There is no objective definition that exists to determine which countries in the world are democratic. However, relative degrees of democracy can be established between countries. Some regions that are considered to be the most democratic include Sweden, Iceland and the Netherlands. Countries that are considered to be the least democratic include North Korea, the Central African Republic and Saudi Arabia, notes The Economist.Continue Reading
The Economist ranks countries according to five indicators of what it calls "democratic culture." These indicators include pluralism in the electoral process, the presence or absence of civil liberties, the way government functions, political participation among the masses, and the countries' political cultures.
Using these metrics, The Economist found that Sweden was the most democratic country in the world, with a score of 9.88 out of a possible 10, followed by Iceland, Norway, Netherlands and Denmark. Finishing the top 10-ranked democratic countries are Finland, Luxembourg, Australia, Canada and Switzerland.
Though no single trait links all of these countries, their similarities are clear when compared to the five least democratic countries on the index: North Korea, Central African Republic, Chad, Togo and Myanmar. Japan is the only Asian country in the index to rank as a "full democracy," though such societies are common in Europe and North America.Learn more about Types of Government
Many countries have been ruled by an oligarchy, with South Africa during apartheid being one such example (where race was used as the basis for an oligarchy), but Russia and America (where wealth is often the determining factor for oligarchical rule) are both oligarchies. Many countries may be oligarchical in nature, despite having a visibly different official political system.Full Answer >
A federal republic government is divided between two levels of independent sovereignty, the national government and the states (or provinces, in some countries). Unlike a unitary system, the states or analogous subdivision in a federal government are not dependencies of the national authority. A federal republic does not have a monarchy but rather some form of representative government.Full Answer >
There are four general types of sovereignty that relate to countries, including real, de facto and de jure, political and popular. Within countries, states may also claim the right of sovereignty.Full Answer >
The United States, Canada, Australia, Barbados, France, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Jamaica, Peru, Chile, Sweden, Switzerland, Panama, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Romania, Turkey and Portugal are all examples of capitalist countries. However, the degree of capitalism varies by country.Full Answer >