Pipers Woerterbuch zur Politik

Authors: Nohlen
Summary: In 110 words the entry establishes that the term republic is widely used as a collective term for various forms of government rather than has acquired a precise meaning, it refers to a modern understanding but concludes that republic a fossil term in constitutional law. For Cicero, republic included both aristocracy and monarchy as well as democracy, while Machiavelli identified all forms of government as republics where not a single person ruled. In modern constitutional law, republic has been used as a descriptive term for all non-monarchies which includes democracies and forms of dictatorship. Because no single form of government is connected with the term republic, it has, as the entry argues, become a fossil in modern constitutional law.