Has there been a state without an office satisfying the definition of a head of state? This question is mostly about the modern times because I'm not sure if we can give a satisfactory definition for outdated political systems. Please feel free to comment on this, but still the main focus of this question is on the modern world.

  • 4
    Would Andorra count? It has two heads of state, together (the co-princes).
    – TRiG
    Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 19:12
  • 2
    I'm sure I could google some headless heads of state. Would that count?
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 4:21
  • 3
    @myself forget that, in December 1967, Australia not only lacked the head, but the entire body!
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 11:25
  • 1
    If I recall correctly, most members of the state lost their heads during the French Revolution!
    – holaymolay
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 1:30
  • 2
    @Andrew That was the Head of Government, though, not the Head of State!
    – owjburnham
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 6:13

5 Answers 5


Switzerland lacks a single head of state, though the members of the 7-head government take it in turns to represent the country as such abroad during the 7-year government term. See also Wikipedia on Politics of Switzerland.


While the U.S. was under the Articles of Confederation, the President of The United States in Congress Assembled was not a head of state. Instead, the role was to ensure impartiality of the congress and enforcement of rules. Articles of Confederation, Presidents of the Congress


In the USSR the head of state was collective: the Presidium of Supreme Council. The state was usually represented and laws signed by the Chairman of the Presidium, but he actually did not have any powers: if he would refuse to sign a law for instance, it would be signed by his deputy.


Since 1974, The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) had a collective head of state, the Presidency.

It was usually represented by a chairman, a rotating position between the republics and SAPs.


I think, Bosnia doesn't have a single head of state. There is a 3 member committee consisting of ethnic serb, ethnic croat, and ethnic Bosniac member each.

The committee has a chairman, and he becomes a chairman by rotation.

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