Worldbuilding Spotlight: Types of Governments

When creating governments it is important to know what kind of government or governments you wish to create. You need to know the functions of those governments and how they interact with each other if you have multiple nations at work in your story.

Every type of government is going to interact differently with every other type of government if just a little. If you have a lot of nations in close proximity to each other or your story takes place on a border, it’s likely that you will be trying to juggle more than one nation and potentially more than one type of government, so knowing what they are is a good start.

Inkwell Ideas

That being said, we are going to start with a post by Inkwell Ideas. Inkwell Ideas is a website for roll play gaming software and accessories. Although it is written for gamers, writers will find it just as useful.

The article, entitled Worldbuilding: Local Area Design: Governments, Population Size and Military Issues, contains a list of 22 types of governments with short descriptions as to what they are. While not exhaustive, it is definitely a good start on the subject.

One of the more interesting things about this site is that not all of the government types listed can exist in real life, but they can exist in certain types of fantasy worlds.

J. S. Morin on Government Types

On his website, J. S. Morin has a list with more details on some of these government types. A couple of them are different and quite interesting.

It’s not a very long list, but it does cover seven different types of government which are all common either in reality or fiction.

Mocomi Kids

For a more simplistic view on the topic, check out the page at Mocomi Kids. This site is made for kids and only lists 7 types of governments, but they are not all the same types as J. S. Morin covers. These types are the much more well known as well as more common types of governments.

Since the site is geared toward children, the explanations of how the governments work are much more simplistic and is written as a lesson for schools. It even suggests an activity that teachers can do to helop; their students understand the concepts better.

Live Science and Types of Governments

Live science, on the other hand has a longer list of 30 government types which include more detailed descriptions than Inkwell Ideas, but shorter ones than Mocomi Kids. Their article, What Are the Different Types of Government?, includes several which are not on either of the other lists, but does not include everything on the other two lists.

The Quad

Still another site, called The Quad, covers a list of 20 common types of governments, more than one of which is not included on any of the other lists. This list is interesting in that it not only gives a longer definition than the other long lists, it gives real world examples of the government types to help you see how such a government actually works in real life.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are a lot of government types out there and not everyone agrees on what each of the more nuanced ones is. I found several types in just research for this article that I had never heard of.

For me the most interesting ones were: Geriatocracy, which is run by the elders of a society, Magocracy, which is run by mages in a society, something we do not have in our real world, and Kleptocracy, which is described as a government held on to by corruption and theft. Was there one or more that stood out to you? What did you find most interesting in these types of government? Is there a type of government that you have heard of that’s not on any of these lists?

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