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Types of Government

World Studies

Anna Searcy

on 13 October 2015

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Transcript of Types of Government


Government Defined

Ways Governments Differ:
How leaders attain their authority

How government functions and operates

How leaders utilize their authority
Which individual or social groups has authority
The sum total of ways in which society delegates authority to make collective decisions and the power to enforce those decisions

What is Authority?
Any power that members of a society consider to be legitimate, and therefore regulates the behavior of others with their permission.

Most governments use a mixture of authority and coercive force to implement their rules.
The Concept of the State
Traditional Authority – power a group has based on beliefs and practices that have long been the custom of society (ex. king, chief, mother)

Legal Authority – power derived from a system of clear laws. In this system, power is often given to an office not the particular individual that holds the office, and only with the consent of the governed
often has established borders and some level of autonomy (independence, self-rule, sovereignty)

The "State” (or government):

has the organized monopoly on the use of coercive force within a society (think police, military, laws, punishments)

often has the responsibility of protecting private property and facilitating the economic exchanges to sustain the society

one person rules, authority based on birth/ traditional authority

usually takes the form of a king or queen ruling the state
Often included in monarchical systems, the aristocracy emerges from family status.


This is usually a group of nobles that support a monarch.

The Rule by the People
When all citizens vote on all laws
Direct Democracy:
Indirect Democracy
When citizens elect representatives to make or enforce laws
Dictatorship or Authoritarian Rule

authority usually taken by force or coercion

government by one person or a small group

few legal rights afforded to citizens


when a few people rule

can take the form of a group of nobles, military leaders, scholars, the wealthy, or religious leaders

Overlaps with other forms of government

when it is believed that the leader of the state is the representative of God or a god
when leaders use religious doctrine to make and enforce laws of a state OR
when religious leaders rule a state, OR
when the government leaders have power because of their wealth

can overlap with other forms of government (Athenian democracy, Roman republic, legislative bodies where only nobles are represented)

demonstrated when only small groups of the wealthy have citizenship rights

usually takes form of an oligarchy
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