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A unitary state is a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
governed as a single entity in which the
central government A central government is the government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists o ...
is ultimately supreme. The central government may create (or abolish)
administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geographical areas into which a particular, ...

administrative division
s (sub-national units). Such units exercise only the powers that the central government chooses to delegate. Although
political power In social science and politics, power is the capacity of an individual to influence the actions, beliefs, or conduct (behaviour) of others. The term ''authority'' is often used for power that is perceived as Legitimacy (political), legitimate by ...
may be delegated through
devolution Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. In ...
to regional or
local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word government refers specifically to a level of administration that is both geographically-locali ...
s by
statuteA statute reffers to the body of law that are made by legislature of the nation with instrument which govern the state, country or any nation. it includes laws, rules and the reulation whichhas to be followed by each citizen in the county. A statute ...

statute
, the central government may abrogate the acts of devolved governments or curtail (or expand) their powers. Unitary states stand in contrast with
federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government ( federalism). In a federation, the self-gover ...

federation
s, also known as ''federal states''. A large majority of the world's states (166 of the 193
UN member states The United Nations member states are the sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as h ...

UN member states
) have a unitary system of government.


Devolution compared with federalism

A unitary system of government can be considered the opposite of
federalism Federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government norm ...
. In federations, the provincial/regional governments share powers with the central government as equal actors through a written
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an ...
, to which the consent of both is required to make amendments. This means that the sub-national units have a right of existence and powers that cannot be unilaterally changed by the central government. There are, however, similarities between federalism and
devolution Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. In ...
. Devolution within a unitary state, like federalism, may be symmetrical, with all sub-national units having the same powers and status, or asymmetric, with sub-national units varying in their powers and status. Many unitary states have no areas possessing a degree of autonomy. In such countries, sub-national regions cannot decide their own laws. Examples are
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to t ...

Romania
,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in ...

Ireland
and
Norway Norway ( nb, ; nn, ; se, Norga; smj, Vuodna; sma, Nöörje), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe whose mainland territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Sc ...

Norway
.
Svalbard Svalbard ( , ), previously known as Spitsbergen, or Spitzbergen, is a Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic ...

Svalbard
has even less autonomy than the mainland. It is directly controlled by the government and has no local rule.


List of unitary republics and unitary kingdoms

''Italics'':
States with limited recognition State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
from other
sovereign states A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relation ...

sovereign states
or
intergovernmental organizations An intergovernmental organization (IGO) or international organization is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other intergovernmental organizations. IGOs are established by a treaty that ...
.


Unitary republics

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ' (limited recognition) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ' (limited recognition) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ' (not recognised) * * * * * * * * ' * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Unitary monarchies

The
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
is an example of a unitary state.
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154 km) Anglo-Scottish bo ...

Scotland
,
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country that is Countries of the United Kingdom, part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
and
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label= Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usa ...

Northern Ireland
have a degree of autonomous devolved power, but such power is delegated by the
Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. Legislatures form impo ...
, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution. Similarly in
Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_ ...

Spain
, the devolved powers are delegated through the central government. * ' (limited recognition) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * '


See also

*
Centralized government#REDIRECT Centralized government A centralized government (also united government) is one in which both executive and legislative power is concentrated centrally at the higher level as opposed to it being more distributed at various lower level g ...
*
Constitutional economics A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
*
Political economy Political economy is the study of production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (g ...
*
Regional state A regional state or a regionalised unitary state, is a term used to denote a type of state that is formally unitary but where a high degree of political power has been highly decentralised to regional governments. This contrasts with a state organ ...
* Rule according to higher law *
Unicameralism In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliament'' or ''unicameral legislature'' is a legislature which con ...
*
Unitary authority A unitary authority is a local authority Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized gove ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Unitary State Unitary state Political geography Constitutional state types