The 17 Types of State in the Current

There are many State types In the world, which are the social, economic and political structure that exists in a specific territory, people and institutions.

The state has been defined by many scholars in the field of political theory over the last few centuries. This has gone from being a simple form of organization to a more complex one.

Types of state

States differ according to different criteria as we will see below:

Different types of States

The concept of State was first used by the Italian philosopher Nicholas Machiavelli and he did it to designate the political organization. From that moment until now the concept has been defined in several ways.

One of the first notions of state is found in social contract theory and Max Weber's theory. In both cases the State is defined as an association, which differs from the governing institution.

But in the theory of the social contract it is an agreement that people make individually, whereas in Weber's theory it is an agreement reached by a group of people that imposes itself on other groups in society.

On the other hand, Hegel magnified the concept saying that everything that man is owes it to the State. And Marx considered it as an instrument to dominate other classes.

Each author has defined it in a particular way with different nuances. However, in a general way and according to the modern concept, the State refers to the way in which societies are organized.

It is a political concept that consists of the social, political and economic organization of a society. But for a State to be considered as such, it must have three essential elements: a delimited territory, a population and institutions.

Throughout history, many forms of State have been created. But the criterion used to establish the different types that exist has always been that of domination. That is, depending on who retains power and how it does, is what determines the typology. The State can be classified according to a variety of criteria. These are.

According to the system they have

Unit State

It is a state governed by a central government that has full powers over the entire national territory. It is a model of state where the powers are concentrated in the capital (executive, legislative and judicial).

In this case the departments, provinces, municipalities, as well as other dependencies, are subordinated to the central power. And its rulers and officials are appointed by that power. In addition, there is only one legal system for the entire territory.

Federal state

It is a State composed of several States. These are sovereign and free with respect to the internal regime of government, but they are united to a federal entity that conforms the country. In this type of state exists a political decentralization because the federative entities have freedoms for many aspects.

They can enact laws, handle taxes, and have great autonomy to make decisions and to elect their authorities. They have both judicial and legislative autonomy, although always subjecting themselves to the federal constitution.

Confederate State

This type of state shares many characteristics with the Federal State, since it is also based on the union of one or more States. However, in this case the Confederate is much more decentralized, which translates into greater freedoms. It is a type of organization whose purpose is defensive in character, since in it each State that conforms it can act with full independence in all aspects. But power is delegated when it comes to international issues.

Composite State

This is also a type of state that arises through the union of one or more sovereign states. They are in essence the Federations, the Confederations and the Associations of States. This form of organization was common in the monarchic regimes, where a single monarch assumed the government of two countries.

Although in this case power and administration remain independent in each of the States. An example of this is the Commonwealth or Commonwealth of Nations which is composed of Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Australia, Belize and New Zealand. Another association, although already extinct, was the USSR, of which 15 republics were part.

According to its form of government


They are those states in which state functions such as the administration of justice, legislation, the management of armed forces, among other things, are in the hands of one person, the monarch. These are called king or queen, but monarchs can also use other titles as emperor or empress, duke or duchess.

Although in the monarchic state power is held by only one person, it is distinguished from tyranny and despotism because it is a legitimate system. Nevertheless, when the time of splendor of the monarchies passed, these began to fall and with it also the concentration of the power. Thus were born the different types of monarchies.


It is that regime in which the monarch has the absolute power of the state, so there is no division of powers. The king or queen has no restriction in political or administrative terms and even in religious aspects. Which means that their domination is complete.

Constitutional and parliamentary

This is the most common form of monarchy today. These are states that have a constitution that regulates the functions of the monarch, who is the head of the state. And it also has a parliament, which is in charge of choosing both the ministers and the prime minister or president, who is the head of government. An example of this type of monarchy is Spain and the United Kingdom.


There are semi-constitutional monarchies, where there is also a constitution. But unlike the constitutional monarchy, in this the monarch has attributions on the constitution. An example of this type of monarchy is Monaco, Bahrain and Morocco.


A Republic is basically a non-monarchy. This means that in this type of state power is no longer a private element belonging to a family but is made public. In a republic the ruler changes, at least in theory, and his term can be prolonged or shortened in a constitutional way. In a broader sense it can be said that it is a political system based on a constitution and on the equality of citizens before the law.

The Republic is commonly associated with democracy, but not necessarily related. Democracies are often based on a republic, but there may be undemocratic republics. In any case, in a broader sense, the concept of republic must be understood as a form of state in which power does not reside in a single person but in a group. Therefore, the republics can be subdivided into several types.


According to Aristotle, the Aristocracy is the government of a few. It is also known as the government of the best and it is an elite that aspires, at least in theory, the best for the state. It is a system in which political power is exercised by the nobles and the highest social classes.

Although the aristocracy can be constituted by families with real lineage, it differs from the monarchical regime because the power is not concentrated in a single person but in a group.


Democracy is usually defined in a broad way as the government of the people. However, this definition is not so certain. According to the Aristotelian concept, democracy consists in that all citizens can be eligible to rule and electors of whom it commands. And that this command alternates with the passage of the years. According to a more modern concept, democracy is the political regime in which the people are both governed and governed at the same time.

In democracy people have individual guarantees, there is the division of powers and the rulers are elected through popular election. But that does not mean that democracy is the power of everyone, because that would mean that no one has the power. It is rather a power that is exercised by the community, that is, by the people as a whole.


In this case we speak of a state that constitutionally dedicates itself to building a socialist society. This means that the means of production are part of the collective patrimony and that the state property is distributed in its right measure.

In this case there must be a rational organization of the economy and it is the people who manage the resources. To achieve this objective, this system proposes that social classes should not exist and that private property should be eliminated.

Other forms of government

But degenerate forms of these types of government have also been established, especially democracies, which are often fragile. This is because one can not always achieve a unilateral consolidation, and because the majority chosen to govern usually leads to other types of government where the common good is not pursued but only a few.


It is a state where there are practically no political or social liberties and where the government concentrates on only one figure, the dictator.

It is characterized because there is no division of powers, so the command is exercised arbitrarily. Unlike democracy, which should benefit the majority, in this type of state only benefits the minority that supports the regime.

In addition, there is no consent from the governed and it is institutionally impossible for the opposition to come to power.


More than a form of government, it is a form of State, since it is a way of organizing all the components of this: its territory, government, population, power, justice, etc. In this system the state has absolute power, so there is an absence of political and social freedom, as well as the rights of citizens.

It is understood as a total domination of society in which intolerance prevails. This system was first known when the fascist regime of Italy emerged, was extended with the rise of Nazi Germany and with the system established in the Soviet Union.


Tyranny is also a regime of absolute power, exercised by a single figure. Unlike the totalitarian regime, the tyrant, who is the person who exercises power according to his will and without justice, usually takes power by force and execute arbitrary measures creating fear in the people.

It is an abusive use of power and force over the whole state apparatus. It is usually established after the overthrow of a legal government.


The oligarchy is a form of government similar to the aristocracy, since in both cases it is a select group that holds the political power of the state.

In the oligarchy, however, it is not a government made up of the best people to attend to the needs of the people, but the government of a privileged class that serves only the interests of a few.

That is, the supreme power of the state is exercised by a small number of people belonging to the same social class. Hence, the oligarchy is somehow a negative form of the aristocracy. In fact, it was born as a form of degeneration of the aristocracy.


According to Aristotle, demagogy is the degradation of democracy. It is a political strategy that appeals to different feelings and emotions of the people to get their approval.

The rulers often generate a strong division in society, making them believe that those who are against are the bad guys. It also infuses the idea that there is no one who can govern them better than they do.

On the other hand, it often gives the people unnecessary things instead of using public funds to generate policies that improve the quality of life of people. They infuse fear through propaganda, fight against the middle class because they want to govern only for the poor, so that they keep it in power.


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