Head of State

(redirected from Heads of states)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Heads of states: chief of state

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 ?
ASTANA -- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in Kazakhstan on Thursday to participate in the two-day meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at Astana.
Pakistan was invited to start the process of becoming full SCO member at the Heads of State Council meeting held in Ufa, Russia in July 2015.
On the coordination of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) and Africa's preparation for cop 19/CMP 9 The Heads of States acknowledged the need to further refine and streamline the coordination mechanism for CAHOSCC.
v) On the establishment of an 'international constitutional court' The Heads of States requested the African Union Commission on International Law to examine the proposed establishment of an International Constitutional Court and make recommendations to the 22nd Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (January 2014) on the said proposal On the integration of the new Africa- Asia Strategic Partnership (NSP) into African Union structures and processes The Assembly requested the Commission to take the necessary steps towards the integration of the New Africa-Asia Strategic Partnership (NSP) into the African Union structures and processes.
Kuwaiti monarch has sent special aircrafts to take heads of state from various poor countries to Kuwait.
He said Pakistan was invited to start the process of becoming full SCO member at the Heads of State Council meeting held in Ufa, Russia, in July 2015.
On the sidelines of SCO summit, President Mamnoon will hold bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Uzbek President Islam Karimov and other visiting heads of state.
HM King Mohammed VI held, Wednesday at the Elysee Palace in Paris, talks with French president Franois Hollande, expanded later to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Environment of both countries, the Advisors of the two heads of State and the respective ambassadors, HM the King's Office said in a statement.
The two heads of State called on the Libyan House of Representatives to quickly approve the new government so as to address the many challenges facing Libya and the broader region.
HRH Prince Moulay Rachid arrived on Sunday in Nice to represent HM King Mohammed VI in this Summit which brings together heads of states and delegations from 51 African countries, in addition to France.
Summary: Rabat - HM King Mohammed VI received several congratulatory messages from Heads of States of brotherly and friendly countries on Eid Al-Mawlid Acharif (the birthday of the prophet).
Summary: Rabat - HM King Mohammed VI received congratulatory messages from several heads of States on the occasion of Eid Al Adha.

Full browser ?