always many conflicts of opinions, and as the government is answerable to all the citizens, it leads to government inefficiency. This government also leads the way to huge corruption if not in the right hands.

Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, and Columbia are few examples of the countries that follow a Republic government.  

Autocratic Government 

An autocratic government is one of the types of governments in which the control of the country is in the hands of a single person or a group of people. 

The entire country is controlled by these leaders and most often citizens do not have a say in the decisions made for them.

This type of government might seem very controlling and restricted, but it has its own advantages like

  • It allows quicker decisions as very few people are involved in the decision-making process. 
  • Crisis situations are handled more effectively.
  • Processes are faster as there is no opposition and plans can be executed easily. 

The major disadvantage is that citizens live with fear and do not have the right to speak up even when the leaders are misusing the power for tier benefit and not the citizen’s benefit. 

Saudi Arabia, UAE, North Korea are some of the examples of countries that follow an Autocratic government. 

Democracy 


The democratic government refers to a type of government in which the citizens decide who will lead and represent their interests. Democracy is translated to the  ‘rule of the people’.

The leaders are elected by the people through free and fair elections, empowering the citizens with the power to question the leader’s decisions. In short, the people are governing themselves.

The citizens have ample opportunities and the right to speak up about the issues happening in their communities and get the decisions by the government revoked. 

The democratic government has several advantages like: 

  • Reduces exploitation of the power 
  • Gives equality to people
  • Helps in better economic growth 
  • People are more connected to the government causing greater patriotism 
  • It is the most transparent form of government  

Though Democratic Government seems to be the best form of governing a country, it has its own challenges like 

  • It becomes ineffective if the citizens are not educated enough to elect the right leader but rather get carried away with bribing for votes. 
  • Democratic governments work on the majority, so there is always a major group of people who are disappointed with every decision. 
  • Decision-making is a very time-consuming process and often hinders the productivity of the governing party. 
  • Citizens have the right to speak which often leads to riots and protests as they want their voices to be heard, This results in hampering the internal peace of the country. 

Must Read: Indian Government and NEP

Monarchy 

A monarchy is one of the types of government in which a single person holds the whole governing power. 

The entire country is led by a few individuals who have empowered the right to rule the country from their ancestors.

Previously, monarchs held substantial power and were entitled to make decisions and devise all the laws of the country. This is one form of monarchy called the absolute monarchy. This is known as an absolute monarchy

However, absolute monarchy is followed by very few countries today. Brunei, Eswatini Oman are some of the countries that follow absolute monarchy. 

Federal Monarchy is the second type of monarchy which is more commonly followed compared to absolute monarchy. In Federal Monarchy, each state of the country has its own government or individual monarchs but the monarch heads the central government. Most state monarchs are the heads of the state but do not have any power regarding the country’s actual governing. 

A constitutional monarchy is a type of government in which the country has a written set of constitution rules for the governing of the country, rights of the people, and responsibilities of the monarchs.

Totalitarianism

Totalitarianism is one of the types of government in which the government holds complete control over all areas of the lives of the country’s citizens. 

It is a system in which a single political party has the authority to regulate total control over the state, centralize the rule, and portray extreme dictatorship. 

In this type of ruling, usually, a set of beliefs are implanted in the minds of the citizens who have to face the consequences upon speaking anything against these beliefs. 

Citizens have zero say in this type of government and totalitarianism the most forceful type of government. 

Hitler and Nazi Germany is a perfect example for this type of government. 

Oligarchy 

An oligarchy is one of the types of governments in which only a few wealthy people hold power. 

It is known as the ‘Rule of few’ type of government. The government structure is in such a way that the power to make decisions and rule the country lies with only a fraction of the population which are either the wealthy families or the military.  

 A republic government can be called an oligarchy if the right to vote lies only with a few people.  In most oligarchies, the power of the leadership is supported by the wealthy and the military.

Unlike a monarchy, the leadership power is not inherited in the families, though often same families turn out to be in the country’s wealthier sections. It is their hard work that gives them the power to rule but not the blood relationship. 

Every citizen will be given the power provided they prove themselves to be in that wealthy or military section of the society. 

A few examples of the countries that follow Oligarchy include China and the Soviet Union.

Anarchy 

Anarchy one of the types of governments in which there is no leader. Every citizen is a leader. It is a state where there is an absence of law, also termed lawlessness.

A central governing body does not exist in this type of government. There is an immense political disorder in this type of government. 

Anarchy is usually a result of a failure of government. 

There is no country that follows Anarchy today, but a few examples from the past are Albania in 1997 and Germany after the first world war. 

Dictatorship 

A dictatorship is a form of government in which the power rests entirely on a single individual or a group of people. The person who has the power is called the dictator. 

The major difference between totalitarianism and dictatorship is that dictatorship is less controlling and does not force the citizens to believe in and follow a certain set of beliefs. 

The power of dictatorship can either be inherited and is usually oppressive in nature. 

A republic country can turn out to be a dictatorship if only one political party exists and all the policies and decisions are in that party’s interests only. 

The dictatorship type of government’s major disadvantage is that the leaders get greedy of power and usually suppress people’s freedom by misusing their power. 

Sometimes a country run by a dictatorship may be called a republic. Such republics have only one political party, and the dictator makes most government policies and decisions.

Military dictatorship is another type of dictatorship. 

Throughout history, dictatorship has been extensively followed in North Korea.

Communism 

Communism is one of the types of governments in which the state owns and operates all the industries on behalf of the people. 

In this type of government, there is no private ownership. Everything in the county belongs to the government, and they have complete control over all the properties. 

In Communism, all the economic activities are controlled by the government. The government micro-manages by deciding everything from the crops to be grown to the goods to be manufactured and sets bars for prices of all the manufactured products. 

The citizens have limited freedom in this type of government. 

Apart from the types of governments mentioned above, there are other governments like 

  • Theocracy 
  • Technocracy 
  • Fascism 
  • Plutocracy 
  • Tyranny 
  • Junta 
  • Federation 

Conclusion: Types of Governments

Every government has its own working style, advantages, and disadvantages. The best fit of a government for a specific country depends on various factors like the history of the country’s formation, way of thinking of the citizens, the country’s global political power, and many more. 

FAQ’s

  1. How many types of governments are there?
    There are 14 different types of governments
  2. What is monarchy?

A monarchy is one of the types of government in which a single person holds the whole governing power. 

The entire country is led by a few individuals who have empowered the right to rule the country from their ancestors.

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