WikiProject Politics (Rated Template-class, Mid-importance)
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Collapse it

It's called basic forms of government. I don't think it was meant to be a bloody master list. It should only be there to lead to other, more in-depth templates.FourLights (talk) 14:20, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

Esoteric concepts

Am I the only one who thinks that the template should be reduced in size? There are some really esoteric concepts that do not really exist in modern practical politics. I am not suggesting that the idea of Kritarchy is useless, but it is not in existence as a "Form of Government" compared to a monarchy, dictatorship, republic, etc.

Let's keep in mind that a government's form is different from its qualities. Many of the items on the template refer to qualities inherent in basic forms of government. It seems the dividing line is this: There is a difference between forms of government in practice and qualities of government in theory/philosophy. As an overview of basic and practical concepts, I believe that the template should provide navigation to functional systems of government, and the theoretical concepts should be removed. If we can't gain a concensus to reduce the template based on the broader concepts of government, then I suggest that we make a seperate navigational template for theoretical/philosophical forms of government. For example, Minarchism really is a philosophical concept that does not describe a functioning structural form of government.

None of this is meant to disparage anyone's favorite governmental philosophy. We can all agree that nav templates cannot always contain every single topic-- they must touch on the "biggies." Additionally, I think the concept of this template has been lost by veering into the theoretical. That Robocracy is listed is a case in point. Anyway, the template has a direct link to a List of forms of government

I propose the following for the template as concrete, functional systems of government: concepts that describe a power structure and the application of that structure to citizens:

Complete list of forms of government

Direct democracy
Representative democracy
Absolute monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional republic
Parliamentary republic

Before I go through each concept on the template one by one, I wanted to get everyone's thoughts before I reduce the template. Thanks, --Lmbstl (talk) 18:03, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Hi Lmbstl, you may want to read the talk section on Anarchism and the Anarchism talk page, if you have not already. Cheers,Doright (talk) 04:46, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Hello Doright, I just looked over the page you suggested. What are your thoughts in relation to my above suggestions? --Lmbstl (talk) 05:13, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
It looks like you are giving it more thought than me. However, as you can see from the above, there has been an extended conversation regarding the inclusion of Anarchism. I noticed you left it out. You may want to review the reason that have been identified for including it. I find them persuasive. Regards, Doright (talk) 07:00, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The conversation you refer to has an entirely different premise. The premise here is this: there is a difference between forms of government in practice and qualities of government in theory/philosophy. I just don't see where anarchism exists as a part of a social consensus in governing a world country. Additionally, the first item listed on the template as I have suggested is "List of forms of government," where all philosophical forms of government are available. All of the concepts are valuable, although I think we can all agree that the template should not be an exhaustive list. Therefore, I think it is reasonable to discuss which qualities make an item fit for inclusion into the template, instead of assuming that all items should be included. The criterion used for the items suggested above are functioning governmental systems that are in practice. --Lmbstl (talk) 19:02, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for looking at the conversation. For clarification, can you state its premise? Thanks, Doright (talk) 01:36, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
The direct link to the anarchism debate you referenced is here on the anarchism talk page and here for the discussion on this page. I would prefer not to address that debate in this section, in order that this section can remain focused on scope of the Forms of Government template. As I mentioned, I think it is productive to discuss which qualities make an item fit for inclusion into the template. Thanks, --Lmbstl (talk) 04:03, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. I think templates need to be as broad and inclusive as possible. Hiding "esoteric" concepts will ensure that they remain esoteric, and I find that counter to the spirit of the wiki. The overarching purpose of Wikipedia is to make knowledge more easily accessible to more people. We should not try to steer the readers toward what we presume they most want to read about. Instead, we should put the obscure alongside the mundane and let readers choose their own path. The only good rationale I see for shortening the list is that it may take up too much space on the page. So just make a collapsible template. Aelffin (talk) 11:48, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Hello Aelffin, Let me be clear: I do not suggest hiding anything. As you can see above, the very first item on the suggested template is "Complete list of forms of government," where all philosophical forms of government are equally available. I am concerned that you did not read this whole section.
Additionally, the nav template has expanded in size because people found the concepts and added them, so I disagree with your assertion that readers need a template to access the articles. I am sure we can agree it is possible that too large a template can make accessing concepts cumbersome. In invoking "spirit of the wiki," you overlook that this whole system is one of organizing and presenting information to readers in a way that furthers dissemination, accessibilty, and understanding of the information.
The article List of forms of government exists for a reason-- to provide readers with a complete list of forms of government, real and philosophical, as they exist on Wikipedia. It is the first item on the template. By your rationale, every item in the List of forms of government article should be listed on a collapsible template. How does that make things easier for a reader? I simply don't see how this would benefit anyone, nor how it furthers the spirit of Wikipedia, particularly when related information is already separated into entire category and subcategory designations in a uniform system available to all users (where "the obscure" rests "alongside the mundane," as you advocate).
Either we assume all items should be listed on the template, or we agree that some items should be left out. I think it would be hard to gain a consensus that all items in the forms of government article should be listed on a template. That means some articles will be listed on the template, and some will not. A systemic issue here is categorizing forms of government in practice and qualities of government in theory/philosophy. For the purposes of this template, I have suggested reducing the scope of the template and discussing which qualities make an item fit for inclusion into the template-- in order to accomplish what I mention above-- organizing and presenting information to readers in a way that furthers its dissemination, accessibility, and understanding. I have suggested including items that are functioning governmental systems in current practice. Thanks, --Lmbstl (talk) 16:07, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
I did read your whole comment, but I think that relegating the less-than-well-known forms of government to the list page, even if the list page is the first thing on the template, constitutes "hiding" them, in practice. I understand that getting consensus on this position may be difficult. Nonetheless, it is the position I advocate, and I think it would be at least as difficult to get consensus on each item indivicually, as your position would require. The aformementioned anarchism debate illustrates this point. Basically, I think the problem is that your system of categorizing systems according to theoretical versus extant forms of government constitutes original research. Does direct democracy exist in fact? Has a communist state ever existed? By whose definition of communism? Is aristocracy form of government or a social system? see my point. Our disagreement seems to be mainly on the function of a template. You seem to see it as a roadmap for efficiently guiding people to the article of their selection. I see it as a tool for showing readers the range of options they have vis a vis a particular subject. If we limit the template to well known forms of government, then arguably useful concepts like "Kritarchy" will never become common knowledge because the readers will never think to look for them. Aelffin (talk) 18:15, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Let's think about this carefully. "I think that relegating the less-than-well-known forms of government to the list page, even if the list page is the first thing on the template, constitutes "hiding" them, in practice." The concepts listed in the forms of government article are "relegated"? I disagree. And, by your rationale, anything not on a nav template is as good as hidden. We all know that is not true.
"If we limit the template to well known forms of government, then arguably useful concepts like "Kritarchy" will never become common knowledge because the readers will never think to look for them." Do you really believe this? I do not assume readers to be so ignorant, nor do I assume that a template is the only way of accessing information, as I have already addressed above.
Second, our disagreement about the function of a template is true only in this case. There are many nav templates that can reasonably contain all relevant topics within a certain sphere, and I thoroughly advocate that they function that way. This is not such a case. In this case, it is not reasonable to have the contents of the Forms of government page listed on a nav template, which you advocate. Therefore, some concepts will be listed, others will not. By what criteria are concepts listed now? No one seems to know.
Additionally, it isn't just "theoretical vs. extant." Attempting to categorize these concepts unavoidably engages theory. (I do think a new nav template for theory is in order, though). The argument is not as complicated as you make it out to be-- many of the items currently listed are qualities, not forms. I certainly would be open to including anarchy in the template since it is quite relevant to governmental systems, antithetical or not. However, anarchism is a quality. Minarchism is a quality, and does not describe an integrated system. A communist state describes an integrated system, despite whether or not its quality of communism truly exists. In this case, the template actually serves to label qualities as governmental systems, which I find problematic because it can genuinely be misleading.
Finally, I do not suggest "getting consensus on each item individually," nor did I ever ask specifically about anarchism. Determining criteria for inclusion into the template removes the burden of individual debate. No one has has wanted to discuss defining this criteria so far, which is what I am asking to do. I have made the introductory suggestion that we reduce the scope of the template, using the criterion of functioning governmental systems that are in practice. If you do not prefer that criterion, then let us work together to define criteria and gain a consensus. Thanks, --Lmbstl (talk) 03:20, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Some quick comments . . . Regarding hidden vs not hidden, surely it's not a categorical question, but rather one of degree. I'm not sure yet where I fall on the implications of the qualities versus forms discussion. I do agree with Lmbstl when he/she writes, I certainly would be open to including anarchy in the template since it is quite relevant to governmental systems, antithetical or not. Regards, Doright (talk) 01:09, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the main aspect of the proposal; the list in the box should be greatly reduced. "Hiding" should not be an issue as the box is a navigational aid, not a complete list.
However, I think the criteria for inclusion should be "commonly DISCUSSED concepts that describe a power structure and the application of that structure to citizens" (rather than commonly USED), and therefore anarchy should be included. Bayle Shanks (talk) 16:03, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Here are my picks:
Direct democracy
Representative democracy
Military dictatorship
Absolute monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Mixed government
Constitutional republic
Parliamentary republic
Chiefdom —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bayle Shanks (talkcontribs) 16:08, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Here are some justifications for my including/excluding items from that list:
Direct democracy +: often discussed
Representative democracy +: often discussed
Military dictatorship +: often discussed
Absolute monarchy +: often discussed
Constitutional monarchy +: often discussed
Mixed government
Constitutional republic +: often discussed
Parliamentary republic +: often discussed
Socialist republic -: redundant; both this and the "communist state" define as Marxist
Capitalist republic -: may as well just have "republic" and separate the "capitalist" as an "economic system"
Bayle Shanks (talk) 16:33, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't completely agree with the idea that the size of this template should be reduced too much. First, we must make consensus on the usage of this template. I think this template is made to list types or forms of government and to make it clear that how to assort a government of a country into different types. If a government is dominated by men, it can thus be assorted as an androcracy, so do the others. Then, we can decide whether those esoteric concepts should remain or not. If this template is just made to list those obviously formal forms of government, it will also be very necessary to make a new list to include those esoteric ones. I firmly think that Wikipedia should also have the function to inspire or arouse something new in the readers' mind. At least, they should be provided with the chance to meet those esoteric ones rather than the stereotypes. If the criteria are too strict on this, something important may also be eliminated,too.
There's no perfect solution.
When mostly alphabetically arranged, it serves mainly to remind readers of what they already know; as it gets longer, people will look at what they expect to find and skip the rest, and I think it's already too long in terms of popular usability. Plus, if a reader already knows what a form of government is called, there's a good chance they'll type it into the search box or into the URL, although the present system helps with spelling. And the lack of word wrap, at least for spaceless strings, is beginning to create a problem, as the template gets wider and bumps main text down.
As an alternative, but at a trade-off of proposing more work than keeping the status quo, consider what's done for the feminism sidebar (((Feminism sidebar))), which has many subtopics with their own articles:
  • Lists and an index have been created and are linked to from the bottom of the template. This is so not every article has to be in the template. (A list is linked to in this template, too, but I managed to miss it and thought it wasn't there, since it reads like a partly redundant heading for the template, and it apparently doesn't try to be nearly complete.) The lists and index have to be maintained, too. While categories are automatically populated, lists and indexes have to be maintained manually. An index is much like a list. Both (unlike categories) can be annotated. Both are begun much the way any new article is begun.
  • The template groups links, with a heading for each group. I'm not sure how to group forms of government, unless political scientists have a standard classification scheme already, and even so this may be too hard or too nonintuitive to implement. The existing list has a scheme but it seems incomplete.
  • Where there are groups of links, the groups may be presented as collapsed, so users can open just the groups they want to see. Grouping would also allow adding links for, say, articles about theorists who write about classifications, multiform overview articles, and so on. The template may be presented in an article uncollapsed, collapsed, or, I think, with a different status for each group.
Another solution is to lay the template out horizontally, rather than vertically, and place it at the bottom of a page, and that might save room for more links, but that requires moving the template on all the articles that use it, which is quite a number.
Nick Levinson (talk) 18:19, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
For valid links, to achieve further selectivity, notability is hard to exceed. I'm not clear how to define an objective supernotability standard. Maintaining a comprehensive list or index gives us an excuse to be subjective for supernotability for explicit inclusion in the template.
Redlinks shouldn't last long, if present at all. At first, they encourage writing articles. After a while, they may represent nonnotability or other cause for article deletion. Stubs are a workable interim solution.
Nick Levinson (talk) 19:00, 19 February 2011 (UTC)


I propose adding matriarchy. There are reports of matriarchies existing over thousands of years; not all are verified, but the subject figures prominently in thealogy and in 1960s–1980s U.S. discourse, especially among women, and is discussed in anthropology, history, popular culture, and animal studies. I'll be glad to add it if there's no objection. Thanks. Nick Levinson (talk) 01:48, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Done. Thanks. Nick Levinson (talk) 15:37, 30 January 2011 (UTC)


Since when is bureaucracy a form of government? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:47, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I can't see that it is. Not everything that ends in cracy belongs in this template. Removed. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 13:53, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree with the above editors. Irrespective of the "-cracy" ending in the word, it does not describe a form of government--democracies, oligarchies, and monarchies can all have "bureaucracies," which are government officials and bodies that administer governmental decisions irrespective of the form of government. And it most certainly isn't a type of oligarchy; few would disagree with applying the term to the executive branches of representative democracies like the United States. Here are several dictionary definitions of the term "bureaucracy," all of which indicate that the term does not refer to a form of government itself, but rather it describes administrative persons, bodies, and processes within a government:

Merriam-Webster, a: a body of nonelective government officials b : an administrative policy-making group

Free Online Dictionary, a. Administration of a government chiefly through bureaus or departments staffed with nonelected officials. b. The departments and their officials as a group: promised to reorganize the federal bureaucracy., 1. Government by many bureaus, administrators, and petty officials. 2. The body of officials and administrators, especially of a government or government department.

Given this reasoning, I agree with the above editors that "bureaucracy" is not a form of government and should stay out of this template. –Prototime (talk · contribs) 16:39, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

As I say this is not a question how many users agree with you definition. This question of logic, history and origin of the word. Do you agree?-- (talk) 01:14, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
I repeat the basic word orgine as was done on your page: "Please review the definition provided in original article "Bureaucracy" as well as origin of the word "bureau – desk or office and gr. κράτος kratos – rule or political power." It is equal to term Techno-cracy, Aristo-cracy etc. It should be understand that bureaucracy as well as aristocracy, technocracy etc. is replacement for demo-cracy. In democratic society we need administration (civil service) not usurpations for domination. Bureaucracy should be understand as form of undemocratic government or spoiled social service. Administration ought to be executor and only executor of legislative orders - in democratic society they are the parliament statutes. In addition parliament should be only representation of people (i.e. demos). On other world it parliament needs legitimation of people to be democratic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:26, 5 October 2012 (UTC)"
You say: "I was upholding a previously-established consensus among editors (as indicated on the template talk page) that bureaucracy does not belong in the template." I introduced the bureaucracy on 29 September and you removed it. I do not see previous enters of 'bureaucracy' thus it is not for me "previously-established consensus". Anyway, CONSENSUS has no meaning if deny science and logic. Is it?-- (talk) 01:30, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
You say: "Furthermore, even though Wikipedia not a democracy, it is appropriate to allow other editors to contribute to the discussion when attempting to build consensus." Obviously it is, but the users should use scientific argument not saying NO or YES as above. YES or NO is just voting but not building consensus. Besides, it is expected that any user will accept reasoning/logic instead being obstinate and NEGATE up to a death :)-- (talk) 01:37, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
The previously-established consensus of which I referenced on my talk page concerns the discussion above that included IP user and Adrian J. Hunter, where it was established that "bureaucracy" is not a form of government. Granted, it was not the most thorough of conversations, but a consensus per WP:CONSENSUS was reached nonetheless. I have stated that my position is also that bureaucracy is not a form of government, and given reasons that I believe to be logical. Now you have stated your view, which is different, and provided your reasons for it. But, like it or not, Wikipedia is based on consensus. In the process of building consensus, all of us as editors are free to attempt to persuade other editors using scientific articles and logical arguments, but simply because an editor asserts that his or her view is scientifically or logically sound does not end the discussion if other editors remain unconvinced. Personally, I appreciate your argument, but thus far I am unpersuaded by it, and I do not believe that the view that myself and the previous two editors have is illogical or unscientific. That being said, let's discuss more, and I'm happy to hear the views of other editors and have a robust conversation. –Prototime (talk · contribs) 01:44, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree that all democracy, monarchy, and oligarchy have administration, but unnecessary bureaucracy, which is an spoiled administration i.e. using its power for good of their class.
But even in monarchy (which I dislike,) administration can be just passive 'machine' without ability (i.e. highly controlled by monarch) to seize power for their own class advantage. In this case I call this passive but yet administration.
ADMINISTRATION is much older word than bureaucracy. It is from Latin administratore, Here is the definition from Britannica: "ADMINISTRATION (Lat. administratote, to serve) the performance or management of affairs, term specifically used in law for the administration or disposal of the estate of a deceased person (see WILL or TESTAMENT), It is also used generally for "government", and specifically for "the government" or the executive ministry, and as such connexions as the administration (administrating or tendering) of the sacraments, justice, oaths, medicine &cc." end of definition copied point to point.
As you will see the word administration has no pejorative meaning and much older origin then bureaucracy (which I will discuss next). Take for consideration the word government is in quote marks and serve + executive words used for description of the functionality of Lat. administratore.-- (talk) 02:46, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Looking on Merrian-Webster dictionary definition/
Please do not attach you self to “an administrative policy-making group” should they make policies for yourself :) This is the question? Rather they should serve interest of public (I do not return to monarch by obvious reason) - I prefer to stay in modern politic system – democracy.
What I can see is origin of the word:” French bureaucratie, from bureau + -cratie -cracy First Known Use: 1818.” - As you see this word was used before Max Weber and much later than the ADMINISTRATION. We will see Max Weber attempt to change the initial meaning. Should he, or have rights to do so? I do not think so. This was on turn of XIX and XX century in specific climate of German Empire this are not good credentials, I think.
Please look also on: “ROBERT K. MERTON emphasized its red tape and inefficiency due to blind conformity to procedures. More recent theories have stressed the role of managerial cliques, occupational interest groups, or individual power-seekers in creating politicized organizations characterized by internal conflict.”
Thus most recent theories, (I hope you will see next), return to the origin pejorative meaning from 1818. -- (talk) 03:36, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Here is the history of word BUREAUCRACY. For the exactness it is not my work, I just spot it done by sombody else.
"==Word Origin and Usage==
The term "bureaucracy" is French in origin, and combines the French word "bureau" – desk or office – with the Greek word κράτος kratos – rule or political power.[1] It was coined sometime in the mid-1700s by the French economist Jacques Claude Marie Vincent de Gournay, and was a satirical perjorative from the outset. Gournay never wrote the term down, but was later quoted at length in a letter from a contemporary:

The late M. de Gournay...sometimes used to say: "We have an illness in France which bids fair to play havoc with us; this illness is called bureaumania." Sometimes he used to invent a fourth or fifth form of government under the heading of "bureaucracy."

The first known English-language use was in 1818.[3] The 19th-century definition referred to a system of governance in which offices were held by unelected career officials, and in this sense "bureaucracy" was seen as a distinct form of government, often subservient to a monarchy.[4]"
--Burham (talk) 03:49, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
And finaly if BUREAUCRACY can be/is defined as form of government:

":Bureaucracy may also be defined as a form of government: "government by many bureaus, administrators, and petty officials. [5]

A government is defined as: "the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community, etc."[6]
On the other hand democracy is defined as: "government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system"[7], thus not by non-elected bureaucrats.
Thus I beleave I logicaly prooved the Bureaucracy is (can be - if sombody accept sourcess etc.) a form of GOVERNMENT in concurency with legal/official one and usualy undergroud.

Best regard --Burham (talk) 04:01, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

I appreciate your elaboration of your reasoning. (On a side note, I'm glad to see you have registered an account! I hope this means you'll be sticking around as an active Wikipedian.) Concerning this discussion, I appreciate you laying out the origins of the word, but I do not believe that the origins firmly establish that contemporary usage of the term refers to a distinct form of government. I agree that "bureaucracy", compared to "administration," has a negative connotation and perhaps suggests that the career bureaucrats are self-interested in performance their duties, but I do not see why this means that it is a form of government. For example, the executive branch of the United States has numerous officials who without doubt are accused all the time of "using power for the good of their 'class'" -- does that then mean the United States is not a democracy, but rather a bureaucracy? I think not. The executive branch, however, IS referred to quite commonly as a "bureaucracy" -- typing in the words "United States bureaucracy" in quotes into Google comes up with 60,100 hits alone, and again, I believe few people would disagree that many executive branch officials are "using power for the good of their 'class'". But if "bureaucracy" were a form of government, then by your definition, the United States doesn't "have" a bureaucracy in its executive branch; rather, the entire government is a bureaucracy. Do you think that to be the case? And can you identify any country that, according to a reliable source, has its entire form of government labeled as a "bureaucracy"? –Prototime (talk · contribs) 01:46, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

-- In respond to you notices:

>>I agree that "bureaucracy", compared to "administration," has a negative connotation and perhaps suggests that the career bureaucrats are self-interested in performance their duties, …

I am happy you got this conclusion. It is essentially my big concern that there exists strong and fearsome opposition to recognize the difference between word bureaucracy and administration. As much I experience the striking opposition; it convinces me to straggle against it more. That indicates for me there are many individuals who contentiously want eradicate the difference for the sake of their fear of their truthful intentions or simply to avoid public respond to their laziness in financially privileged position. Public service is a duty, act of social trust and can be a proud for honest worker, however not many grow up to the important position. Spoiled people in social trusty position deserve simple pejorative mark in form of word BUREAUCRAT.

>>…but I do not see why this means that it is a form of government. For example, the executive branch of the United States has numerous officials who without doubt are accused all the time of "using power for the good of their 'class'" -- does that then mean the United States is not a democracy, but rather a bureaucracy?

Well I did not say that any particular country is “not a democracy, but rather a bureaucracy”. It is not necessary to see a bureaucracy in a pure, singular form in an existence. There are always, and in many circumstances examples where the second, more or less unofficial, underground government appears. Unnecessary is coexistence democracy with bureaucracy, but coexistence aristocracy, technocracy, authoritarianism, plutocracy, autocracy etc. with forms of monarchy, democracy, dictatorship, republic etc. in many combinations. You can imagine some examples for yourself. It is only a question if the people of a nation perceive strong tendency to the second unofficial-underground government.

>>And can you identify any country that, according to a reliable source, has its entire form of government labeled as a "bureaucracy"?

Well I will not go to such think. There is always a stalk of doubts and personal judgment if such country if purely bureaucratic, particular that the governing power would not like this kind of classification and only the citizen inside knows the true. Beside you probably would not have example of country entirely governed by aristocracy (mostly it was monarchy supported by aristocracy), or country governed by technocracy, or meritocracy etc. & so on. However, these above forms coexist with official form. Aristocracy, technocracy, and meritocracy are rooted in the “Template: Forms of government” - on the same merit I introduced bureaucracy as oligarchy.
It would be very problematic to find even the Mandarin China purely bureaucratic. It was monarchy funded on privileged newly created class for the monarch convenience, but soon bureaucrats become managing the Emperor also :)--Burham (talk) 03:31, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Dear Prototime, Since I did not received you answer up to now for my arguments I feel free to introduce Bureaucracy as form of Oligarchy.--Burham (talk) 20:32, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

My apologies for not responding sooner, but I have been affected by Hurricane Sandy and have had little time to be on Wikipedia the past week. I appreciate your arguments, but I still believe my rationale is stronger--that "bureaucracy" is not a form of government, but rather a derogatory label applied to self-interested administration within any type of government; however, I have little time at present to further engage in discussion on the point, and I cannot be very active on Wikipedia in the immediate future. As you and I are the only editors involved in this conversation at present, I have requested a third opinion on the issue. I will not revert your addition of bureaucracy to the template at least until we have receive a third opinion from another editor. –Prototime (talk · contribs) 20:52, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for you responds Prototime. Since are you busy with other issues it is reasonable to involve some other interested more free to discuss the subject. I am open to resolve the problem point by point, in systematic way – tabularizing, and adjusting all facts and trends. One word, however, if we will label "bureaucracy' as only a "self-interested administration within any type of government" what to do with technocracy, meritocracy and similar oligarchic groups grabbing power . For example the technocracy can be less visible (less formally organized) but existing within any type of government, communist, democratic or military junta.--Burham (talk) 01:30, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I actually agree with you concerning technocracy and meritocracy; I don't believe that any country actually has a form of government known as "technocracy" or "meritocracy", though governments may have features that could be described as technocratic or meritocratic. For consistency, I would be fine removing technocracy and meritocracy from the template, and establishing criteria for the template where only terms that refer to basic forms of oligarchy, in which a country has been identified by reliable sources to have that form (such as aristocracy, plutocracy, military junta, timocracy, and possibly stratocracy) may be included. What do you think of this inclusion criteria? –Prototime (talk · contribs) 15:49, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Third opinion

After coming here from WP:3O and reading the above, I agree with Prototime that the arguments for considering bureaucracy a feature of government, rather than a separate type of government, are considerably stronger. In particular, listing it under "oligarchy" is misleading, because all modern governments, whether oligarchic or not, employ a bureaucracy. I've therefore removed the addition.  Sandstein  09:18, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Dear Sandstein, All governments employs administration; it is other question if the executive branch will switch to bureaucracy or not i.e. if become using their power illegally. You are mistaken. Please read the arguments what differ between bureaucracy from administration. I will not revert you intervention, but I expect logical arguments.--Burham (talk) 15:58, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I introduced the same text as above on the template talk page, also. My simple point is a suggestion for you to recognize the difference between words administration and bureaucracy. They are not synonyms, thus if bureaucracy has pejorative meaning cannot be employed regularly by any kind of government. A government employ executive branch (i.e. administration, which by definition cannot replace or usurp legislature function). - Also this text I copy to talk of the template, and I will continue the conversation there as you wish.--Burham (talk) 19:05, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Dear Sandstain, Since I did not received you answer, for 10 days, with support of you opinion: "every government employs bureaucracy" I feel free to return the 'Bureaucracy' word where belongs.--Burham (talk) 18:45, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, I forgot to answer. I reverted your edit again, because I am not familiar with a reliable source that names bureaucracy as a form of government. Can you cite such a source? (Per WP:V, if an editor wants to add content, it is their responsibility to provide sources for such content.)  Sandstein  21:18, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Dear Sandstain, I think you did not read the above discussion, so again this is the sources: I will not revert your revert, I left it for you. I think you will act this time less agresively.--Burham (talk) 01:42, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

I think our conversation/cooperation do not goes well. 1) You change my edits 2)I ask you why 3)you ask me for explanation which is already given on Talk above, and 4)Change my edit again 5) I ask you for consideration 6) you keep silence 7)I change edit since lack of you activity and you start active contra immediately 8)I ask you to read TALK and respond consecutively you do nothing - no even with info you have difficulties with reading. CONCLUSION: I feel it is unreasonable PLAY. From now I will react quickly.--Burham (talk) 00:37, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Dear Prototime, Show me rather that the consensus had been made on the base of Wikipedia rules and PARTICULARY what in this consensus is so logical that should sustain. Do not accuse me for obstinacy at illogical point of view. We will disagree with a point I will enter my arguments, you will enter yours. The reader will judge which the valid one is. WHY deprive reader valuable resources of information? Hmm... It is not ethical to kill FREEDOM of INFORMATION. Look somewhat like Communist censorship! I do not have license for only true, as well as you do not. Also, if majority has one opinion does not it mean it does not mean it is the CORRECT one. Only by freedom of speech the true goes up for the benefit of all.--Burham (talk) 03:24, 17 November 2012 (UTC) PS. You and other editors can believe on all kind of thinks, believe is not a fact, is not reality, and most important is not scientific. Wikipedia is not collection of believes. Is it?--Burham (talk) 03:24, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Fourth Opinion (December 2013)

I read the previous discussions above between Burham and others, and it seems to me that the dispute is over the implication of the word "bureaucracy" over administration on its independence: ie: does a bureaucracy have the effective free reign to actually rule? My opinion: This is a symantic issue, reagarding differences in how the word is used, an I think it is visible in the language of the discourse above.

Burham (inclusind associated ips), to put it mildly, does not appear to be a native English speaker, and so it seems to me that his understanding of English and the word "bureaucracy" is informed by formal education or language instruction. As for the other editors (and I would include myself here), they appear to be native speakers, and their understanding of the word "bureaucracy" is informed by popular culture.

In common American English parlance, bureaucracy is associated with red tape, inneficiency, administration, and government in general, but it's not associated with agency: the word doesn't imply independence of the bureaucrat or bureaucracy: It's taken for granted that the bureaucrat or bureaucracy is constrained by the law or the legislature. If an actual government were to rule in the form of government administrators who were independent of the law, then in common American English at least, we would call them oligarchies or oligarchs, because they're not just enforcing the law, but above the law. To be above the law is inconsistent with the American form of governmnet, so while bureaucracy is thrown around casually at political opponents, the word oligarchy has a more damning implication and better represents what I think Burham is talking about.

This isn't a justification, but merely an observation: Burham's arguments that the constituent parts of bureaucracy: buearu and ocracy, really should imply government by and for a buearu, in my experience, that's just not how the word is used. Rustyfence (talk) 04:28, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Bureaucracy section references

Readding Communist State

We have whole Wikipedia articles dedicated to that. I will be adding it shortly. Also, if they don't exist, then what do you call them? --43?9enter ☭msg☭contribs 07:16, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Matching Template Changes with Corresponding Articles

I have a question/concern about when changes are made to the list. When new forms are added to the list, we should try to make sure that the corresponding article gets this template placed in it. Conversly, when a link is removed from this template, we should remove the template from that article, correct? For example, I added the template to Nanny state, which has since been removed from the list, but the template remains on the Nanny state page. Not questioning the removal of nanny state from the list, just want to make sure the template matches the articles and vice versa. --Robthepiper (talk) 22:37, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

I agree on the former but disagree on the latter. It turns out that the number of notable forms of government (and forms subsumed under others that are notable) is too large for a template that has to fit within an article, so we have to be even more selective than we would be if we applied merely the standard of notability (adjusted for the subsumed), which determines whether a form of government can have its own article. An article on a form of government should link to other forms of government, and the template supports that. So, if an article is about a form of government that does not qualify for the template, we should still have the template in that article, for the sake of readers and researchers. At the same time, if we add a form of government into the template, we could reasonably assume that it must be at least a notable form of government or subsumed within one, so there should certainly be an article covering that form of government, either at that moment or soon thereafter, either under the same name or by a pipe or redirect. Nick Levinson (talk) 01:24, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Nick. What you've said makes sense. What I was torn between is whether we should have a one-to-one relationship between the template and the article or a one-to-many relationship. I can see pros and cons with both approaches, but I don't feel strongly either way. You seem to be for the latter, which sounds fine, as long as it's applied relatively consistenly. In terms of the length of the list, that's a discussion I'm staying out of for now because I don't have any good insights as to how to solve it. --Robthepiper (talk) 21:39, 6 April 2011 (UTC)


We should mention it because we also mention the theoretical, and barely known about, Demarchy. So, we should including Theodemocracy. --SomeDudeWithAUserName (talk with me!) 05:10, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

The list is WAY too long. It takes up too much space in articles. Shoud be shortened and simplified

The list shown is way too long. It takes up multiple pages in length. It needs to be shortened to common forms of government.--R-41 (talk) 22:46, 25 July 2011 (UTC)


I just stumbled across this and there are many changes I would make. Remove either Patriarchy or Androcracy, they are both the same thing (male rulers) although Patriarchy is a better page Androcracy is the actual term for the rule of government (although matriarchy is used instead of Gynocracy). So either merge Androcracy into Patriarchy then remove Androcracy from the list or just remove one of them. Corporatism isn't a type of government. (The) Garrison state appears to actually be a book so shouldn't really be in this template. Green state is a type of democracy so should be a subsection of tha tpage. Kakistocracy doesn't have an entry, but it is locked. Confusing! Kratocracy isn't actually a type of government, it as a way of staging a coup. Kyriarchy, not sure what this is but it is not a type of government. Mediocracy is not a type of government. The page Nomocracy is crap, it seems to be some sort of term for an Islamic theocracy. Or is it an Autocracy? I'm not sure but it clearly isn't a type of government it is a sub-type of one of those other types. Noocracy is a self described 'Aristocracy' so should be merged. Panarchism is a subsection of Anarchism and not itself a type of government. Pantisocracy appears to be a type of Communism. Plantocracy is just a type of Plutocracy although that itself seems to be a type of Oligarchy. Sociocracy appears to be a type of Democracy. Squirearchy is not a type of government. Police state is not a type of government but is a type of Totalitarianism. Sultanism is a type of Monarchy. Superpower is not a type of government. Synarchism is not its own type of government. Finally, Welfare state is not a type of government. I do not know why all these redundant terms are in here. But this template is severly bloated and should probably be, at least, halved. I thought it best to come here first, as maybe there is some reason for having these excess terms here, and I didn't want to be rude by making vast changes to this template when I had not contributed to it before. Thanks. Adam4267 (talk) 18:19, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree with your proposal. The list is way too long and needs to be simplified to basic common forms of government - specific variants and minor types unnecessarily fill up the list and make it confusing. I would add that the term corporatocracy is under POV dispute for a long time, plus it is a form of plutocracy which itself is a form of oligarchy at least as defined by Aristotle. I will put through your changes. I legitimize these changes with the basis that historical political theorists, including Aristotle have narrowed down the forms of government to a small list.--R-41 (talk) 15:58, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Proposed Classification of governments

Everybody seems to be dissatisfied with the current list, so Here's an idea, tell me what you think. Let's classify governments according to three properties: Power Structure, Power source, and legal system.

Power Structure
Power Source
Legal System

These categories are broad and may define governments, past present and future, without regard to who is in power. It is simply a framework. For example, you could have a government that is structurally unitary or federal or confederal, it's power is justified by virtue of the people in charge (aristocracy (if written limitations, constitutional, otherwise popular) or it could be a democracy, direct or indirect. It's legal system could be republican or authoritarian, that is are the laws made up by the authorities at whim or are they written down and applied predictably? If they are objective/fairly enforced, then are the law enforcers selected by the people or the law makers? if people, presidential, if enforcers are selected by law makers, parliamentary. What do you guys think? Rustyfence (talk) 10:30, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

I just want to add, the reason why I made this change: Before, it was just a long, unorganized and frankly confusing list that ignored the relationships between the different forms of government. What I tried to do with my version is create different categories so that the reader knows what is a subset of what, and also is able to tell that multiple terms are needed to describing each state. Hopefully any objections people may have can be answered without going back to having a confusing list.Rustyfence (talk) 11:26, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Proposed edit

Hello. This template as it currently stands seems a bit tall and space-grabbing. How about the first version opposite, which reduces its height without losing (or changing) any of its content? Or the second, which introduces an "Authoritarian" subsection? (The third is the current template, for the sake of comparison.) (talk) 18:03, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

I am strongly opposed to the use of ((·)) and <br> for delimiters for wp:accessibility reasons. if this is a list, then use either ((flatlist)) or ((plainlist)) or |bodyclass=hlist or |bodyclass=plainlist. Frietjes (talk) 19:56, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing this out. hlist/plainlist seem to bring some quirks of their own (e.g. handling line-spacing and those hanging dots) but what do you make of the templates as now modified? (And, would you prefer the one including the "Authoritarian" subsection, or no change at all?) Perhaps Sidebar et al should include "subheading" parameters for use within its "content" or "list" sections... (talk) 05:06, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
hanging dots are a feature, not a problem. they show that it is a single list, and they delimit the list. as far as line-spacing goes, this is only a problem if you try to mix non-list elements with list elements, or if you use only non-list elements. this problem exists when you use a <br> delimited list and try to add newlines in the list. the work-around is to wrap content in div tags as you have done. the other option is to use dfn lists when there is a heading, using the ; and : syntax instead of * syntax. Frietjes (talk) 17:18, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
I suspect we may have to agree to disagree about hanging dots, at least for the time being, as they appear ungainly to me. I don't believe they're necessary to indicate an ongoing list or delimit every item in that list. I can imagine an adaptation, though, which I think would accommodate both our points of view: leaving them there, but making them hidden (visually), e.g. using "visibility:hidden;" styling.
Meanwhile, apologies for ignorance, but I'm guessing a "dfn list" is one of these: ...? If so, it's something I haven't seen before, so thanks for the pointer. (talk) 06:04, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
PS Do you prefer any of the three layouts opposite? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:06, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
yes, dfn means definition, you can create definition lists using the ; and : in wikimarkup, although with hlist, it works best in navboxes,
Form 1
Form 2
Form 3
as long as we are using hlist/plainlist for lists, I have no preference otherwise concerning the format. Frietjes (talk) 16:14, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I have implemented the second of two more compact versions of the template. Thanks for your input. (talk) 06:41, 24 November 2012 (UTC)


I have added Polyarchy under the democracy section. It is surprising that the term was not already present in the infobox.--Moosh88 (talk) 22:31, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Going by the threads above, it may well have been in there once but then omitted (along with other variations) to keep the template's size from growing... (talk) 06:08, 22 November 2012 (UTC)


Also recently added:

Jim1138 (talk) 08:04, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi, Jim1138. Looking at earlier threads on the talkpage here, it seems the (over)growth of this template has been a problem, so I haven't included the "Pejorative" subsection in the more compact version just installed as I'm not convinced its contents count as basic forms of government. You can still add it again though (after the "Authoritarian" subsection, I'd suggest) if you feel its contents are basic. (talk) 06:50, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Was added by Burham, not I. See User_talk:Jim1138#Your_info_not_in_the_lead._Why.3FCheers Jim1138 (talk) 07:20, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Apologies. I guess if Burham wants to (try) add(ing) it again, s/he can. (talk) 12:58, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved. CsDix (talk) 01:27, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Template:Forms of governmentTemplate:Basic forms of government – To match the template's established title (and scope). A tendency toward "template bloat" is reported in the threads above. (talk) 12:59, 24 November 2012 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.


Any additional comments:
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Plato's five regimes

Any relevance to government nav? -- (talk) 10:02, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Possibly, maybe under a new heading ("Theory"?). But might that invite more and more links, bloating the template..? CsDix (talk) 12:15, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Is a Caliphate a theocracy

Caliphate was added to this template which I removed, but was reinstated. To me, it appears to be a theocracy. If you were to change "Islamic state" to "Christain state", "Quran" to "Bible", and "Caliph" to some Christian equivalent, most would call it a theocracy. Why is a Caliphate any different? Should it be removed from the list? I propose that Caliphate be removed from Template:Basic forms of government. Jim1138 (talk) 17:26, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

It's a theocracy - I'd like to see the arguments that it isn't. Dougweller (talk) 20:52, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Well maybe not - I don't think that editor understands or maybe doesn't accept our policies and guidelines. I've removed it as it clearly doesn't belong. Dougweller (talk) 20:57, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I have removed Caliphate again. "Caliphate" is defined in the article as an "Islamic state". For Sunni Islam, the caliph is selected by election (democracy?) for the Shia Islam, the caliph is "appointed by God". Either way, I fail to see how a Caliphate is a "Basic form of government" Jim1138 (talk) 04:05, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

New proposed Classification of governments

The new list is a great improvement but it still has a few issues. For instance constitutional monarchies belong to both monarchies and democracies, and there isn't a category for republics, which is something a lot of readers will be looking for.

So I would propose adding another category for 'Head of state' that lists Republic, Monarchy and maybe Theocracy.

I would like to rename Power Structure to Area of Government, and Power Source to Representation of Government.

This should keep the list the same lenght as it is now, but better presenting where republic and monarchy comes in and that they are only mutily exclusive with eachother not Democracy for instance.Carewolf (talk) 23:59, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

By scope?

Could another way to regard "basic forms" of government be by scope/extent/etc, i.e. (in no particular order) local, central/national, national unity, federal, supranational, etc, etc..? Sardanaphalus (talk) 11:22, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Authoritarianism and autocracy

Totalitarianism involves the total authority of the state and total control over the aspects of the lives of people. Authoritarianism involves the subordination of individual freedom to the power of the state and subjection of the people to authority. Totalitarianism is a form of authoritarianism. Despotism involves the exercise of absolute authority by a despot. Autocracy refers to a form of government where one person has unlimited authority over others. A dictatorship is a form of government where absolute power is exercised by a dictator. All of these may be classified under authoritarianism to some extent, but the same does not apply under autocracy, which is too limited. Autocracy refers to one individual, whereas totalitarianism and authoritarianism do not necessarily have to exist beneath one individual, so autocracy shouldn't be representing the group of five. A dictatorship is not necessarily totalitarian, and totalitarianism can be oligarchic in nature, so totalitarianism cannot be at the top. Dustin (talk) 01:15, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Also, if your problem is that authoritarianism is not a noun form way of referring to a state, that is because there is not a word that actually refers to "authoritarianism" in the form of an actual state. The closest alternative I can find is "authoritarian state". Dustin (talk) 01:22, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Then re-do the template. Something so ambiguous as forms of government should not be characterized into mere groups when they can overlap one another. The main forms of a government are: Democracy, Autocracy and Oligarchy. Monarchy can overlap with Autocracy, or even Oligarchy. Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism can fall under anyone of those categories, including a Democracy. Whose idea was it to summarize all of this into a template? This is not black and white. StanMan87 (talk) 09:08, 26 January 2015 (UTC)


Be advised that I just added Chinese Legalism under monarchy for your consideration. It is, in any case, a basis of Chinese monarchy. I would also like to point out it's origination of things like the written examination, as detailed on the page, which admittedly needs more work.FourLights (talk) 15:58, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Why is gender on top?

I wonder why "gender superstructure" is on top, is not a little bit time-bound as in these days manosphereans and femminism is on the rise worldwide? Further I find that some some links like patrilocal residence and matrilineality have been added ad-hoc to support the "gender superstructure" bit of the template.

Further, "patrilineal power inheritance" links to patrilineality and "matrilineal power inheritance" to matrilineality which conflates the concepts as these article have no explicit content on "power inheritance". Lappspira (talk) 14:00, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Power structure heading

I think that "Territorial Jurisdiction Structure" is more apropriate, "power structure" reminds me about structural paradigm for social organisations / institutions (like hierachy or non-hierarchy), and not about the spatial subdivision of administrative powers. And besides all the articles listed under this section are, in fact, about territorial structures.

Anarchism Purpose

Since this box is organized in terms of "level of civilian participation" Anarchism should be place before Democracy and change it's description to "power of all" (instead of this misleading "power of none" wich concerns the negative aspects of the anarchist philosophy about "no one should rule the others" and not it's positive aspects that "everyone should participate"). What you think @Czar: and @Гармонический Мир:. Ogat (talk) 04:36, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

I think it's fine to keep it last but "power of none" doesn't make much sense—more like "sovereignty of none". Agreed that "power of all" is closer but still misleading. What basis/sourcing are we using to justify the "power of x" construction? czar 12:56, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
I changed anarchism's and the three others to consistently use "rule of ..."; it was "government of none" but that isn't really English, so it's now "rule of none". Kind regards from PJvanMill (talk) 18:24, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

Removed corporatocracy and netocracy

Hello. I come from the article Corporatocracy, where I removed this template, because it is not considered a basic form of government by any source in the article. Consequently, I've removed a link to the article from this template. Then I did the same with Netocracy, because there it is also clear from the article that it isn't considered a basic form of government. Kind regards from PJvanMill (talk) 17:57, 28 February 2020 (UTC)


I'm not sure what the criteria for inclusion is in this template, but I suggest pathocracy might be included. Daask (talk) 18:26, 10 March 2020 (UTC)

Hello Daask, I object for two reasons: (1) This is a template that links to different articles and "pathocracy" doesn't have its own article. (2) This template is called "Basic forms of government", so it should contain... basic forms of government. I don't think "pathocracy" is considered a basic form of government, in part because it doesn't even have its own article. Kind regards from PJvanMill (talk) 19:35, 10 March 2020 (UTC)

Unfamiliar with this "template", ... I tried unsuccessfully to use it a certain way

This "may or may not" be a suggestion for [a reason for] a change

The main reason for my lack of success (in the little 'episode' recounted below) might be (in the opinion of some) ... my own ignorance. If so, then

[feel free to explain the reason(s) why]

maybe my recent experience does not indicate some fault in (nor even some "room for improvement" in) this infobox^H^H^H "sidebar". (Is a "sidebar" ... kinda like an ((infobox)) [template] ... of a certain kind?)


I was reading an article (it was about the Falkland Islands) that included (near the top) an instance of [or is it a "transcluded copy" of?] the "((Infobox dependency))" template.

For reasons that may be outside the scope of this 'anecdote', I clicked on a hyperlink inside that "((Infobox dependency))" template. That hyperlink was displayed as "Devolved parliamentary dependency". When I clicked on that hyperlink, it took me to the article about "Devolution".

Now, *that* article (the one about "Devolution") contained (and it still does ... the last time I checked) an instance of this "sidebar" [template] called "((Basic Forms of government))".

OK, so far ... no problems. But then, ...

I clicked on a link to "Empire" from this "sidebar" [template]

The reason why I did that has been forgotten and may be irrelevant. (Am I weird? [even for a WikiPedian?] Maybe!...)

But once that click took me to [the article about] "Empire", I did not get past the second sentence before I wanted to start clicking again. The second sentence of the article about "Empire" includes some contrasts between an "empire" and a "kingdom".

Then I wanted to [find, and] click on the link to "kingdom", too!

No such luck. Maybe it is intentional that

(and if so, then [you!] readers here, may be able to enlighten me about the reasons why)

there is no entry for "kingdom" in this template, or "((Politics series sidebar))", or whatever it is.

Eventually I was able to click on a link to [the article about] "kingdom". (Sure, now! There is one in the *title* of this subsection! of this section of this "Talk:" page! I put it there myself...);

... and, I will readily admit, that once I got to the article about "kingdom", just about the first entry there -- (not counting a hatnote, and a handy "Wiktionary" entry link, and a TOC ["Table of Contents"] and a "List") -- was an entry that said that [a "kingdom" can be] a "A type of monarchy:".

But that was no thanks to the helpfulness (such as it is) of this template!

Maybe this is not a good example

For one thing, if the article about empire had contained a hyperlink (via the mere addition of a pair of double square brackets [around the *word* "kingdom"] to [the wikitext for] the second sentence of that article), then I could have clicked on that, even though there is no entry for "kingdom" in this template.

For one more thing, maybe it should have been obvious to me, that there must exist an article on Wikipedia about [the meaning of] what a "kingdom" is, since ... it is a pretty commonly used word, and well-known, and notable ... so I could have just (slapped the side of my head, like the guy in that "I could've had a V-8!" commercial, and) done a look-up of "kingdom", to find my way to that article.

In fact, (perhaps even more a sign of my own ignorance than the foregoing), maybe it should have been obvious to me, that [a "kingdom" is, or ... it can be] a "A type of monarchy:" ... because ... it is common knowledge, to anyone who is not a cultural illiterate.

(The phrase "a cultural illiterate" can be seen on page 119 of [the 1958 book] Have Space Suit Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein, if you look here: but it is on page 133 of my hard-cover edition, bought 'pre-owned' from the friends of the Phoenix Library years ago).
(It's in a paragraph that starts out "I missed my slipstick." The next sentence says, "Dad says that anyone who can't use a slide rule is a cultural illiterate and should not be allowed to vote.")

So, perhaps I should have just looked for, and clicked on, the link to [the article about] "monarchy" from this template, once I determined (by using 'Ctrl-F' to do a search! ... for example) that this template does not seem to have an entry for "kingdom". (right?)

Any comments would be welcome

Is the above "use case" too "quirky" or "eccentric" (or weird) to mean that a change to this template would be advisable? That could be ...

Thanks for your patience if you got through all of this. (perhaps by SKIPPING some parts of it?)

PS: "Keep Austin Weird" -- ! -- ... --Mike Schwartz (talk) 06:28, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

"Empire" seems to be in there as an example of "integration", that is, a nation conquering other nations and "integrating" them into itself. "Integration" is there as one of three ways multiple nations can be one whole, with the other two being "separation" and "federalism". So "empire" isn't really there as a basic form of government on its own, but more an example of something. Kind regards from PJvanMill (talk) 11:48, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

meritocracy and technocracy

(moving this here from User talk:Carewolf, pinging User:Carewolf. PJvanMill)talk( 13:47, 14 September 2020 (UTC))

Hello, Carewolf. I'm a bit confused by this edit. From the meritocracy article, I'm getting the definition, in my own words, "government officials are selected based on merit", whereas technocracy would be "government officials are experts". I don't really see how meritocracy is only an ideal, or at least not more or less than technocracy, as the article does list historical instances of meritocracy. I also think technocracy seems like a special case of meritocracy. Lastly, I'm starting to think that neither should be listed as a "basic form of government", given that neither of them have existed at the highest level of government. Thoughts? Kind regards from PJvanMill)talk( 12:43, 27 August 2020 (UTC)

Maybe it is a difference of usage. The only way I have ever seen meritocracy used is as a way to select and reward talent, not as a way to run a country, but as way to run a project. As I see it meritocracy opposes nepotism, but not say democracy. Of course this could be cultural. Carewolf (talk) 15:24, 16 September 2020 (UTC)


Put simply this template is way too long and it could benefit from the content being initially hidden, as is (de facto) uniform for templates.DMT biscuit (talk) 19:58, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

DMT biscuit, I tend to agree - maybe we should make the individual sections (power structure/source/ideology) collapsible, and make it the default to only show the section that contains the 'current page' (the page the template is transcluded on). I think I've seen it be done that way in other "Series" templates. Kind regards from PJvanMill)talk( 19:25, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
I have made it collapsible now, but I have left the default to stay expanded to cause minimum disruption upon all the articles this is currently used on. Just add the parameter "expanded=collapsed" to the template and it will collapse the sub-sections. It will also expand to the appropriate sub-section if "expanded=text". - Wiz9999 (talk) 00:18, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
E.g. ((Template:Basic forms of government|expanded=Autocracy)) now gives:

Foreign powers

I would add Protectorate, Mandate (international law), Dominion, Trusteeship an so on under the Chapter "Foreign powers"--Geysirhead (talk) 14:06, 24 October 2020 (UTC) Add well remove the "separation" chapter, which links to separatism --Geysirhead (talk) 14:13, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

@Geysirhead, I think creating a "foreign powers" heading under "power structure" is a good idea, and the elements you propose all seem like fine additions. To be honest, I think the entire "power structure" section is a bit of a mess - it's very strange that the "separation" heading was linked to "separatism" and I am removing that link, as well as the link of the "integration" heading to "supranational union", which gives the EU as example while that does not at all fit in with the elements under that heading.
I don't think everything now under "separation" belongs under "foreign powers" - in particular, it seems that a chiefdom is something in between a tribe and a state, according to our article on it. Also, I'm not so sure about your simultaneous addition of "client state" and "puppet state" and "satellite state", as it seems the former encompasses the latter two - I think we should avoid duplication. Kind regards from PJvanMill)talk( 22:27, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
Agree. The section is a mess. There is a similar structure under Template:Autonomous_types_of_first-tier_administration in Subordinacy.--Geysirhead (talk) 18:19, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
@Geysirhead Interesting... it seems the "power structure" section could benefit from drawing some inspiration from that template. Kind regards from PJvanMill)talk( 19:33, 29 October 2020 (UTC)

Collapse automatic

If this is going to be collapsed then it should be automatically. Otherwise, it's essentially pointless.DMT biscuit (talk) 00:30, 2 November 2020 (UTC)

It is an easy enough change to change the default, now that the table as a whole is collapsible. - Wiz9999 (talk) 00:37, 2 November 2020 (UTC)

Separation of powers

@Geysirhead: I strongly disagree with your latest edit. The separation of powers does not belong in this template. The executive, judiciary and legislative branch are not forms of government - they are components of a government. Kind regards from PJvanMill)talk( 21:00, 15 November 2020 (UTC)

@PJvanMill: Before my edit, there was "integration". Well, you can remove "separation" completely or replace it with something more reasonable.--Geysirhead (talk) 16:53, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
@Geysirhead I agree "integration" was a very unclear heading. I think it was intended to mean "states that are one whole" as opposed to federalism where the government consists of multiple semi-independent parts. I can't think of a really good heading, but for now I'll change it to "unitary" which I think is clearer. Kind regards from PJvanMill)talk( 17:02, 16 November 2020 (UTC)