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The politics of Asia are extremely varied as would be expected of

such a large landmass and a diverse population. Constitutional

monarchies, absolute monarchies, one-party states, federal states,
dependent territories, liberal democracies and military dictatorships
are all factors in the region, as well as various forms of
independence movements.
Civilization has a long history throughout Asia and it probably
involved politics right from the start although some of the
earliest discernible political structures arose in Mesopotamia
with the advent of writing offering details of these politics. A
large and well organized civil service the like of which arose
in China is also a necessary adjunct to politics. Much of the
political climate in Asia today is affected by colonialism and
imperialism of the past with some states retaining close links
with their former colonial governors while others involved in
bitter independence struggles the consequences of which
continue to be felt.
The situation today is still mixed, with hostilities in parts of
Asia such as the continuing tensions over Kashmir, primarily
between India and Pakistan, as well as economic
competitiveness between the People's Republic of China and
India. There are also moves towards greater co-operation
and communication within the region with Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) a notable example.
The geography of Mesopotamia had a
profound impact on the political
development of the region. Among the
rivers and streams, the Sumerian people
built the first cities along with irrigation
canals which were separated by vast
stretches of open desert or swamp where
nomadic tribes roamed. Communication
among the isolated cities was difficult
and, at times, dangerous. Thus, each
Sumerian city became a city-state,
independent of the others and protective
of its independence. At times one city
would try to conquer and unify the region,
but such efforts were resisted and failed
for centuries. As a result, the political
history of Sumer is one of almost constant
warfare. Eventually Sumer was unified by
Eannatum, but the unification was
tenuous and failed to last as the
Akkadians conquered Sumeria in 2331 BC
only a generation later. The Akkadian
Empire was the first successful empire to
last beyond a generation and see the
peaceful succession of kings. The empire
was relatively short-lived, as the
Babylonians conquered them within only a
few generations.

Quote on government and political systems:
"The care of human life and
happiness and not their
destruction is the first and only
legitimate object of good

--Thomas Jefferson to Maryland Republicans, 1809.
ME 16:359

Definition of terms:
- the organization, that is the governing authority of a political
unit, the ruling power in a political society, and the apparatus through
which a governing body functions and exercises authority.

- it signifies a self-sufficient body of persons united together in one
community for the defense of their rights, and to do right and justice to
foreigners. In this sense, the state means the whole people united into
one body politic.

Political system
- the set of formal legal institutions that constitute a government
or a state. More broadly defined, however, the term comprehends
actual as well as prescribed forms of political behavior (Encyclopedia
Britannica Online)

Different Government

orange - parliamentary republics
green - presidential republics, executive presidency linked to a parliament
yellow - presidential republics, semi-presidential system
blue - presidential republics, full presidential system
red - parliamentary constitutional monarchies in which the monarch does not personally exercise power
magenta - constitutional monarchies in which the monarch personally exercises power, often (but not always)
alongside a weak parliament
purple - absolute monarchies
brown - republics where the dominant role of a single party is codified in the constitution
beige - states where constitutional provisions for government have been suspended
grey - countries which do not fit any of the above systems



is a form of government in which the
country is considered a "public matter"
(Latin: res publica), not the private concern
or property of the rulers, and where offices
of states are subsequently directly or
indirectly elected or appointed rather than
inherited. In modern times, a common
simplified definition of a republic is a
government where the head of state is not
a monarch.

Many countries in Asia function under a republic-
style government, with the division of power into
several branches and different political parties
from which to choose. Officials are elected to
terms of a specified length and are chosen by the
voters in democratic elections. Indonesia,
Bangladesh, India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Nepal,
Pakistan, the Philippines, Samoa, Singapore,
South Korea and Sri Lanka are just some of the
countries that function under this type of

Peoples Republic of China
1 October 1949
Mao Ze Dong declared the
inauguration of the
Peoples Republic of
China in Tiananmen

Mao framed the
government under the
Chinese Communist Party
(CCP) with the intention of
promoting the idea of a
peoples democratic

The government established by Mao Ze Dong is an example
of a one-party state.

One-Party State
-- States in which political power is concentrated within
a single political party whose operations are largely fused
with the government hierarchy. However, some do have
elected governments.
-- examples:
Peoples Republic of China (Communist Party)
Cuba (Communist Party)
Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (Workers Party)
Laos (Revolutionary Party)
Syria (Arab Socialist Bath Party)
Vietnam (Communist Party)

National Peoples Congress (NPC)
- established by the CCP in 1954 as the
highest assembly of the government.

Highest assembly of
Responsible for the gathering of the National
Congress (NC)
Approves the propositions of the state council
Selects the highest official
Administers national affairs
Legislates laws. Appoints and amends the law.
The framework of the government of China aims to
strengthen the administration of the CCP; spread
dictatorship; and to enforce a centralized government.

Mao believed that the key
to economic progress was
by advancing first the heavy
industries while placing
agriculture behind.
Republic of the Philippines
The Philippines ,officially known as
the Republic of the
Philippines (Filipino: Republika ng
Pilipinas), is asovereign state in Southeast
Asia in the western Pacific Ocean.
An organization joined
to protect their
common interests and improve
their conditions.

Union of Myanmar

Since 1962, military
dictatorship has
reigned as the
government of

January 1948
- the British declared Burmese

Anti-Fascist Peoples Freedom League
- the resistance movement which fought
against Japanese rule during the Second World War
emerged as the main political force after Japan's defeat.

Gen. Aung San
- considered Father of Burma
led this resistance movement.
In 1947 he was assassinated by
conservative opponents together
with his close associates
U Nu
- the AFPFL vice-president became the first premier of the Union of
Burma from 1948-1962.

*For the first decade
of independence there
was a parliamentary
democracy, set
against a backdrop
of revolts by
communists and
other insurgent

Despite the efforts of
Aung San Suu Kyi and the
rest of the world, the
military continues to
control the government in
The Burmese still continue
the struggle to achieve
political as well as socio-
economic reforms.

A monarchy is a form of government in
which sovereignty is actually or nominally
embodied in a single individual
(the monarch).
Kingdom of Thailand (Siam)
Ratcha Anachak

Kingdom of Thailand (Siam)
Constitutional Monarchy
- systems in which a
prime minister is the active
head of the executive
branch of government and
also of the legislature.
- The head of state is a
constitutional monarch who
only exercises his powers
with the consent of the
government, the people or
their representatives.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej,
King of Thailand
Kingdom of Thailand
Cabinet and
Council of
Sapha Puthaen Ratsadon
(House of Representatives)
San Dika
San Uthon
(Court of


(Latin: foedus, foederis, 'covenant'), also known as
a federal state, is a political entity
characterized by a union of partially self-
governing states or regions united by a central
(federal) government. In a federation, the self-
governing status of the component states, as
well as the division of power between them and
the central government, are typically
constitutionally entrenched and may not be
altered by a unilateral decision of the latter
Federation of Malaysia
Federation of Malaysia
-- States in which the
federal governments shares
power with semi-independent
regional governments. In many
cases, the central government
is (in theory) a creation of the
regional governments; a prime
example is the United States.
- the federation of
Malaysia currently has 13
states and 3 federal

- A parliamentary
republic is a system in which a
prime minister is the active
head of the executive branch
of government and also leader
of the legislature. The
president's degree of
executive power may range
from being reasonably
significant (eg. Poland) to
little or none at all (eg.
Ireland). Where the president
holds little executive power,
their function is primarily that
of a symbolic figurehead.

Federation of Malaysia
Yang di-Pertuan
(Head of the
Prime Minister
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Dewan Negara
Dewan Ragyat
(House of
Federal Court
Court Of
Higher and
Lower Courts
Islamic Courts
While the Prime Minister heads the government, the Yang
di-Pertuan Agong remains as the symbolic head of the
federation being selected from the line of the Sultan.

The structure of the Malaysian government is a result of
its multi-ethnicity which caused the establishment of
ethnic-based political parties:
- United Malays National Organization
- Malayan Chinese Organization
- Malayan Indian Congress

The differing ideologies also contributed to the internal
division of Malaysia.