The Phrontistery

Books by Stephen Chrisomalis
Numerical Notation: A Comparative History Human Expeditions: Inspired by Bruce Trigger


Forms of Government

It has been suggested that every government which has ever existed has been a prime example of kakistocracy, or the rule of the worst, but this list of 169 different types of government suggests that that might be a bit too simplistic. Each of the following words indicates a form of government or type of leadership by a certain kind of person or institution. Everyone seems to want to get in on this rulership gig, from saints and mothers to beggars and prostitutes (hmm ...). Etymologically-minded folks should note the difference between the suffix 'archy', meaning 'rulership', and 'cracy', meaning 'power', which both come from Greek roots. This fact, of course, should suggest to any reasonable-minded person that the Greek people are inherently more fit to rule than all other groups. Just a theory, mind you ...

Word Definition
acracy government by none; anarchy
adhocracy government in an unstructured fashion; an unstructured organization
albocracy government by white people
anarchy government by none
androcracy government by men
anemocracy government by the wind or by whim
angelocracy government by angels
antarchy opposition to government; anarchy
argentocracy government by money
aristarchy government by the best
aristocracy government by the nobility
arithmocracy government by simple majority
autarchy government by an absolute ruler
autocracy government by one individual
barbarocracy government by barbarians
beerocracy government by brewers or brewing interests
bestiocracy rule by beasts
biarchy government by two people; diarchy
binarchy government by two people; diarchy
bureaucracy government by civil servants
cannonarchy government by superior firepower or by cannons
capelocracy government by shopkeepers
chiliarchy government by one thousand people
chirocracy government by physical force
chromatocracy government by rulers of a particular skin colour
chrysoaristocracy government by the wealthy; plutocracy
chrysocracy government by the wealthy; plutocracy
corpocracy government by corporate bureaucrats
cosmarchy rulership over the entire world, esp. by the devil
cottonocracy government by those involved in the cotton trade
cryptarchy secret rulership
decadarchy government by ten individuals; decarchy
decarchy government by ten individuals
demarchy government by the people; popular government
democracy government by the people
demonarchy government by a demon
demonocracy government by demons or evil forces
despotocracy government by despots or tyrants
diabolocracy government by the Devil
diarchy government by two people
dinarchy government by two people; diarchy
dodecarchy government by twelve people
doulocracy government by slaves
duarchy government by two people; diarchy
dulocracy government by slaves; doulocracy
dyarchy government by two people; diarchy
ecclesiarchy government by clerics or ecclesiastical authorities
endarchy centralised government
ergatocracy government by the workers or the working class
ethnarchy government over an ethnic group
ethnocracy government by an ethnic group or race
exarchy government by bishops
foolocracy government by fools
gerontocracy government by the aged
gunarchy government by women; gynarchy
gymnasiarchy government over a school or academy
gynaecocracy government by women; gynarchy
gynarchy government by women
gynocracy government by women; gynarchy
hagiarchy government by saints or holy persons
hagiocracy government by holy men
hamarchy government by a cooperative body of parts
hecatarchy government by one hundred people; hecatontarchy
hecatontarchy government by one hundred people
hendecarchy government by eleven people
heptarchy government by seven people
heroarchy government by heroes
hetaerocracy government by paramours
heterarchy government by a foreign ruler
hierarchy government by a ranked body; government by priests
hierocracy government by priests or religious ministers
hipparchy rule or control of horses
hoplarchy government by the military
hyperanarchy condition of extreme anarchy
hyperarchy excessive government
iatrarchy government by physicians
idiocracy personal rule; self-rule
infantocracy government by an infant
isocracy equal political power
jesuitocracy government by Jesuits
juntocracy government by a junta
kakistocracy government by the worst
kleptocracy government by thieves
kritarchy government by judges
landocracy government by the propertied class; timocracy
logocracy government of words
matriarchy government by women or mothers
meritocracy government by the meritorious
merocracy government by a part of the citizenry
mesocracy government by the middle classes
metrocracy government by mothers or women; matriarchy
millionocracy government by millionaires
millocracy government by mill owners
mobocracy government by mobs or crowds
monarchy government by one individual
moneyocracy government by the monied classes
monocracy government by one individual
myriarchy government by ten thousand individuals
narcokleptocracy government by those who profit from trade in illegal drugs
navarchy rulership over the seas
neocracy government by new or inexperienced rulers
nomocracy government based on legal system; rule of law
ochlocracy government by mobs
octarchy government by eight people
oligarchy government by the few
paedarchy government by children
paedocracy government by children; paedarchy
panarchy universal rule or dominion
pantarchy government by all the people; world government
pantisocracy government by all equally
paparchy government by the pope
papyrocracy government by newspapers or literature
parsonarchy government by parsons
partocracy government by a single unopposed political party
patriarchy government by men or fathers
pedantocracy government by pedants or strict rule-bound scholars
pentarchy government by five individuals
phallocracy government by men
philosophocracy government by philosophers
phylarchy government by a specific class or tribe
physiocracy government according to natural laws or principles
pigmentocracy government by those of one skin colour
plantocracy government by plantation owners
plousiocracy government by the wealthy; plutocracy
plutarchy government by the wealthy; plutocracy
plutocracy government by the wealthy
polarchy government by many people; polyarchy
policeocracy government by police
pollarchy government by the multitude or a mob; ochlocracy
polyarchy government by many people
polycracy government by many rulers; polyarchy
popocracy government by populists
pornocracy government by harlots
prophetocracy government by a prophet
psephocracy government resulting from election by ballot
ptochocracy government by beggars or paupers; wholesale pauperization
punditocracy government by political pundits
quangocracy rule of quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations
rotocracy government by those who control rotten boroughs
septarchy government by seven rulers; heptarchy
shopocracy government by shopkeepers
slavocracy government by slave-owners
snobocracy government by snobs
sociocracy government by society as a whole
squarsonocracy government by landholding clergymen
squatterarchy government by squatters; squattocracy
squattocracy government by squatters
squirearchy government by squires
squirocracy government by squires; squirearchy
statocracy government by the state alone, without ecclesiastical influence
stratarchy rulership over an army
stratocracy military rule or despotism
strumpetocracy government by strumpets
synarchy joint sovereignty
technocracy government by technical experts
tetradarchy government by four people; tetrarchy
tetrarchy government by four people
thalassiarchy sovereignty of the seas; thalassocracy
thalassocracy sovereignty of the seas
thearchy rule by a god or gods; body of divine rulers
theatrocracy goverment by gathered assemblies of citizens
theocracy government by priests or by religious law
timarchy government by the propertied class; timocracy
timocracy government by the propertied class
triarchy government by three people
tritarchy government by three people; triarchy
tritheocracy government by three gods
whiggarchy government by Whigs
xenocracy government by a body of foreigners


I hope you have found this site to be useful. If you have any corrections, additions, or comments, please contact me. Please note that I am not able to respond to all requests. Please consult a major dictionary before e-mailing your query. All material on this page © 1996-2013 Stephen Chrisomalis. Links to this page may be made without permission.

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