Models of Government: What are they, Types, Forms of Power, Importance and MORE

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Nations are ruled by different Government Models, which include monarchies, oligarchies, dictatorships and democracies. Nations in which power is concentrated in one leader or group are more likely to suffer violations of civil liberties.

As well as experiencing economic inequality and gradually the elimination of political rights. Many nations that today are organized around democratic ideals started out as monarchies or dictatorships, but have evolved into freer systems. If you want to know more about this topic, continue reading this article.

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What are Government Models?

The Government Models they are the different political systems by which a country is administered and regulated. In political science, the political system defines the process for making official government decisions. That is, they are social and institutional arrangements that define who has authority and what is their influence on their people and the economy.

Types of Government Models

The forms of government have different classifications, depending on the perspectives of analysis. There are at least 4 basic ways to classify the types of government models, according to their:

  • Power structure, which in turn is divided into:
    • Anarchy
    • Confederacy
    • Unit state
    • Federation
  • Power source, which in turn is divided into:
    • Autocracy
    • Democracy, with its variants
    • Oligarchy
  • Ideology, which in turn is divided into:
    • Constitutional
    • Monarchy
    • Republic
  • Socio-political attributes
    • Anarchism
    • Capitalism
    • Colonialism
    • Communism
    • Despotism
    • Republicanism
    • Socialism
    • Totalitarianism

Each classification represents a particularity in the way the government model is developed. Some of them are not mutually exclusive, others are completely contradictory from the point of view of their political significance.. This is the case, for example, of what some call “totalitarian democracy” to refer to the model established in the German Democratic Republic.

Forms of power

The Government Models From the consideration of power, that is, of the number of people who exercise supreme power, they are:

  • Autocracy. It is a system of government in which the supreme power over a state is concentrated in the hands of one person. Thus, its decisions are not subject to external legal restrictions or to regularized mechanisms of popular control.
  • Oligarchy. It is a form of government in which a small number of people exercise supreme power over a state. These people can be distinguished by their nobility, wealth, education, corporate control, religious, political or military.
  • Democracy. It is a form of government in which the people have the authority to elect their ruling legislators. Decisions about who is considered part of the town and how authority is shared or delegated among the town has changed over time.

6 Government models that are mainly in force today

Since the time of Aristotle, Government Models that states have ruled have not changed much. At least in the names, then in the meaning if there are important variants. Especially in democracy.

Political science maintains the distinction that Aristotle originally made when he reflected on forms of government. And later modified by Machiavelli at the time of the Renaissance. Basically it refers to 3 good forms of government and 3 ways in which those good governments can be perverted.

This consideration is very helpful in understanding that good political forms are never guaranteed. Thus, the political forms considered good by Aristotle and Machiavelli are: Monarchy, Aristocracy and Democracy. Which can be degraded into Tyranny, Oligarchy and Anarchy.

It should be noted that for Aristotle democracy was a bad form of government and its place on the list was the republic. Nevertheless, currently liberal democracy considers the Republic and the rule of law within it.

The monarchy

A monarchy is a form of government in which one person, the monarch, is Head of State for life or until abdication. The political legitimacy and authority of the monarch can vary from purely symbolic (Crowned Republic), to restricted (Constitutional Monarchy), to completely autocratic (Absolute Monarchy).

A monarchy can be a policy through unity, personal union, vassalage or federation. And their monarchs can carry various titles such as emperor, king, queen, rajah, khan, caliph, tsar, sultan or shah.

In most cases, the succession of monarchies is hereditary, often building dynastic periods. However, elective and self-proclaimed monarchies are possible. Aristocrats, although not inherent in monarchies, often serve as a group of people to extract the monarch and fill the constituent institutions.

Monarchies were the most common form of government until the 20th century. Today, forty-five sovereign nations in the world have a monarch, including sixteen kingdoms of the Commonwealth that have Elizabeth II as Head of State.

Apart from that, there are a variety of sub-national monarchical entities. Modern monarchies tend to be constitutional monarchies, retaining under a constitution unique legal and ceremonial roles for the monarch. They exercise limited or no political power, similar to heads of state in a parliamentary republic.

When the monarchy is absolute, it is possible for it to degrade into a tyrannical form of government.

Tyranny (as perversion of the Monarchy)

It is a form of government in which there is an absolute ruler who is not restricted by law. Tyrannies are often portrayed as cruel and tyrants can defend their positions through repressive means.

The original Greek term meant an absolute sovereign who came to power without constitutional right. However, the word had a neutral connotation during the archaic and early classical periods.

Plato and Aristotle defined the tyrant as a person who rules without law, using extreme and cruel methods against both his own people. Charges of tyranny can be applied to a variety of types of government:

  • An individual (in an autocracy)
  • A minority (in an oligarchy, minority tyranny)
  • A majority (in a democracy, tyranny of the majority)

The aristocracy

The aristocracy is a form of government that puts force in the hands of a small and privileged ruling class, the aristocrats.. It should be noted that the aristocracy must be understood in its Greek derivation aristokratia, which means “government of the best.”

In ancient Greece, the Greeks conceived the aristocracy as a government made up of the best qualified citizens. In fact, they often contrasted it favorably with the monarchy, ruled by an individual.

The term was first used in Greece to describe a system in which only the best citizens would become rulers. Thus, hereditary rule was prohibited unless the sons of the rulers performed better and were better gifted than their ancestors.

The hereditary rule for a form of government is more related to the Oligarchy, which is the corrupt form of aristocracy. In which, the government is of a few, but not of the best. In ancient Greece the aristocracy (the rule of the few) was considered inherently better than the democracy (the rule of the many).

This belief was based on the assumption that the masses could only produce average politics, while the best men could produce the best politics, if they were indeed the best men.

Subsequently Polybius in his analysis of the Roman Constitution used the concept of aristocracy to conceive of the Republic. This as a mixed form of government together with democracy and the monarchy. This was the first approach to the system of checks and balances that we know today.

As mentioned, when the aristocracy is perverted in the government of a few, who are not the best, it is degraded in Oligarchy.

The Oligarchy (as a perversion of the Aristocracy)

It is a form of government in which a small number of people exercise supreme power over a State. These people can be distinguished by their nobility, wealth, education, corporate control, religious, political or military

Oligarchic states are often controlled by families, or clans, who pass on their influence from generation to generation., without inheritance being a necessary condition. Throughout history, oligarchies have often been tyrannical, relying on public obedience or oppression to exist.

Aristotle pioneered the use of the term to mean the rule of the rich. However, that type of government today is known as Plutocracy.


Democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to elect their legislators and rulers. Decisions about who is considered part of the town and how authority is shared or delegated among the town has changed over time.

The democracy that most countries in the West have is liberal. With which, its principles include freedom of assembly and expression, equality before the law, vote and the right to life. There are also other important considerations such as minority rights.

At the beginning of the centuryor XX, Robert Michels developed the theory that democracies, like all large organizations, tend to pervert themselves into oligarchies. In his “Law of iron of the oligarchy ”suggests that the necessary division of labor leads to the establishment of a ruling class. Which is concerned primarily with protecting its own power.

But not only does the perversion of democracy lead to oligarchy, it can also be degraded into anarchy.

Anarchy (as a perversion of Democracy)

Anarchy is the state of a society that is freely constituted without authorities or a governing body. It can also refer to a society or group of people that completely rejects an established hierarchy.

Anarchy was used for the first time in 1539, to signify the chaos that occurs in a society with “no government.”. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon adopted anarchy and anarchism in his 1840 treatise “What is property?” to refer to anarchism.

This treaty supported a new political philosophy that advocates stateless societies based on free and voluntary associations. Anarchists seek a system based on the abolition of all hierarchy and the creation of a system of direct democracy and worker cooperatives..

As a degradation of democracy, Anarchy refers to a nation that does not have a system of government or the rule of law. As a current of political philosophy, anarchy refers to the reduction or abolition of traditional forms of government and institutions.

Anarchy is defended mainly by individual anarchists who propose to replace the government with voluntary institutions. These true institutions or associations are generally inspired by nature, as they can represent concepts such as autarky, interdependence, or individualism.

Importance of Government Models

The Government Models they are political structures, terms commonly used in political science, referring to institutions or even groups. This is to describe and explain the relationships, interaction patterns and regulations within political systems.

We hope we have helped you learn more about the subject

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