14 Political Systems around the World

Avatar of Shaimaa Olwan
Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

A political system is a set of codified practices and behaviours that legally regulate the work of institutions and forces in a single society. It is the system of politics and governance in a state or society, a very simplified definition of a more complex system; This means that the regulatory and adverse authority is the authority over which it takes control and its role in that field.

It can also be defined as legal regulations and rules that a state works to apply to the people it governs to achieve the welfare and security of the state internally and externally, and thus achieve the most significant number of interests that are in line with the interests of the people. The political decision-making institutions are responsible for applying this—the political system, which is the legislative, executive and judicial authorities and institutions.

Political System Functions

  1. It plays a vital role in drawing the dimensions of society in terms of goals and endeavours that achieve well-being and security for members of society and the entire state.
  2. It fuses the energies of the community members within a crucible serving the community, ensuring the strengthening of the role of its children in the pursuit and achievement of well-being and safety.
  3. It plays a prominent role in integrating the elements of society and adapting them to each other in pursuit of the public interest.
  4. The political system gives legitimacy to the political life of individuals by applying the provisions and rules of law and public policy.
  5.  {t ensures justice and equality among the members of the same society.

Political System Characteristics

The political system has several characteristics that distinguish it from other systems, namely:

  1. The political system enjoys supreme authority in the environment in which it operates, as members of society are obligated to apply its laws and follow its regulations and decisions.
  2. The political system is characterised by its autonomy.
  3. The political system imposes its control over the relationships that bind its elements through rules and laws governing it.
  4. The political system affects society more profoundly and more severely.
  5. The political system is considered the main engine in any environment in which it exists. It can also interact with other systems in society, such as economic, cultural and social.

Political System Levels

1.      Decision Making

This political system level is considered a means of making decisions in various manifestations. A political discourse, a constitutional amendment, or the rejection of amended laws may represent decision-making. And civil society organisations to be able to monitor decisions and research them carefully in order to reach a correct decision.

2.      Decision Implementation

Ministries, states, municipalities, and government agencies represent the executive branch. This level gives the political system credibility, and failure to implement decisions in the political system is considered humiliating to the political system.

3.      Decision Marketing

It is the body responsible for the media, as an integral part of the executive body. It is responsible for implementing the decisions issued by the party that made them, studying them thoroughly and predicting their consequences and feedback.

Political System Duties

  • Sets community missions and goals.
  • Mobilises community powers.
  • Works to integrate all the elements that makeup society, in addition to working to unify them.
  • Legitimises political life itself.
  • Achieves justice and applies laws to all citizens.
  • Regulates relations between all sectors in a way that guarantees the rights of all.
  • Strengthens the strength of the elements of the state by uniting all segments of society.

Primary tasks of the political system

The political system operates within the framework of an internal, regional, and external environment, and this enables the political system to perform three basic tasks, namely:

  • Resolving disputes and conflicts, enacting laws and regulations, and thus helping to protect and provide security for citizens internally, as well as offering protection for the territory of the state from external enemies and adversaries.
  • Distributing resources in society in the right way as it is the distributive function of the system.

The political system is a mirror of the state of society, as it reflects the conditions of society, its contradictions, and interests, as well as the opinions, ideas, and beliefs that are widespread and widespread in it and formulated according to the ideological vision or political perception.

Anthropological Forms of Political Systems

Anthropologists usually talkabout four types of political systems: two of them are decentralised, and the other two are central.

Decentralised systems

  1. Division society: A small family group that is no larger than the size of the extended family or clan, with a population of no more than 30 to 50 people, and can dissolve if just a small portion of its members leave.
  2. Tribe: In general, a tribe is more significant than a division. Many tribes are further subdivided into sub-sects, each of which is made up of numerous families. Tribes also contain more social institutions than divisions, such as the sheikh institutions, which are more enduring than tiny teams.

Central Systems

  1. Chiefdom: It is an autonomous political entity made up of a number of villages or communities that is always under the direction of the supreme chief. It has a higher degree of complexity than a tribe or band community but a lower degree than a state or civilisation, and it is characterised by widespread inequality and power concentration. There are two or even three tiers of hierarchy in complex chiefdoms.
  2. A sovereign state: it is a nation with a stable population, a well-defined territory, and a government that is capable of establishing diplomatic ties with other sovereign states.

Political systems on international borders

Political systems that transcend international borders

Some sovereign states develop transnational political systems to achieve a shared objective or to strengthen their position through alliances. Examples of these political systems include:

  1. Empires: are vast federations of nations or societies under one supreme authority. It is distinguished by the fact that its rulers have a common goal for religious adherence or pose a military danger to other empires during conflicts. Empires frequently achieve notable advancements in democratisation, the development of urban infrastructure, and the maintenance of civility among various social groups. A significant quantity of authority and power on a worldwide scale can frequently be obtained due to the complexity of the organisation and its size in empires.
  2. Leagues and Unions: are international organisations made up of governments that cooperate to accomplish a single objective. Due of its singular focus, the league/union in this paradigm differs from empires. A country’s military or economic decline frequently brings about the formation of leagues and unions. Representatives from all the countries involved participate in meetings and hearings that are held in a neutral location.

Political System Forms

The political system has two primary forms:

The democratic system

The system where the people have ultimate power. It is a place where the people exercise their authority through representatives who are citizens. They are chosen via an electoral process because democracy is a system of beliefs centred upon freedom. It is built on the freedom to hold differing opinions.

There are two main forms of democracy: direct democracy and representative democracy. Direct democracy differs from representative democracy in that it does not require citizens to speak on behalf of the rest of the population when making public choices. Whereas the representative system relies on citizens who represent the majority of the population, this democracy depends on a smaller group of people.

Monocratic system

The individual system is characterised by a great deal of ownership, power, and influence. It is often associated with everything that is authoritarian, dictatorial, and far from democracy.

One-party system

One political party in the country monopolises political activity legally and effectively and does not allow the establishment of opposition parties alongside it. The single party’s unilateral political and administrative work in the state is considered one of the most critical features of the one-party system. The party cannot leave any activity without interfering and imposing control over it. One of the individuals who have unique qualities and conditions because the members of one party are the vanguard of society.

Multi-party system:

It consists of three or more political parties in the state. They compete with each other to control political power. Each of them may obtain a certain number of seats in the legislative authority. However, it is difficult for any of them to get the necessary majority independently; to form the executive authority (the government or the ministry). For this reason, there are usually alliances and agreements between more than one party to form the executive power.

Presidential system

A political system is based on separating the three powers and granting broad powers to the president. In contrast, the president’s election characterises the semi-presidential system, but the government emerges from parliament and is responsible to it and the president. The presidential system is one of the representative democratic political systems. It is based on a strict separation between the executive (president), legislative (parliament) and judicial powers.

The presidential system puts executive power in the hands of the president, who is elected by direct voting and forms a government to implement the political program that is accountable to him and not to parliament, as is the case in the parliamentary system. Under the strict separation of powers, parliament can’t overthrow the government, nor does it have the ability to dissolve it.

The semi-presidential or hybrid system is a formula that combines the presidential and parliamentary systems. The president is elected by direct universal voting and enjoys absolute power. At the same time, the government emanates from and is responsible to parliament and is accountable to the head of state, and its president enjoys vast powers.

Semi-presidential system

The semi-presidential system is a mixture of the presidential and parliamentary systems. The president and the prime minister are partners in state affairs. The distribution of these powers varies between the president and the prime minister from one country to another.

This system differs from the parliamentary system in that the president of the Republic is elected by the people by direct universal vote and differs from the presidential system in The Prime Minister is accountable to parliament, and parliament can hold him responsible and dismiss him.

Parliamentary system

One of the forms of the pluralistic democratic system is based on the overlap between the executive (government) and legislative (parliament) branches. The government is responsible to parliament, and its members belong mainly to the party or coalition with the parliamentary majority.

The government can only exercise its functions in the parliamentary system if it gains the confidence of the majority of parliament members. Representatives can move against the government by submitting a motion of no confidence in it. On the other hand, the government has the right to dissolve parliament and call for early elections if it loses the support of a majority that enables it to implement its policies and pass the necessary laws and decrees within parliament.

Semi-parliamentary system

Also described as neo-parliamentary or a new system of the premiership, in which the citizens directly elect the legislature and the prime minister simultaneously, with an electoral law ensuring that the elected prime minister has a parliamentary majority. As in the parliamentary system, the prime minister is accountable to the legislature and can be dismissed. However, this effectively leads to snap elections for both the prime minister and the legislature.

Like semi-presidential systems, semi-parliamentary systems are a powerful form of the parliamentary system. However, there are no countries with a semi-parliamentary system in the world. However, a semi-parliamentary system is used in Israeli and Italian cities and towns to elect mayors and councils.

Imperial system

It is a kind of empire; the name is derived from the Latin word imperium, which means to rule over large territories. It can be defined as a state’s endeavour to expand its power and influence through military, cultural, and political colonialism, military force, and other means.

It can also be defined as the economic, military and political dominance of one country over another. Imperialism has played an enormous role in shaping the modern world, allowing the rapid spread of ideas and technologies and contributing to a more globalised world.


A system that the state pursues and adopts its principles for comprehensive development. It is based on enabling the state to monitor the economic activities and intervene to limit the capitalist exploitation of the capabilities of the country to provide for the public. It concentrates resources in the hands of a limited number of individuals, and the provision of job opportunities for citizens characterises this system.

The influence of socialist increased with the enormous economic crisis witnessed by the capitalist societies from 1929-1933, when those societies suffered from unemployment, stagnation and poverty. It monopolises the resources of the country in the hands of a minor group or class and excludes the general population.

The idea of the socialist system is centred or built on the necessity of public ownership of the means of production and the intervention of the state to achieve two main goals; adequacy of production and distribution fairness.

European Union

The European Union began as a small economic project among the six countries that made up the European Common Market. Still, it expanded to include a political partnership of 27 countries after Britain left it.

Approximately 450 million people live within the borders of the European Union, and 19 countries of the union have adopted the euro as a single currency. The federation is headquartered in the Belgian capital, Brussels. Britain’s exit from it dealt a heavy blow to the project of a more substantial, united and effective Europe on the international level.

One of the crucial principles of the European Union is the transfer of the prerogatives of nation-states to European international institutions. However, these institutions remain governed by the number of powers granted by each country separately, so this union cannot be considered a federation, as it is unique to a unique political system in the world.

The European Union has many activities, the most important of which is that it is a unified market with one currency, the euro, which has been adopted by 19 out of the 28 member states. It also has a common agricultural policy and a unified marine fishing policy.

March 2007 was the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the union with the signing of the Rome Convention. On 12 October 2012, the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for promoting peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

Theocratic system

Theocracy is a style of government in which the established authority claims its legitimacy from God, and the ruler claims that he rules in the name of God. Thus, the forms of political legitimacy are abolished under the pretext of responding to the divine will, and people are forced to obey this authority based on the divine right blindly.

By its very nature, the theocratic system is a dogmatic system that rules falsely in the name of God and believes that there is no room for opposing Him or questioning Him because it acts from unseen principles that man cannot comprehend. The broad influence of the clergy characterises the theocratic system.

It is possible to distinguish between varieties of theocracy, including what presents itself as gods that live among people, where the ruler enjoys an aura of reverence and glorification. This model prevailed in ancient Egypt, China, and Persia.

Islamic system

The Islamic ruling system has principles, such as Shura; the imam must consult those around him from the people of Shura in religious and worldly matters. They were stating justice and equality among people in rights and duties. Also, preserving and protecting dignity as it is not permissible to harm the dignity of anyone, insult him, or kill him without punishment.

Freedom of opinion and thought is part of religion, and Sharia rejects coercion, just as freedom goes hand in hand with dignity. Islam has encouraged freedom of belief, thought, and speech and urged that. The supervision of the nation and the ruler over each other. The ruler is watched by his subjects; if he is unjust, he is dismissed, and someone else is appointed, then the ruler is responsible for his people.

The rule of Caliphs aims to guard religion and the world’s politics, meaning that the world runs according to religion. So, state, nation, and life affairs are conducted according to the rules and principles of Sharia in a way that achieves interests and averts corruption.

Sharia politics is accomplished through achieving justice among people, and justice is the basis for establishing the state and achieving security and stability by applying sanctions to all people without exception until safety is achieved. Providing what people need by providing industries, crafts, and sciences is one of the obligations of sufficiency. Investing in the state’s wealth by exploiting the resources to achieve a decent living, and the expenses for that are from the treasury.


The monarchy system is one of the oldest systems of government throughout history, as the word monarchy denotes a system of government in which the king is considered the head of the state. The rule is often for long periods extending from the coronation of the king in his position until his death. Then the power is transmitted by inheritance to his crown prince from the monarchy family.

The head of the state in this system is given different titles such as king, emperor, khan, or Caesar. The king is the owner of all powers in the state. He is the one who issues laws, interprets, and implements them.

The monarchy system has several types that have been formed throughout history, some of which have disappeared, and some others are still in effect now, and examples of these types are:

  • Absolute monarchy: in this system, the king has total and complete power over the government and the people, and this system is rare in our time due to the deprivation of the people of this system of their natural rights as they only enjoy limited advantages decided by the king, and governments that adopt this system are usually subject to scrutiny from other nations dealing with it, as many countries were wary of giving one person unchecked power, absolute monarchy reigned in much of Western Europe by the sixteenth century.
  • Constitutional monarchy: the position of power differs in the constitutional monarchy, where the actual power goes to the House of Representatives, chosen by the people and the Prime Minister. The country’s supreme interests and the king can dissolve this council in any circumstance that harms the security and leadership of the state. Examples of this system are in the United Kingdom, Spain and Sweden, as well as Jordan, Morocco, Kuwait, and Bahrain.

You may also like reading about the Major Events that Changed the World and Leadership.

Why not subscribe to our LearningMole Library for as little as £1.99 per month to access over 1800 fun educational videos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *