Head of state

the head of state stands at the point of the national office hierarchy. It represents the state inward and outside (in the sense of international law) and formally confirms the appointment into public offices and the execution of laws. The arrangement of theHead of state (selection and function) is central characteristic of the system of government.

In a monarchy the head of state is the monarch (for example a king as in Great Britain or Thailand). In most monarchies in the Commonwealth (Commonwealth Realms) e.g. Australia, Canada, or Jamaica, is a head of state the king or the queen of Great Britain (see British monarchy). The functions of the head of state are then exercised by the respective governor general. The governor general is appointed by the monarch in accordance with the suggestion of the respective government.

In a republic the head of state president is called. Example are the president of the USA, Federal President in Germany or Austria and the French president (president of the republic).

Some few modern states do not know a head of state. In addition count Japan and Switzerland. Swiss the parliament selects cyclically a member of the Upper House of Parliament to the “Federal President “. However this is only primus inter of pares (first under same) - on international level he is only treated as a head of state. The Tennō (emperor)from Japan only “symbol of the people” is, not a head of state according to condition.

The Republic of San Marino represents a special case , which knows even two heads of state. Head of state are two, collegial acting government advice selected by the parliament (Capitani Reggenti).

The function of head of state and Head of the government can be united in an office. The USA as Präsidentielles system of government or South Africa are for this examples. Also most Autokratien possesses only one office for both functions. The Prime Ministers of the German Lands of the Federal Republic are head of state also at the same time. The exact powersthe respective head of state can deviate in the differently political systems strongly from each other.

See also: System of government, parliamentary system of government, list of the heads of state after terms of office


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