The government of a state or community is the system by which it is governed.
The government of a state or community refers either to the system that governs it, or to the collective group of people who hold the executive authority in a state; for instance, one can talk of the Ukrainian government forces.
The classification of governments in political science is broad: a form of government refers to the set of institutions and political systems that make up the organization of a certain type of regime. In the UK, monarchy is the foundation of the political system.
Governments can be classified in relation to various attributes. The following classification outlines the main attributes and types of governments.
1. Democratic attributes
- Democracy: government that is elected by a majority of the people
- Representative democracy: representatives are elected by the people and vote for new laws and policies
- Liberal democracy: the most common model of democracy- representative democracy that operates under liberal principles (free elections, multiple parties, separation of powers, rule of law, respect of civil liberties and human rights).
- Direct democracy: people vote directly for new laws and policies.
2. Monarchic attributes
- Monarchy: an individual inherits power and passes it on to an heir.
- Absolute monarchy: the monarch exercises total authority as head of state and government.
- Constitutional monarchy: the monarch's powers are limited by a constitution (such as in the UK).
3. Authoritarian attributes
- Authoritarian: a small set of people possess state authority and control the political system, but permit some individual freedoms.
- Totalitarian: A coercive authority controls all or nearly all aspects of public and private life.
4. Socio-economic attributes
- Capitalism: system founded on free-market economy.
- Socialism: system founded on concept of social redistribution.
- Communism: stateless, classless system based on common ownership.
5. Other attributes
Various other attributes exist, such as, for instance, the term "Banana republic": a plutocratic government (dominated by a small number of the wealthiest citizens) that exploits the national economy, which itself depends on the exports of one or few resources, usually primary-sector productions.