Mapped: The World’s Legal Government Systems

Mapped: The World’s Legal Government Systems

By Matt Dallisson, 20/04/2023

Mapping The World’s Legal Government Systems

With over 200 countries existing across the world with unique cultures and traditions, one might assume that there are hundreds of types of government systems. But both historically and in modern times, that’s not the case.

Even while political regimes across these countries have changed over time, they’ve largely followed a few different types of governance. Today, every country can ultimately be classified into just nine broad forms of government systems.

This map by Truman Du uses information from Wikipedia to map the government systems that rule the world today.

Countries By Type of Government

It’s important to note that this map charts government systems according to each country’s legal framework.

Many countries have constitutions stating their de jure or legally recognized system of government, but their de facto or realized form of governance may be quite different.

Here is a list of the stated government system of UN member states and observers as of January 2023:

Country Constitutional form Head of state
Afghanistan Provisional n/a
Albania Republic Ceremonial
Algeria Republic Executive
Andorra Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Angola Republic Executive
Antigua and Barbuda Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Argentina Republic Executive
Armenia Republic Ceremonial
Australia Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Austria Republic Ceremonial
Azerbaijan Republic Executive
Bahamas, The Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Bahrain Constitutional monarchy Executive
Bangladesh Republic Ceremonial
Barbados Republic Ceremonial
Belarus Republic Executive
Belgium Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Belize Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Benin Republic Executive
Bhutan Constitutional monarchy Executive
Bolivia Republic Executive
Bosnia and Herzegovina Republic Ceremonial
Botswana Republic Executive
Brazil Republic Executive
Brunei Absolute monarchy Executive
Bulgaria Republic Ceremonial
Burkina Faso Provisional n/a
Burundi Republic Executive
Cambodia Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Cameroon Republic Executive
Canada Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Cape Verde Republic Executive
Central African Republic Republic Executive
Chad Provisional n/a
Chile Republic Executive
China, People’s Republic of Republic Ceremonial
Colombia Republic Executive
Comoros Republic Executive
Congo, Democratic Republic of the Republic Executive
Congo, Republic of the Republic Executive
Costa Rica Republic Executive
Côte d’Ivoire Republic Executive
Croatia Republic Ceremonial
Cuba Republic Executive
Cyprus Republic Executive
Czech Republic Republic Ceremonial
Denmark Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Djibouti Republic Executive
Dominica Republic Ceremonial
Dominican Republic Republic Executive
East Timor Republic Executive
Ecuador Republic Executive
Egypt Republic Executive
El Salvador Republic Executive
Equatorial Guinea Republic Executive
Eritrea Republic Executive
Estonia Republic Ceremonial
Eswatini Absolute monarchy Executive
Ethiopia Republic Ceremonial
Fiji Republic Ceremonial
Finland Republic Ceremonial
France Republic Executive
Gabon Republic Executive
Gambia, The Republic Executive
Georgia Republic Ceremonial
Germany Republic Ceremonial
Ghana Republic Executive
Greece Republic Ceremonial
Grenada Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Guatemala Republic Executive
Guinea Provisional n/a
Guinea-Bissau Republic Executive
Guyana Republic Executive
Haiti Republic Executive
Honduras Republic Executive
Hungary Republic Ceremonial
Iceland Republic Ceremonial
India Republic Ceremonial
Indonesia Republic Executive
Iran Republic Executive
Iraq Republic Ceremonial
Ireland Republic Ceremonial
Israel Republic Ceremonial
Italy Republic Ceremonial
Jamaica Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Japan Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Jordan Constitutional monarchy Executive
Kazakhstan Republic Executive
Kenya Republic Executive
Kiribati Republic Executive
Kuwait Constitutional monarchy Executive
Kyrgyzstan Republic Executive
Laos Republic Executive
Latvia Republic Ceremonial
Lebanon Republic Ceremonial
Lesotho Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Liberia Republic Executive
Libya Provisional n/a
Liechtenstein Constitutional monarchy Executive
Lithuania Republic Executive
Luxembourg Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Madagascar Republic Executive
Malawi Republic Executive
Malaysia Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Maldives Republic Executive
Mali Provisional n/a
Malta Republic Ceremonial
Marshall Islands Republic Executive
Mauritania Republic Executive
Mauritius Republic Ceremonial
Mexico Republic Executive
Micronesia Republic Executive
Moldova Republic Ceremonial
Monaco Constitutional monarchy Executive
Mongolia Republic Executive
Montenegro Republic Ceremonial
Morocco Constitutional monarchy Executive
Mozambique Republic Executive
Myanmar Provisional n/a
Namibia Republic Executive
Nauru Republic Executive
Nepal Republic Ceremonial
Netherlands Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
New Zealand Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Nicaragua Republic Executive
Niger Republic Executive
Nigeria Republic Executive
North Korea Republic Executive
North Macedonia Republic Ceremonial
Norway Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Oman Absolute monarchy Executive
Pakistan Republic Ceremonial
Palau Republic Executive
Palestine Republic Executive
Panama Republic Executive
Papua New Guinea Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Paraguay Republic Executive
Peru Republic Executive
Philippines Republic Executive
Poland Republic Ceremonial
Portugal Republic Executive
Qatar Constitutional monarchy Executive
Romania Republic Executive
Russia Republic Executive
Rwanda Republic Executive
Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Saint Lucia Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Samoa Republic Ceremonial
San Marino Republic Executive
São Tomé and Príncipe Republic Executive
Saudi Arabia Absolute monarchy Executive
Senegal Republic Executive
Serbia Republic Ceremonial
Seychelles Republic Executive
Sierra Leone Republic Executive
Singapore Republic Ceremonial
Slovakia Republic Ceremonial
Slovenia Republic Ceremonial
Solomon Islands Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Somalia Republic Ceremonial
South Africa Republic Executive
South Korea Republic Executive
South Sudan Republic Executive
Spain Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Sri Lanka Republic Executive
Sudan Provisional n/a
Suriname Republic Executive
Sweden Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Switzerland Republic Executive
Syria Republic Executive
Tajikistan Republic Executive
Tanzania Republic Executive
Thailand Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Togo Republic Executive
Tonga Constitutional monarchy Executive
Trinidad and Tobago Republic Ceremonial
Tunisia Republic Executive
Turkey Republic Executive
Turkmenistan Republic Executive
Tuvalu Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
Uganda Republic Executive
Ukraine Republic Executive
United Arab Emirates Constitutional monarchy Executive
United Kingdom Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial
United States Republic Executive
Uruguay Republic Executive
Uzbekistan Republic Executive
Vanuatu Republic Ceremonial
Vatican City Absolute monarchy Executive
Venezuela Republic Executive
Vietnam Republic Executive
Yemen Provisional n/a
Zambia Republic Executive
Zimbabwe Republic Executive

Let’s take a closer look at some of these systems.


Brought back into the spotlight after the death of Queen Elizabeth II of England in September 2022, this form of government has a single ruler. They carry titles from king and queen to sultan or emperor, and their government systems can be further divided into three modern types: constitutional, semi-constitutional, and absolute.

A constitutional monarchy sees the monarch act as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, giving them little to no real power. For example, King Charles III is the head of 15 Commonwealth nations including Canada and Australia. However, each has their own head of government.

On the other hand, a semi-constitutional monarchy lets the monarch or ruling royal family retain substantial political powers, as is the case in Jordan and Morocco. However, their monarchs still rule the country according to a democratic constitution and in concert with other institutions.

Finally, an absolute monarchy is most like the monarchies of old, where the ruler has full power over governance, with modern examples including Saudi Arabia and Vatican City.


Unlike monarchies, the people hold the power in a republic government system, directly electing representatives to form government. Again, there are multiple types of modern republic governments: presidential, semi-presidential, and parliamentary.

The presidential republic could be considered a direct progression from monarchies. This system has a strong and independent chief executive with extensive powers when it comes to domestic affairs and foreign policy. An example of this is the United States, where the President is both the head of state and the head of government.

In a semi-presidential republic, the president is the head of state and has some executive powers that are independent of the legislature. However, the prime minister (or chancellor or equivalent title) is the head of government, responsible to the legislature along with the cabinet. Russia is a classic example of this type of government.

The last type of republic system is parliamentary. In this system, the president is a figurehead, while the head of government holds real power and is validated by and accountable to the parliament. This type of system can be seen in Germany, Italy, and India and is akin to constitutional monarchies.

It’s also important to point out that some parliamentary republic systems operate slightly differently. For example in South Africa, the president is both the head of state and government, but is elected directly by the legislature. This leaves them (and their ministries) potentially subject to parliamentary confidence.

One-Party State

Many of the systems above involve multiple political parties vying to rule and govern their respective countries.

In a one-party state, also called a single-party state or single-party system, only one political party has the right to form government. All other political parties are either outlawed or only allowed limited participation in elections.

In this system, a country’s head of state and head of government can be executive or ceremonial but political power is constitutionally linked to a single political movement. China is the most well-known example of this government system, with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China ruling as the de facto leader since 1989.


The final form of government is a provisional government formed as an interim or transitional government.

In this system, an emergency governmental body is created to manage political transitions after the collapse of a government, or when a new state is formed. Often these evolve into fully constitutionalized systems, but sometimes they hold power for longer than expected.

Some examples of countries that are considered provisional include Libya, Burkina Faso, and Chad.

This content was originally published here.