Reference > World Factbook, 2008
  The World Factbook.  2008.
Government type
CountryGovernment type
AfghanistanIslamic republic
Albaniaemerging democracy
American SamoaNA
Andorraparliamentary democracy (since March 1993) that retains as its chiefs of state a coprincipality; the two princes are the president of France and bishop of Seo de Urgel, Spain, who are represented locally by coprinces' representatives
Angolarepublic; multiparty presidential regime
AntarcticaAntarctic Treaty Summary - the Antarctic Treaty, signed on 1 December 1959 and entered into force on 23 June 1961, establishes the legal framework for the management of Antarctica; the 29th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting was held in Edinburgh, UK in June 2006; at these periodic meetings, decisions are made by consensus (not by vote) of all consultative member nations; at the end of 2006, there were 46 treaty member nations: 28 consultative and 18 non-consultative; consultative (decision-making) members include the seven nations that claim portions of Antarctica as national territory (some claims overlap) and 21 non-claimant nations; the US and Russia have reserved the right to make claims; the US does not recognize the claims of others; Antarctica is administered through meetings of the consultative member nations; decisions from these meetings are carried out by these member nations (with respect to their own nationals and operations) in accordance with their own national laws; the years in parentheses indicate when a consultative member-nation acceded to the Treaty and when it was accepted as a consultative member, while no date indicates the country was an original 1959 treaty signatory; claimant nations are - Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, NZ, Norway, and the UK. Nonclaimant consultative nations are - Belgium, Brazil (1975/1983), Bulgaria (1978/1998) China (1983/1985), Ecuador (1987/1990), Finland (1984/1989), Germany (1979/1981), India (1983/1983), Italy (1981/1987), Japan, South Korea (1986/1989), Netherlands (1967/1990), Peru (1981/1989), Poland (1961/1977), Russia, South Africa, Spain (1982/1988), Sweden (1984/1988), Ukraine (1992/2004), Uruguay (1980/1985), and the US; non-consultative members, with year of accession in parentheses, are - Austria (1987), Belarus (2006), Canada (1988), Colombia (1989), Cuba (1984), Czech Republic (1962/1993), Denmark (1965), Estonia (2001), Greece (1987), Guatemala (1991), Hungary (1984), North Korea (1987), Papua New Guinea (1981), Romania (1971), Slovakia (1962/1993), Switzerland (1990), Turkey (1996), and Venezuela (1999); note - Czechoslovakia acceded to the Treaty in 1962 and separated into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993; Article 1 - area to be used for peaceful purposes only; military activity, such as weapons testing, is prohibited, but military personnel and equipment may be used for scientific research or any other peaceful purpose; Article 2 - freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation shall continue; Article 3 - free exchange of information and personnel, cooperation with the UN and other international agencies; Article 4 - does not recognize, dispute, or establish territorial claims and no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force; Article 5 - prohibits nuclear explosions or disposal of radioactive wastes; Article 6 - includes under the treaty all land and ice shelves south of 60 degrees 00 minutes south and reserves high seas rights; Article 7 - treaty-state observers have free access, including aerial observation, to any area and may inspect all stations, installations, and equipment; advance notice of all expeditions and of the introduction of military personnel must be given; Article 8 - allows for jurisdiction over observers and scientists by their own states; Article 9 - frequent consultative meetings take place among member nations; Article 10 - treaty states will discourage activities by any country in Antarctica that are contrary to the treaty; Article 11 - disputes to be settled peacefully by the parties concerned or, ultimately, by the ICJ; Articles 12, 13, 14 - deal with upholding, interpreting, and amending the treaty among involved nations; other agreements - some 200 recommendations adopted at treaty consultative meetings and ratified by governments include - Agreed Measures for Fauna and Flora (1964) which were later incorporated into the Environmental Protocol; Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (1972); Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1980); a mineral resources agreement was signed in 1988 but remains unratified; the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed 4 October 1991 and entered into force 14 January 1998; this agreement provides for the protection of the Antarctic environment through six specific annexes: 1) environmental impact assessment, 2) conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora, 3) waste disposal and waste management, 4) prevention of marine pollution, 5) area protection and management and 6) liability arising from environmental emergencies; it prohibits all activities relating to mineral resources except scientific research; a permanent Antarctic Treaty Secretariat was established in 2004 in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Antigua and Barbudaconstitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government
Arubaparliamentary democracy
Australiafederal parliamentary democracy
Austriafederal republic
Bahamas, Theconstitutional parliamentary democracy
Bahrainconstitutional monarchy
Bangladeshparliamentary democracy
Barbadosparliamentary democracy
Belarusrepublic in name, although in fact a dictatorship
Belgiumfederal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy
Belizeparliamentary democracy
Bermudaparliamentary; self-governing territory
Bhutanabsolute monarchy; special treaty relationship with India; note - transition to a constitutional monarchy is expected in 2008
Bosnia and Herzegovinaemerging federal democratic republic
Botswanaparliamentary republic
Brazilfederal republic
British Virgin IslandsNA
Bruneiconstitutional sultanate
Bulgariaparliamentary democracy
Burkina Fasoparliamentary republic
Burmamilitary junta
Cambodiamultiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy
Cameroonrepublic; multiparty presidential regime
Canadaconstitutional monarchy that is also a parliamentary democracy and a federation
Cape Verderepublic
Cayman IslandsBritish crown colony
Central African Republicrepublic
ChinaCommunist state
Christmas IslandNA
Cocos (Keeling) IslandsNA
Colombiarepublic; executive branch dominates government structure
Congo, Democratic Republic of therepublic
Congo, Republic of therepublic
Cook Islandsself-governing parliamentary democracy
Costa Ricademocratic republic
Cote d'Ivoirerepublic; multiparty presidential regime established 1960
note: the government is currently operating under a power-sharing agreement mandated by international mediators
Croatiapresidential/parliamentary democracy
CubaCommunist state
note: a separation of the two ethnic communities inhabiting the island began following the outbreak of communal strife in 1963; this separation was further solidified after the Turkish intervention in July 1974 that followed a Greek junta-supported coup attempt gave the Turkish Cypriots de facto control in the north; Greek Cypriots control the only internationally recognized government; on 15 November 1983 Turkish Cypriot "President" Rauf DENKTASH declared independence and the formation of a "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC), which is recognized only by Turkey
Czech Republicparliamentary democracy
Denmarkconstitutional monarchy
Dominicaparliamentary democracy
Dominican Republicdemocratic republic
El Salvadorrepublic
Equatorial Guinearepublic
Eritreatransitional government
note: following a successful referendum on independence for the Autonomous Region of Eritrea on 23-25 April 1993, a National Assembly, composed entirely of the People's Front for Democracy and Justice or PFDJ, was established as a transitional legislature; a Constitutional Commission was also established to draft a constitution; ISAIAS Afworki was elected president by the transitional legislature; the constitution, ratified in May 1997, did not enter into effect, pending parliamentary and presidential elections; parliamentary elections were scheduled in December 2001, but were postponed indefinitely; currently the sole legal party is the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ)
Estoniaparliamentary republic
Ethiopiafederal republic
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)NA
Faroe IslandsNA
French PolynesiaNA
Gabonrepublic; multiparty presidential regime
Gambia, Therepublic
Germanyfederal republic
Ghanaconstitutional democracy
Greeceparliamentary republic
Greenlandparliamentary democracy within a constitutional monarchy
Grenadaparliamentary democracy
Guatemalaconstitutional democratic republic
Guernseyparliamentary democracy
Holy See (Vatican City)ecclesiastical
Hondurasdemocratic constitutional republic
Hong Konglimited democracy
Hungaryparliamentary democracy
Icelandconstitutional republic
Indiafederal republic
Irantheocratic republic
Iraqparliamentary democracy
Irelandrepublic, parliamentary democracy
Isle of Manparliamentary democracy
Israelparliamentary democracy
Jamaicaconstitutional parliamentary democracy
Japanconstitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government
Jerseyparliamentary democracy
Jordanconstitutional monarchy
Kazakhstanrepublic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch
Korea, NorthCommunist state one-man dictatorship
Korea, Southrepublic
Kuwaitconstitutional emirate
LaosCommunist state
Latviaparliamentary democracy
Lesothoparliamentary constitutional monarchy
LibyaJamahiriya (a state of the masses) in theory, governed by the populace through local councils; in practice, an authoritarian state
Liechtensteinconstitutional monarchy
Lithuaniaparliamentary democracy
Luxembourgconstitutional monarchy
Macaulimited democracy
Macedoniaparliamentary democracy
Malawimultiparty democracy
Malaysiaconstitutional monarchy
note: nominally headed by paramount ruler and a bicameral Parliament consisting of a nonelected upper house and an elected lower house; all Peninsular Malaysian states have hereditary rulers except Melaka and Pulau Pinang (Penang); those two states along with Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia have governors appointed by government; powers of state governments are limited by federal constitution; under terms of federation, Sabah and Sarawak retain certain constitutional prerogatives (e.g., right to maintain their own immigration controls); Sabah holds 25 seats in House of Representatives; Sarawak holds 28 seats in House of Representatives (it will have 31 seats after the next election)
Marshall Islandsconstitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 21 October 1986 and the Amended Compact entered into force in May 2004
MauritaniaDemocratic Republic
Mauritiusparliamentary democracy
Mexicofederal republic
Micronesia, Federated States ofconstitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 3 November 1986 and the Amended Compact entered into force May 2004
Monacoconstitutional monarchy
Mongoliamixed parliamentary/presidential
Moroccoconstitutional monarchy
Nepalconstitutional monarchy
Netherlandsconstitutional monarchy
Netherlands Antillesparliamentary
New CaledoniaNA
New Zealandparliamentary democracy
Nigeriafederal republic
Niueself-governing parliamentary democracy
Norfolk IslandNA
Northern Mariana Islandscommonwealth; self-governing with locally elected governor, lieutenant governor, and legislature
Norwayconstitutional monarchy
Pakistanfederal republic
Palauconstitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 1 October 1994
Panamaconstitutional democracy
Papua New Guineaconstitutional parliamentary democracy
Paraguayconstitutional republic
Peruconstitutional republic
Pitcairn IslandsNA
Portugalparliamentary democracy
Puerto Ricocommonwealth
Rwandarepublic; presidential, multiparty system
Saint HelenaNA
Saint Kitts and Nevisparliamentary democracy
Saint Luciaparliamentary democracy
Saint Pierre and MiquelonNA
Saint Vincent and the Grenadinesparliamentary democracy
Samoaparliamentary democracy
San Marinorepublic
Sao Tome and Principerepublic
Saudi Arabiamonarchy
Sierra Leoneconstitutional democracy
Singaporeparliamentary republic
Slovakiaparliamentary democracy
Sloveniaparliamentary republic
Solomon Islandsparliamentary democracy
Somaliano permanent national government; transitional, parliamentary federal government
South Africarepublic
Spainparliamentary monarchy
Sri Lankarepublic
SudanGovernment of National Unity (GNU) - the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) formed a power-sharing government under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA); the NCP, which came to power by military coup in 1989, is the majority partner; the agreement stipulates national elections in 2009
Surinameconstitutional democracy
Swedenconstitutional monarchy
Switzerlandformally a confederation but similar in structure to a federal republic
Syriarepublic under an authoritarian military-dominated regime
Taiwanmultiparty democracy
Thailandconstitutional monarchy
Togorepublic under transition to multiparty democratic rule
Tongaconstitutional monarchy
Trinidad and Tobagoparliamentary democracy
Turkeyrepublican parliamentary democracy
Turkmenistanrepublic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch
Turks and Caicos IslandsNA
Tuvaluconstitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy
United Arab Emiratesfederation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved to member emirates
United Kingdomconstitutional monarchy
United StatesConstitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition
Uruguayconstitutional republic
Uzbekistanrepublic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch
Vanuatuparliamentary republic
Venezuelafederal republic
VietnamCommunist state
Virgin IslandsNA
Wallis and FutunaNA
Western Saharalegal status of territory and issue of sovereignty unresolved; territory contested by Morocco and Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro), which in February 1976 formally proclaimed a government-in-exile of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), led by President Mohamed ABDELAZIZ; territory partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania in April 1976, with Morocco acquiring northern two-thirds; Mauritania, under pressure from Polisario guerrillas, abandoned all claims to its portion in August 1979; Morocco moved to occupy that sector shortly thereafter and has since asserted administrative control; the Polisario's government-in-exile was seated as an Organization of African Unity (OAU) member in 1984; guerrilla activities continued sporadically until a UN-monitored cease-fire was implemented on 6 September 1991 (Security Council Resolution 690) by the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara or MINURSO
Zimbabweparliamentary democracy


Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2020 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit · Free Essays · Cookie Settings