Subject Description


Form and rules of government

OCM Identifier


Subject Description

Prevailing system governing the distribution of political power and authority; extent of agreement or disagreement between formal provisions and actual practice; rights, privileges, and powers assigned or delegated to each organ of government, including the power to alter their distribution; centralization and diffusion of power; constitutional principles (e.g., separation of powers); temporary relaxations or extensions of political authority (e.g., interregnums, war powers); form of the government (e.g., empire, union, federal republic, U.N. trusteeship, colony protectorate); form of rule (e.g., autocratic, oligarchic, aristocratic, theocratic, democratic); type of constitution (e.g., written, unwritten); framing and amending of constitutions; constitutional law; etc.

The term was changed from "Constitution" to "Form and Rules of Government" and the scope note was revised in 2005.

Government institutions

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