Directory system

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
World map over the systems of government
Systems of government in the world
Republican form of government:
  • presidential political system
  • semi-presidential system of government
  • Parliamentary government system
  • parliamentary executive power

  • Monarchical form of government:
  • parliamentary monarchy
  • Constitutional monarchy
  • Absolute Monarchy

  • Dictatorial systems (mostly in republics):
  • One-party system (although block parties may exist)
  • Constitutional government overthrown
    ( de facto mostly military dictatorships )

  • other systems or unclear
    political situations
  • Last updated 2012

    The directorate system is an organizational form of the top management and at the same time a system of government in the political context . Alternatively designation are for the latter Direktoriales system of government or the Directory .

    Organizational concept

    It is characteristic that a member of the authority (e.g. a company) has special rights in the formation of will and can bring about decisions with a sole right to decide, with a right to decide against a qualified majority or with a right to decide against a simple majority.

    With the directorate system, the entire decision-making authority and therefore the responsibility lies in one hand. The subordinate bodies only have a small amount of leeway to make decisions. The leadership is tight and consistent.

    Political science term

    Building on the organizational conception, the term has become established in political science as a system of government in which the government is ideally elected as a collegial body of the executive by the parliament or national assembly and is not dependent on them, i.e. can not be overthrown by a vote of no confidence. As a rule, the government also takes on the duties of a head of state . The chairman of the board of directors has a special position and is usually de facto head of state. However, far fewer tasks and competencies are assigned to it than in other forms of government. The following administrative authorities are bound by the decisions of the Board of Directors. In reality, however, the directorates were often not elected by a democratic parliament, but appointed or they were autonomous.

    Empirical examples

    Historical examples

    An example of the directory system is the rule of the Jacobins during the French Revolution .

    The Bohemian system installed by the oppositional Protestant estates after the fall of the Prague window was also a directorate system.

    The Helvetic Directory was the executive in the Helvetic Republic (Switzerland) from 1798 to 1803 .

    The Russian Provisional Government formed after the revolution of February 1917 was also transformed into a Directory in July 1917.

    Today's Switzerland

    In today's political science, the unique system of government in Switzerland is also referred to as the directorate system based on historical models. The Federal Council at federal level and the Government Council (in western Switzerland: State Council) at cantonal level constitute the directorate. There is no head of government; the Federal President (Confederation) or the President of the Government or State Councilor or Landammann (Cantons), who is elected for one year, is only a primus inter pares , i.e. largely on an equal footing with the other executive members.

    The Swiss concordance democracy is also characterized by the fact that parliament elects neither a head of government nor the government as a whole, but - at the federal level - the individual members of the government according to party strength. From 1959 to 2008 and again since 2015, the so-called magic formula applies , on the basis of which the four parties that are most strongly represented in parliament are to be represented in the Federal Council in a ratio of 2: 2: 2: 1. Even at the cantonal level, where the government is elected by the people, the parties more or less respect the claims of the other political directions.

    Except in the canton of Jura , the government cannot be overthrown by a vote of no confidence.


    • Thomas Bernauer et al .: Introduction to Political Science. Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden 2009.
    • William Roberts Clark et al .: Principles of Comparative Politics. CQ Press, Washington 2009.

    See also

    Individual evidence

    1. Erich Kosiol: Organization of the company, Wiesbaden 1962, p. 117 f.