Head of State

(redirected from chief of state)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

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 ?
According to the chief of state, these values encompass living together amidst disparate cultures and languages, in peace and with mutual respect, as well as providing the opportunity to prosper in a secure and hospitable environment.
After the ceremonial post of chief of state, Thieu was elected president in September 1967 after pulling off a stunning switch with his rival, Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky, who had previously wielded the most influence in the South Vietnamese military regime.
The commission includes Minister of Natural Resources as chair, chief of energy and mineral resources of the Interim Government's Office as vice chair of the commission, Deputy Justice Minister, Deputy Economic Regulation Minister, Deputy Finance Minister, Chief of State Administration of Chatkal rayon, Jalal-Abad oblas, chief of subsoil use right regulation of the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Unable to resist, David Letterman instantly offered up a Top 10 list of slogans for the new chief of state, including ``Building a steroid-enhanced bridge to the 21st century,'' and ``C'mon, don't you want to see Newt Gingrich in a chokehold.
In his two successive five-year terms as Israel's sixth chief of state, he strove to enlarge the president's role, which in Israel is largely ceremonial, by making public declarations on issues that leaders in government would not, or could not, address.
Roose as the Chief of State Mediation and Conciliation Service (SMCS).
The lawmakers from Ak Jol parliamentary faction have criticized statements made by Chief of State Intellectual Property Service Ulan Melisbek in press and Parliament.
Other contacts include, but are not limited to, the Chief of State - Major General of the Army, Kerfalla Camara.
The Presidents of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan will not attend CIS Summit in Chisinau, Alexey Krakan, Chief of State Protocol of the Moldavian Foreign Ministry, told Itar-Tass.
More than 300 VIPs (Including Product Division officials of Information Industry Department, former Chief of State Industrial and Commercial Bureau, Vice Chairman of Chinese Industry and Commerce Union (CICU), Chief of China label Commission, CICU officials of Guang Dong province, Mayor and relevant officials of Huizhou and reporters of media in China) attended the press conference held in Huizhou on June 8, 2000.

Full browser ?