185. Government


See also 62. BUREAUCRACY ; 94. COMMUNISM ; 152. FASCISM ; 322. POLITICS ; 376. SOCIETY .

absolutism
the theory and exercise of complete and unrestricted power in government. See also autarchy , autocracy , despotism , dictatorship , monarchy , oligarchy . — absolutist, n., adj. absolutistic. adj.
anarchism
1 . a political theory advocating the elimination of governments and governmental restraint and the substitution of voluntary cooperation among individuals.
2 . the methods and practices of anarchists. Cf. Nihilism. anarchist, n. anarchic, adj.
anarchy
an absence of government and law; political disorder, often accompanied by violence. See also 301. ORDER and DISORDER .
angelocracy
rule by angels.
antarchism
Rare. the principle of opposition to all forms of government, or to all restraint of individuals by laws. — antarchist, n. antarchistic, adj.
apartheid
the policy of strict racial segregation and political and economie discrimination against non-whites practiced in the Republic of South Africa.
archology
1 . the science of government.
2 . the science of origins.
arithmocracy
rule by that group which holds the numerical majority in a state. — arithmocratic, adj.
autarchy
1 . an absolute sovereignty.
2 . an autocratic government.
3 . autarky. — autarch, n. autarchie, autarchical, adj.
autocracy
1 . a government in which one person has unrestricted control over others.
2 . a country with an autocratic system. — autocrat, n. autocratic, adj.
autonomy
1 . the power or right of self-government.
2 . a self-governing community. Cf. heteronymy. autonomous, adj.
biarchy
the rule of a nation, state, or community by two persons.
bicameralism
1 . a legislative body having two branches, houses, or chambers.
2 . advocacy of bicameral structure. Cf. unicameralism. bicameralist, n. bicameral, adj.
bipartisanism
the state of being composed of members of two parties or of two parties cooperating, as in government. — bipartisan, adj.
caciquism
the domination of areas in Spanish and Latin America by local political bosses. Also caciquismo.
carpetbaggism
the practices of the carpetbaggers, Northerners who, after the Civil War, sought private gain in the South from the Reconstruction government. — carpetbaggery, n.
Castroism
the doctrines and policies of Fidel Castro, communist premier of Cuba.
centralism
a system, especially in government, in which power and administration are concentrated in a central group or institution. — centralist, n., adj. centralistic, adj.
chiliarchy
a system with one thousand rulers.
chromatocracy
rule by a single race.
colonialism
the implementation of various political, economic, and social policies to enable a state to maintain or extend its authority and control over other territories. — colonialist, n., adj. colonialistic, adj.
condominium
International Law. a joint sovereignty over a colony or dependent territory by several states. — condominate, v.
constitutional monarchy
a system in which the powers of a monarch are defined and limited by law.
cosmocracy
control of the whole world.
decarchy, dekarchy
the control of a governmental system by ten persons. Also called decadarchy.
democracy
a form of government in which sovereign power resides in the people and is exercised by them or by officers they elect to represent them. Cf. republicanism. democrat, n. democratic, adj.
demonocracy
1 . the power of demons.
2 . government or rule by demons. — demonocratic, adj.
despotism
1 . a form of government with a ruler having absolute authority; autocracy.
2 . a system ruled by a tyrant or dictator having absolute, usually oppressive power. — despot, n. despotic, adj.
diarchy, dyarchy
a government controlled by two rulers; biarchy. — diarch, dyarch, n.
dictatorship
1 . a despotic system ruled by a dictator possessing absolute power and absolute authority.
2 . the office of a dictator. — dictatorial, adj.
doulocracy, dulocracy
Rare. a government controlled by slaves.
duarchy
government by two persons.
duumvirate
1 . a position in government held jointly by two men.
2 . the two people holding such a position.
dynasticism
1 . a system of government in which a sequence of rulers is derived from the same family, group, or stock.
2 . the reign of such a sequence. — dynast, dynasty, n.
elitism
the belief or practice that government should be by a self-appointed group who consider themselves superior to those governed by virtue of their higher birth. — elitist, n., adj.
endarchy
a centralized government.
ergatocracy
a government controlled by workers.
ethnarchy
the rank and position of a governor of a province or people. — ethnarch, n.
factionism
the quality of being a clique or combination, as within a larger organization. Also called factionalism. factionist, n. factionary, adj.
fascism
1 . the tenets of a centralized, totalitarian, and nationalistic government that strictly controls finance, industry, and commerce, practices rigid censorship and racism, and eliminates opposition through secret police.
2 . such a government, as that of Italy under Mussolini. — fascist, n. fascistic, adj.
federalese
language typical of the federal government, especially bureau-cratie jargon.
federalism
1 . a union of states under a central government distinct from that of the separate states, who retain certain individual powers under the central government.
2 . (cap.) the principles of the American Federalist party, especially its emphasis during the early years of the U.S. on a strong central government. — federalist, n., adj. federalistic, adj.
feudalism
a European system flourishing between 800-1400 based upon fixed relations of lord to vassal and all lands held in fee (as from the king), and requiring of vassal-tenants homage and service. Also feudality. feudal, feudalistic, adj.
foolocracy
government or domination of society by fools.
gerontocracy
the system in which the rulers are old men.
governmentalism
a theory that advocates the extension of governmental activity. — governmentalist, n.
hagiarchy
1 . a system of government by priests.
2 . a state so governed.
hagiocracy
1 . a system of rule by persons considered holy.
2 . a state so governed.
hecatonarchy
a system of rule by 100 persons.
heptarchy
1 . government by seven persons.
2 . a group or confederacy of seven political units.
3 . English History. the seven principal concurrent early English kingdoms. — heptarch, heptarchist, n. heptarchal, heptarchic, heptarchical, adj.
heteronomy
1. the state or condition of being ruled, governed, or under the sway of another, as in a military occupation.
2 . the state or condition of being under the influence or domination, in a moral, spiritual, or similar sense, of another person, entity, force, etc. Cf. autonomy. heteronomous, adj.
hexarchy
a group or confederacy of six political units.
hierarchism
the system of government or authority of a hierarchy. — hierarchization, n. hierarchial, adj.
isocracy
a government in which there is equality of power among all the people. — isocrat, n. isocratic, adj.
Jesuitocracy
government by Jesuits.
justicialism
a fascistic theory of government in Argentina under the Peron administration involving government intervention and economic control to ensure social justice and public welfare; Peronism.
kakistocracy
a system of rule by the worst men.
kakotopia
a state in which the worst possible conditions exist in government, society, law, etc. See also 406. UTOPIA .
kritarchy
Rare. the rule, over ancient Israel, of the judges.
legitimist
a supporter of legitimate authority, especially of claims to a throne based on the rights of heredity. — legitimism, n.
manorialism
1 . the system of manorial social and political organization, as in the Middle Ages.
2 . Sometimes Pejorative. any small, strong unit of local political and social organization.
matriarchate
1 . a matriarchal form of government.
2 . a family, tribe, or other social group ruled by a matriarch or matriarchs. — matriarchic, adj.
matriarchy
a society organized with the mother or oldest female as head of the tribe or clan, with descent being traced through the female line. — matriarch, n. matriarchal, adj.
mediocracy
government or dominance of society by the mediocre.
mobocracy
government by the mob; the mob as ruler or dominant force in society. — mobocratic, adj.
mobocrat
1 . a person who advocates government by the mob.
2 . a member of a mobocracy.
monarchism
the doctrines and principles of a monarchical government. — monarchist, n. monarchical, adj.
monarchy
1 . a governmental system in which supreme power is actually or nominally held by a monarch.
2 . supreme power and authority held by one person; autocracy. — monarchie, monarchical, adj.
moneyocracy
government or domination of society by the rich.
monocracy
a system ruled by one person; autocracy.
municipalism
1 . the process of self-government by cities, towns, or municipalities.
2 . a doctrine advocating such government. — municipalist, n.
myriarchy
a system controlled by ten thousand rulers.
Napoleonism
the adherence to the doctrines of Napoleon and his dynasty. — Napoleonist, n. Napoleonic, adj.
neocracy
a government by amateurs.
Nihilism
the principles of a Russian revolutionary movement in the late 19th century, advocating the destruction of government as a means to anarchy and of ten employing terrorism and assassination to assist its program. — nihilist, n., adj. nihilistic, adj.
nomarchy
a provincial system of government, as in modern Greece, under officials called nomarchs.
2 . the office or jurisdiction of a nomarch. Also called nome.
noninterventionism
a policy under which government regulation of private industry is reduced or nonexistent. — noninterventionist, n., adj.
oligarchy
1 . a system of rule by a few persons.
2 . the people who form such a government. — oligarch, n. oligarchie, oligarchical, adj.
palatinate
the office of or territory governed by a nobleman with royal privileges.
panarchy
Rare. a realm or dominion that includes the universe.
pantisocracy
a utopian community where all are equal and all rule. — pantisocratist, n. pantisocratic, pantisocratical, adj.
papyrocracy
a system in which power is held by the printed media.
parliamentarianism
advocacy of the parliamentary system of government. — parliamentarian, n., adj.
paternalism
fatherlike control over subordinates in government. — paternalist, n. paternalistic, adj.
patriarchism
a patriarchal government in a society or a church. — patriarchist, n.
patriarchy
a society organized to give supremacy to the father or the oldest male in governing a family, tribe, or clan. — patriarch, n.
pedantocracy
rule or government by pedants; domination of society by pedants.
Peronism
justicialism.
plutocracy
1 . the rule of the rich or wealthy.
2 . the rich or wealthy who govern under such a system. Also called plousiocracy. plutocrat, n.
polyarchy
1 . government by many rulers.
2 . the condition of being polyarch. — polyarchist, n. polyarchical, adj.
Pretorianism
the state of relating to the administration or lifestyle of Pretoria, South Africa.
Prussianism
the theories, actions, and principles of the Prussians. — Prussian, n., adj.
ptochocracy
a system of rule by the poor.
Quirinal
the civil government of Italy, as contrasted with the papal government of the Vatican. Quirinal, adj.
regalism
the tenets of royal supremacy, especially in church affairs.
republicanism
the principles of a theory of government in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and exercised by representatives they elect directly or indirectly and by an elected or nominated president.
revanchism
the action taken and the policies followed by a government determined to recover a lost territory. — revanche, n. revanchist, n., adj.
Sabaeanism
the customs of Saba, an ancient Arabic kingdom that flourished from 950 to 115 B.C. — Sabaean, adj.
satrapy
Persian Empire, the system of provincial governments ruled by satraps, each of whom answered to the Persian emperor.
sectionalism
an excessive devotion to the interests of one particular section of a country or community. — sectionalist, n.
serfism
a feudal social and economic system in which persons of the lower class are bound to the soil, subject to the will of and service for their lord, and transferable to the new owner if the land is sold or otherwise deeded. Also serfdom.
socialism
a theory of government based upon the ownership and control of capital, land, and means of production by the community as a whole.
sociocracy
collective government or government by society as a whole.
Sovietism, sovietism
1 . the soviet system of government and the principles and practices of such a government.
2 . a policy, action, etc., typical of the Soviet Union. — Sovietist, sovietist, n., adj.
statism, stateism
1 . the principle of concentrating major political and economic controls in the state.
2 . the support of the sovereignty of the state. — statist, n., adj.
stratocracy
a system of rule by the military.
tanistry
an early Irish rule of succession in which the successor to a Celtic chief was chosen from among eligible males during the chief’s lifetime. — tanist, n.
technocracy
1 . a theory and movement of the 1930s advocating the control of production and distribution by technicians and engineers.
2 . a system of government based on this theory. — technocrat, n. technocratic, adj.
tetrarchy
1 . the Roman practice of dividing authority over provinces among four governors.
2 . a system of rule by four authorities. — tetrarch, tetrarchate, n. tetrarchic, tetrarchical, adj.
thearchy
1 . a system of government by God or a god.
2 . an order or system of deities. — thearchic, adj.
theocracy
1 . a system of government in which God or a deity is held to be the civil ruler; thearchy.
2 . a system of government by priests; hagiarchy.
3 . a state under such a form of rule. — theocrat, n. theocratic, adj.
timocracy
1 . Platonism. a state in which a love of honor and glory is the guiding principle of the rulers.
2 . Aristotelianism. a state in which the ownership of property is a qualification for office. — timocratie, timocratical, adj.
toparchy
Ancient History. a small state or division of a larger state, as Judea.
totalitarianism
1 . a system of highly centralized government in which one political party or group takes control and grants neither recognition nor tolerance to other political groups.
2 . autocracy in one of its several varieties.
3 . the character or traits of an autocratic or authoritarian individual, party, government, or state. — totalitarian, n., adj.
triarchy
1 . the rule of a nation, state, or community by three persons.
2 . a set of three joint rulers. Usually called triumvirate.
3 . a country divided into three governments.
4 . a group of three districts or three countries, each under its own ruler.
tribalism
1 . the customs, life, and organization of a tribal society.
2 . a strong loyalty to one’s tribe, party, or group.
tuchungism
the former Chinese practice of governing provinces through warlords, or tuchuns.
unicameralism
1 . a representative form of government with a single legislative chamber.
2 . an advocacy of unicameral structure. — unicameralist, n. unicameral, adj.
unilateralism
the state of being one-sided. — unilaterality, n. unilateralist, adj.
vassalism
1 . the feudal system of lands held in fee and of mandatory vassaltenant homage, fealty, and service.
2 . the condition of a person owing homage and fealty to a superior; vassalage.
vestryism
local government by assemblies of parishioners, usually meeting in the vestry of the church. Also vestrydom. vestryish, adj.

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