Government: How it works and why it’s important

Every nation on Earth has a government and government system. In order to stay informed especially in the current age of globalization, it is beneficial to learn about the different types of government available. This in turn also helps potential traveler to become more informed about a particular nation’s laws and any precautions they would have to take before embarking on their journey. For those who are not traveling but instead are interested in topics such as Political Science, International Relations or any other form of Social Studies, a guide on different government types would also be beneficial.


Perhaps the most famous government type in the modern era, Democracy is derived from the Greek words demos” which translates in English to “citizen” and “kratos” which translates to to “rule”. As its name implies, Democracy works by allowing the citizens of a sovereign nation to choose their own leaders via an election. Candidates who meet the eligibility requirements are voted on and eventually chosen by the citizens to began serving their positions. There are of course limits to this power in a system otherwise known as checks and balances This is implemented to deter corruption and to allow a process to purge and replace any leaders who may be deemed corrupt and unfit for office. Another implementation for limiting the power of elected officials is the time limit for particular positions otherwise known as “term limits” this is to keep officials from serving in government roles for an indefinite amount of time.

There are many pros in a Democratic government since it is the preferred style for most countries in the modern era. No ruler regardless of the governing system has been able to rule effectively without the cooperation of the citizens and studies have shown that the best way to obtain a cooperatives citizenry is through Democratic means to where they have the ultimate choice. This is not to say there are not any cons,as many democratic governments have positions that do not have term limits, leading some officials to serve for decades, giving birth to the term “career politician” such as Congressmen in The United States Government. There have been attempts to rectify this issue by introducing legislation to enact term limits but as of 2022, all of these attempts have failed. Another con to Democracy are unethical practices such as electoral fraud and bribery in order to influence decisions.

Countries that have a democratic style of government include, but are not limited to Iceland, The United States, Mexico and New Zealand.


The oldest and historically most well-known government system is the Monarchy. This is a government where a monarch is the head of state. This could be a king, queen, prince, princess or emperor. In most countries in the modern era that still have monarchies are Constitutional Monarchies which means that while the monarch is still the head of state, it is primarily a ceremonial position and not a position that particularly has real political power. That said, a monarch could still influence policies in a variety of ways which in turn have a tickle down effect in the government.

Constitutional monarchies typically have a Prime Minister as the true head of state and is selected through a parliamentary election as in the case of The United Kingdom. The party with the most seats won in the houses then put forth their chosen candidate before being officially appointed by The Crown. In the case of Japan, like the United Kingdom, every party puts forth a candidate after the elections to The House of Representatives in the National Diet occur. A monarch can however dissolve Parliament and the National Diet in the cases of The United Kingdom and Japan respectively, however this has not occurred since World War II and is highly unlikely to occur again anytime soon. Constitutional monarchies include Japan, The United Kingdom, Canada and Spain to name a few.

Monarchy in the traditional sense is known as absolute monarchy where the monarch is the head of state, military and finance and all governmental power starts and ends with the monarch in question. This form of government declined rapidly in the 19th and 20th centuries through revolutions, wars and the rise of Western influence. As a result the only places in the modern world with absolute monarchy are Saudi Arabia, Vatican City, Oman and a few emirates in the United Arab Emirates.

There are a few pros to monarchies, such as government stability. Since a monarch is a lifetime ruling particularly through birthright, there is no concern about elections and instability if leaders from political parties of the opposite spectrum take office. Monarchs also tend to not have a particular political alignment and typical rule from a centrist approach which in turn lessens division and with monarchies having a small inner circle, it is in fact easier to root out and purge corruption as opposed to bigger forms of government. Naturally monarchies have more cons than pros hence the style falling out of favor across the world. The lack of sovereignty from citizens and having to take a direction upon the whims of one individual or an individual family is can be jarring. This especially evident if the monarch or royal family engages in tyrannical rule.


Authoritarianism is a form of government where there is typically only one political party and its constitution demands total obedience from both the general population and government officials alike. Presidents of authoritarian governments typically have terms that last for a decade or in the case of many authoritarian nations, for life. Political opponents and dissenting voices are often punished with prison, exile or even death. Authoritarian governments typically rely on heavy censorship in media and over the internet in order to keep the potential for dissent at a minimum. As a result state-sponsored news outlets and schools are formed in order to sew the ideas that the government in charge knows what’s best and that anything else is nothing more than mere propaganda. Authoritarian governments include China, North Korea, Iran and Central African Republic.

There are no real pros to Authoritarian regimes other than stability. There are however, numerous cons to authoritarianism such as limited civil rights, little to no individual sovereignty, stagnant economies outside of China and brain drain, which is where a country’s top academics, engineers and scientists flee to another nation, typically to a nation with a democracy or constitutional monarchy and contribute their talents to those countries as opposed to their own.