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Types of Governments Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

This Cheat Sheet will guide you through the different types of Governments that countries use to govern their citizens.

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Author­itarian Govern­ments

Aristo­cracy / Oligarchy
Aristo­cracy refers to a form of government in which wealthy nobles are given power over those in lower socioe­conomic strata. Positions of leadership are reserved for those of an elite ruling class.
A dictat­orship is a nation ruled with absolute power, in the absence of a democratic process, and typically under the thumb of a single authority figure.
Monarchy refers to a form of rule in which absolute power and authority are held by a single member of a royal bloodline. In a monarc­hical society, power is inherited within a line of succession that relates to one’s bloodline and birth-­order within the ruling royal family.
Totali­tar­ianism is an author­itarian form of government in which the ruling party recognizes no limita­tions whatsoever on its power, either in the public life or private rights of its citizens. Power is often vested in the hands of a single figure
Theocracy refers to a form of government in which a specific religious ideology informs the leader­ship, laws, and customs of a nation.

Govern­ments that allow the People a voice

Republ­ica­nism, the form of government — not to be conflated with the Republican political party specific to U.S. politics — refers to a system in which power is vested in the citizenry. In technical defini­tion, a republic is a nation in which the people hold popular sovere­ignty through voting in elected officials known as repres­ent­atives.
Democracy refers to a form of government in which the people are given a direct role in choosing their leader­ship. A system in which no single force or entity can exercise unchecked control or authority. The result is a system which requires discourse, debate, and compromise to satisfy the broadest possible number of public interests. Democracy is typified by fair and free elections, civic partic­ipa­tion, protection of human rights, and the rule of law.

Types of Democracy

Direct Democracy
A Democratic government where all citizens directly partic­ipate in each decision.
Repres­ent­ative Democracy
A Democratic government where citizens choose repres­ent­atives, who then govern on the behalf of the citizenry.

Democr­acies that use Consti­tutions

Consti­tut­ional Democracy
Consti­tut­ional government is defined by the existence of a consti­tut­ion­—which may be a legal instrument or merely a set of fixed norms or principles generally accepted as the fundam­ental law of the polity­—that effect­ively controls the exercise of political power.

When there is no Government

Anarchism refers to the absence of govern­ment, a condition in which a nation or state operates without a central governing body.

Economic Systems used by Govern­ments

Capita­lism, Free Enterprise or Market Economy
Capitalism refers to a form of economy in which production is driven by private ownership. Capitalism promotes the idea of open compet­ition and extends from the belief that a free market economy — one with limited regulatory control — is the most efficient form of economic organi­zation. Its advocates argue that capitalism promotes economic growth, improved standards of living, higher produc­tivity, and broader prospe­rity, whereas critics argue that capitalism inherently promotes inequa­lity, exploi­tation of the labor class, and unsust­ainable use of resources and land.
Socialism refers to a form of economy in which the people own the primary means of produc­tion. A counte­rpoint to the compet­itive nature and unequal procli­vities of capita­lism, socialism has existed in many forms and to widely variant degrees of strictness throughout history and around the world. From small communal societies to state-­level govern­ments that provide encomp­assing public services such as universal health­care, the concept of socialism permeates govern­ments the world over.
Communism or Command Economy
In its purest form, Communism refers to the idea of common, public ownership of the economy, including infras­tru­cture, utilities, and means of produc­tion. Communism, as idealized by thinkers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, denotes an absence of class divisions, which inherently requires the subversion of the ruling class by the working class. As such, communism often incorp­orates the idea of revolu­tionary action against unequal rule. Communism often positions itself as a counte­rpoint to the economic strati­fic­ation underlying capita­lism.

Defini­tions taken from...