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The Forms of Government

Christopher F. Bueno is currently the Dean of the College of Education, University of Northern Philippines, Vigan City.

The forms of government discusses the sovereign powers along the political rulers as to the number of persons in power; the distribution of political powers of the government; and the relationships of the branches of government.

1. According to the Number of Persons Exercising Sovereign Powers.

Usually, the sovereign powers are exercised by the rulers who are being called “King”, “Emperor”, “President” or “Prime Minister” to lead in the administration of the government. The common classifications under the number of persons are monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy.

a) Monarchy. There is only one ruler who exercises the supreme authority with the basis on the divine rights and constitution to handle governmental affairs. The ruler of the monarchial form is called “ king” or “emperor” which has been on the basis of royal blood or dynastic rule of governance. There are two classifications of monarchy as evolved in the history of Europe:

1) Absolute Monarchy. The Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Chinese, Persian and European civilization followed this system of governance under the rules of divine rights. The emperors and kings were believed to be the representative of god as the source of political authority and powers to administer the affairs of the government.

2) Limited Monarchy. This was the transformation of the absolute monarchy in Europe that “kings” and “emperors’ were no longer presented by the doctrine of the divine rights but must rule in accordance of the constitution. Therefore, the political power is usually limited in accordance with the established constitution. It is nominal and symbolic as to the governmental functions in the executive and legislative branch of government.

b) Aristocracy. The government that hold by the few privileged class. The social stratification of the society only those with wealth has the political power to hold the governmental affairs of the state .They are considered as the powerful class with enough money to hold political position and influence to the people. This form of government has been called the “oligarch” and “aristocrat” who controlled the economic power as they controlled the wealth of the nation.

c) Democracy. This is the political exercise of the majority as they are being called the “sovereign electorate”. There are two considerations in the application of democracy :

1) Direct /Pure Democracy. The political power is vested by the people in governing the state and the administration of the law. It usually done through meetings and assemblies to formulate and expresses the majority of the will of people.

2) Indirect/Representative Democracy. The political power is done through elected representatives. The group of persons chose by the people to represent the sovereign power to act as their represented in the government.

Usually, the sovereign powers are exercised by the rulers who are being called “King”, “Emperor”, “President” or “Prime Minister” to lead in the administration of the government. The common classifications under the number of persons are monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy.

2. According to the Relationship of Political Power between the National Government and Local Government

The establishment of government control is divided by two units: unitary government; and federal government. The distribution of the political power facilitates in the administration of government in its diplomatic relations; national concerns; and the distribution of political powers to the geographical and territorial units of the local government.

a) Unitary Government. The political control is taken from the national government to administer and decide the on all governmental affairs as the local government ( no local autonomy) is dependent from the assistance and services provided by the central government.

It is also designed for the national planning of the political agenda and economic services provided to the people. The central control of administration exercises the uniformed social development planning as to the national development programs of the state.

b) Federal Government. There are two organs in the political powers of government: (1) national affairs with the primary responsibility to administer the national and international affairs of the government including the diplomatic relations with the other state; (2) local affairs with the primary responsibility to administer and control the administrative units such as states, province and municipalities.

Sometimes the application of the Federal system denotes the full autonomy or self-autonomy(decentralized or devolved system of governance) of the political unit to produce governmental budget and revenue to be used for the common welfare in the specific geographical or territorial unit of the state.

3. According to the Relationship between the Executive and Legislative Branches of Government.

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1. Presidential System. There is a distinct for political power on the executive and legislative branch as to the administration of the laws of the government. The executive branch headed by a president executes the laws particularly in education, environment, health, agriculture, employment, agrarian reforms and other forms of social service.

The legislative branch is responsible in the enactment of laws, statutes and treaties in the promulgation of social equity, liberty, freedom, rights and privileges of the people . It also complements the promulgation of laws that will be executed by the executive branch based from the aforementioned services of this branch of government. The main feature of the presidential system is a separation of power and the checks and balances mechanisms in the branches of government.

2. Parliamentary

There is a fusion of political powers between the executive and legislative branches of government. The usual explanation on this characteristic is political and historical experiences of the government and state as to the administration of the laws and customs of the society. In the implementation of government affairs of the state, the executive branch becomes nominal and symbolic in nature ( meaning no political power)as the head of the of the state ( King, Emperor, and President).

The main responsibilities of the head of the state is more on political participation on royal recognition to dealing social, economic and cultural affairs of the state such as attendance and speaking engagement of opening of national and international affairs to show respect as the head of the state. The political derivative in this form is the respect and recognition of the national customs, traditions, and culture that shapes the nation in its historic antecedents of the state.

The legislative branch with representative delegates of the sovereign electorate derives its political and constitutional power to perform and act on the official duties of government as mandated by the constitution.


These are the related SAVIOR ON HUBPAGES- FREE ACADEMIC ARTICLES AND RESEARCHES in POLITICAL SCIENCE for the COLLEGE STUDENTS to facilitate in doing their homework, assignment and research activities in the school particularly those impoverished countries of AFRICA, ASIA and MIDDLE EAST.

Definition of State

Elements of State

Origin of State

The Forms of Government

The General Concepts and Principles of Government

Constitution : The Fundamental Law of the State and Government

Definition and Importance of Political Science

Political Science and Law

The General Meaning and Concept in Politics

The Behaviorist Approach in the Study of Politics

The Historical Approach in the Study of Politics

Politics : The Power and Authority Structure in Public Service

Origin of Political Science

Political Science and Its Relationships with Social Sciences

The Introductory Analysis of the "Republic by Plato"

The Modern Concepts and Principles of Political Science :The Development Dimensions of the “Contemporary Republic”


stella on December 01, 2012:

are there any other elements that make up a state apart from the four

nice guy. on June 22, 2012:

my teacher told us that political science contradicts politics in the phil.

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