Probably one of the most overlooked characteristics of a world built by a new writer. While not all stories go into much political detail, the type of government of your new world can be instrumental in determining the day-to-day life of your characters. Even if you don’t overtly mention the type of government or how it functions, you should still have some idea, if only to check for consistency. So with that in mind, here are several types of government, both real and theoretical.

Democracy – The people govern. A pure democracy is pretty much impossible for anything but a small group of people.

Republic – The people elect officials to make and enforce laws.

Monarchy – Ruled by a king or queen (or emperor/empress). In a true monarchy the royalty has almost complete political power.

Constitutional Monarchy – The powers of the monarchy are limited by a formally adopted constitution.

Dictatorship – The forced rule by one person (or one group of people).

Democratic Republic – While technically the name would imply that you have some ideas from both a democracy and a republic, usually this is just a euphemism for a dictatorship.

Timocracy – A government based on honor and excellence in warfare.

Oligarchy – Society where people are divided into the rich and poor. Laws are enacted to ensure that only the wealthy have power.

Meritocracy – People are elected based on their merits, abilities, skills, and contributions.

Geniocracy – People are elected based on creativity and intelligence.

Technocracy – The one elected to run the country would be a professional with an expert skill set.

Autocracy – All the power is in the hands of one individual with no restrictions. The law does not apply to the ruler.

Despotism – Like the autocracy except that the citizens are frequently treated like slaves, and there is often genocide and/or mass murders.

Diarchy – A type of monarchy in which the country is ruled by two heads of state. There are two royal lines and the heads share the power.

Corporatocracy – Companies take over running a country.

Theocracy – The government is indistinguishable from the religious body that administers the country. Only members of the religious order are allowed into positions of power.

Kritarchy – The legal system, via its judges, is the body that makes and enforces the laws, and is responsible for the resolutions of all disputes.

Anarchy – No central power structure or government, although it may use small, simple institutions.