Head of State

(redirected from Head of the State)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

Head of State


the individual who fulfills the functions of the highest executive authority in the state. In monarchical states (such as Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, and Iran) the head of state is a hereditary monarch: an emperor, king, prince, grand duke, padishah, and the like; in bourgeois republics he is an elected president. In a number of countries (the USA, some Latin American states) the head of state is simultaneously head of the government. The competence of the head of state and his term of office (in the case of an elected one) are determined by a constitution. Usually the head of state is invested with rather wide powers. He represents the state in international relations, receives foreign diplomats, and, as a rule, is commander in chief of the armed forces. He possesses the right of legislative initiative and, in a number of countries, the right to impose a veto on laws passed by parliament. The right to issue edicts and decrees is his, as well. Usually he is empowered to award orders and other high decorations and to grant pardons. In several countries (such as France and the Federal Republic of Germany) the head of state convenes parliament and has the right to dissolve it as a whole, or one of its chambers.

In actuality the role of the head of state is not the same in various capitalist countries. It is greatest in those countries where the head of state is simultaneously head of the government, that is, in the so-called presidential republics (for example, in the USA and some Latin American countries). In general this phenomenon reflects a tendency characteristic of contemporary imperialist states whereby the power of the executive authority is strengthened at the expense of the representative bodies. It is precisely to this end that the powers of a president are widened, so that in some countries he is being transformed into a personal dictator.

In the majority of socialist states there is no individual who acts as head of state. Rather his functions are executed by the collegial body of the highest representative institution (a presidium or state council). The term of office of this body is the same as that of the representative institution, and its members are chosen from the latter. In those socialist states which have an individual acting as head of state (for example, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia), he is responsible for his actions to the highest representative institution and jointly with it, or on its authorization, performs the functions of the head of state.


References in periodicals archive ?
Since the operation of the power plant, it processed and sent its first million kilowatt/hours of electricity to the central distribution network," the acting head of the State Agency said.
Food aid and medicines for the refugees will be gathered and distributed with the help of a newly created website, said the Head of the State Agency for Refugees, informs Focus News agency.
Chaudhry Aitzaz said if we wrote a letter to the Swiss authorities, it tantamount to acknowledge or recognize that we are not respecting our head of the state.
According to the head of the State Service of Medical Means, this is proved by significant speed of growth of volumes of realization of goods on the pharmaceutical market of Ukraine; increase of share of the national production on the domestic market (from 28% in 2010 to 31.
Zheni Nacheva, incumbent head of the state health insurance fund, was charged with abuse of power which had caused damage to the fund's budget, and was kicked out of office by the court earlier in the week.
The district didn't know the law had changed,'' said Judy Peniger, head of the state Education Department's waiver office.
On September 2, head of the State Migration Service of Ukraine Mykola Kovalchuk held a working meeting with experts of the European Union for migration issues.
As Head of the State Directorate you should use donor aid as intended, while the government should find other sources for credits," the parliamentarian said.
This was started by Japanese agricultural experts corporation "Agriculture and Livestock Industries Corporation of Japan" during a meeting with the Head of the State Agency of Land Resources Sergiy Tymchenko.
Ata Meken faction asked the head of the State Commission for State Language, Azimzhan Ibraimov, to comment on the decision of the United Nations Organization of 2002 to recognize the Kyrgyz language as endangered language.
Republicans, for instance, awarded their nomination for state treasurer last year to Greg Conlon, head of the state Public Utilities Commission under ex-Gov.
The Head of the State Customs Service of Ukraine made proposal with respect to join railway ferry service between Turkey and Ukraine with the Viking project.