What I'm thinking of is a central government that is divided into partitions, each partition designated to govern over a given field (topic, subject), and each partition having elected representatives and heads.

For example, take the United States and make the partition be roughly the federal executive departments that have a Cabinet member--so you'd have Defense, Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, Education, etc. You'd have a branch of the government in charge of defense with elected representatives and an elected head who all are to focus only on defense and the same would go for all of the branches.

With that general structure, I'm sure there would need to be mechanisms in place to ensure fluid and fair interactions on policy and implementation between and among the branches and some kind of checks and balances. But ignoring that for now, is there a term for this type of government and has anything similar to it been tried before?

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    Who decides how tax money is allocated between the various "governments"?
    – lazarusL
    Nov 30, 2015 at 20:16
  • Panem? :)
    – user4012
    Nov 30, 2015 at 21:30
  • @lazarusL The IRS, of course, which will allocate it all to the IRS.
    – SJuan76
    Dec 1, 2015 at 8:35
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    This sounds basically like the government in "Divergent". One of the big problems is deciding who gets to vote in which branch. Can everyone vote for the defense head, or only defense-related citizens? Are they citizens of the defense department? May 4, 2016 at 15:29
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    Also who settles disputes between partitions? The head of industry wants to build an oil pipeline but the head of nature preservation wants a national park in the same place. Who decides what happens? And isn't who ever can settle these disputes the one who is really in charge May 4, 2016 at 17:24

3 Answers 3


Iraq is a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic. I assume they just add adverbs and adjectives like hashtags these days.

So to build some descriptors for what you're imagining, let's observe that a triumvirate shares power between three rulers. I assume a democratic triumviratic republic would elect three ministries, which would elect three ministers. A democratic dodecumviratic republic would elect twelve ministries, which in turn would elect twelve ministers.

Let's assume you want a separate ministry for each of our current executive departments: 1. state, 2. treasury, 3. justice, 4. interior, 5. agriculture, 6. commerce, 7. labor, 8. defense, 9. health, 10. housing and urban development, 11. transportation, 12. energy, 13. education, 14. veteran's affairs, and 15. homeland security. Pentadeca means fifteen, so you're thinking of a "democratic pentadecaviratic republic", at least until it operates long enough to be shortened to "chaotic mess"

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    Democratic pentadecaviratic republic--that's pretty catchy. Good links too. I didn't realize there have been so many triumvirate over history, although I didn't see any that were democratically elected. Dec 1, 2015 at 15:17
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    I don't think there has ever been a democratically elected triumvirate, I just added "democratic" in front of triumvirate . . . Long story short it's the blind leading the blind; I'm confused by the U.K. operating like a Constitutional Monarchy but being a theocracy on paper; I'm confused by Iraq being called a par. rep. dem. republic but packing its Constitution with theocratic monologues; I'm confused that China calls itself a "republic", I guess it's Chinese for "none of the above"; I think the "ocracy" nomenclature is clearly flawed, but until we mend it, I just add descriptors. Dec 1, 2015 at 15:40
  • I look forward to hearing your answer. May 5, 2016 at 16:35

What you're talking about here is a specific separation of powers. In fact, the United States (and probably many other countries) do this at a more local level. California, for example, has 7 major elected officials, 5 with specific offices they run. And at county or city levels you get elected sheriffs or fire chiefs or heads of various boards of education.

I don't think what you're talking about is really a traditional multiumviratic government, since there's no connotation of separate powers in that word's use. If you were to invent a name for this, you could call it a Departmental Government or something like that.


This sounds like a Technocracy

Technocracy is an organizational structure or system of governance where decision-makers are selected on the basis of technological knowledge. The concept of a technocracy remains mostly hypothetical. Technocrats, a term used frequently by journalists in the twenty-first century, can refer to individuals exercising governmental authority because of their knowledge. Technocrat has come to mean either "a member of a powerful technical elite" or "someone who advocates the supremacy of technical experts". Examples include scientists, engineers, and technologists who have special knowledge, expertise, or skills, and would compose the governing body, instead of people elected through political parties and businesspeople. In a technocracy, decision makers would be selected based upon how knowledgeable and skillful they are in their field.

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