Article title Classification of the Form of Government: Criteria Selection Issue


Name of magazine Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)
Issue 12/2018
Сторінки [207-219]
DOI 10.33498/louu-2018-12-207

Any classification of the form of government may be recognized as scientific only provided that it is based on and has due regard to its constitutional features. The use of other criteria makes the classification of the form of government look relative. Only legal features of the form of government reflect its essential properties and its inherent logic according to which state power is organized.

The purpose of this article is to identify the most important legal features of the form of government and to substantiate their importance as the criteria which make it possible to classify the form of government in a truly scientific manner, and also to criticize the empirical approach to its classification.

Since in many cases the actual characteristics of state governance are discordant with a legally defined form of government, some scholars argue that formal legal criteria are insufficient to adequately classify the form of government, and they believe that it requires the use of the so-called functional principle and should be based on explicit empirical data. However, the form of government is an arrangement of state power set as a norm, and not its functional characteristic. And the fact that a certain form of government functions differently under different external conditions does not indicate that its constitutional essence is thus changed. Political practice which essentially offsets or even completely eliminates the constitutional elements of the form of government does not create a new form of government, since it does not change its constitutional characteristics. The empirical approach to the classification of the forms of government has entailed the emergence of a potentially unlimited number of “new” forms of government. Subjectivism underlying the empirical approach evokes false results and makes it impossible to develop a classification of the forms of government which would be generally recognized in the professional environment.

The methodological approach to the classification of the form of government which ignores its legal features and replaces them with empirical data is the explanation why in different “private” classifications the same States fall into different classification groups. Furthermore, classifications drawing on personal intellectual preferences of their developers are often characterized by excessive complexity of the classification criterion which makes it difficult to understand its logic.


Keywords classification of the form of government; (grounds) criteria of classification


Authored books 
1. Pavlenko R, Parlamentska vidpovidalnist uriadu: svitovyi ta ukrainskyi dosvid [Parliamentary Responsibility of the Government: International and Ukrainian Experience] (KM Akademiia 2002) (in Ukrainian). 
2. Petrov V, Sushhnost’, soderzhanie i forma gosudarstva [Essence, Content and Form of the State] (Nauka 1971) (in Russian). 
3. Prociuk I, Podil derzhavnoii vlady v umovakh riznykh form derzhavnoho pravlinnia [Division of State Power in the Context of Different Forms of State Governance] (Pravo 2012) (in Ukrainian). 
4. Protasova V, Parlamentsko-prezydentska respublika: sutnist, osoblyvosti, riznovydy [Parliamentary-Presidential Republic: Essence, Specifics, Types] (Pravo 2009) (in Ukrainian). 
5. Rozhkova L, Principy i metody tipologii gosudarstva i prava [Principles and Methods of the Typology of State and Law] (Izdatel’stvo Saratovskogo universiteta 1984) (in Russian). 
6. Sartori Dzh, Porivnialna konstytuciina inzheneriia: Doslidzhennia struktur, motyviv i rezultativ [Comparative Constitutional Engineering: Study of Structures, Motives and Results] (ArtEk 2001) (in Ukrainian). 
7. Seriohina S, Forma pravlinnia: pytannia konstytuciino-pravovoii teorii ta praktyky [Form of Government: Issues of Constitutional Law Theory and Practice] (Pravo 2011) (in Ukrainian). 
8. Shapoval V, Sravnitel’noe konstitucionnoe pravo [Comparative Constitutional Law] (Knjaghynja Oljgha 2007) (in Russian). 
9. Simonishvili L, Formy pravlenija: istorija i sovremennost’ [Forms of Government: History and Our Times] (Flinta: MPSI 2007) (in Russian). 
10. Zaznaev O, Poluprezidentskaja sistema: teoreticheskie i prikladnye aspekty [Semi- Presidential System: Theoretical and Applied Aspects] (Kazanskij gosudarstvennyj universitet im. Ul’janova-Lenina 2006) (in Russian). 

Journal articles 
11. Myronenko P, ‘Providni napriamy analizu problematyky sutnosti form pravlinnia’ [‘The Main Areas of Analysis of the Problems of the Essence of Forms of Government’] (2011) 3 Visnyk Derzhavnoi akademii kerivnykh kadriv kultury i mystectv (in Ukrainian). 
12. Prociuk I, ‘Klasyfikaciia form derzhavnoho pravlinnia’ [‘Classification of the Forms of State Governance’] (2010) 107 Problemy zakonnosti (in Ukrainian). 
13. Shapoval V, ‘Forma derzhavnoho pravlinnia jak konstytuciinyi modus vivendi suchasnoii derzhavy’ [‘Form of State Governance as the Constitutional Modus Vivendi of a Modern State’] (2009) 10 Pravo Ukrainy (in Ukrainian). 
14. Voskresenskij J, ‘Ponjatie formy pravlenija i kriterii ee razlichija’ [‘The Concept of the Form of Government and Its Differentiation Criteria’] (2002) 15 Derzhava i pravo (in Russian). 
15. Zaznaev O, ‘Klassifikacii prezidentskoj, parlamentskoj i poluprezidentskoj sistem’ [‘Classification of Presidential, Parliamentary and Semi-Presidential System’] (2006) 1 Dinamika politicheskih sistem i mezhdunarodnyh otnoshenij (in Russian). 
16. – –, ‘Organizacija gosudarstvennoj vlasti v Respublike Tatarstan: problemy i protivorechija’ [‘Organization of State Power in the Republic of Tatarstan: Issues and Contradictions’] (2010) 2 Politicheskaja ekspertiza (in Russian). 

17. Zaznaev O, ‘Poluprezidentskaja sistema: politiko-pravovoj analiz’ [‘Semi-Presidential System: Political and Legal Analysis’] (dis d-ra jurid nauk, Kazanskij gosudarstvennyj universitet im. Ul’janova-Lenina 2007) (in Russian).