Characteristics of a Unitary State – When viewed in general, then there are 2 forms of state in this world, namely the unitary state and the union state. A unitary state is a form of a single state whose supreme power resides with the central government. While the union state is a form of country that has several states that play a role in managing their respective household affairs.
Based on Article 1 paragraph 1 of the 1945 Constitution, Indonesia is a unitary state in the form of a republic. As explained above, a unitary state is a form of state in which the highest authority resides in the central government. In other words, the central government holds full sovereignty, both internally and externally. In a unitary state, there is only one constitution, one head of state, one council of ministers or cabinet, and also only one parliament.
Of course, there are many countries that adhere to the form of a unitary state besides Indonesia. Then, what are the characteristics of a unitary state, understanding, and also examples of countries that apply this form of state? We will discuss everything in more detail in this article. So, watch it until it’s finished.
Definition of the Unitary State
A unitary state is a form of state in which the supreme power is in the hands of the central government. Hierarchically, a unitary state is a form of a single-stranded state. This means that there are no countries within a single country. This unitary state is often referred to as a unitary state. Where the central government becomes the highest authority in the form of unity. Meanwhile, local governments will only carry out instructions from the center. In this unitary state, they can also implement a centralized system or a decentralized system.
In a centralized system, the central government is responsible for taking care of all domestic problems in all regions without exception. That way, local governments only need to carry out instructions and orders from the central government.
Meanwhile, in a decentralized system, the central government will give each region the rights and authority to manage its own household affairs. The granting of rights to each region is known as regional autonomy. So that each local government must take care of affairs in their respective regions.
The examples of countries that apply the form of a unitary state are Indonesia, France, Japan, Thailand, Egypt, Laos, Vietnam, Denmark, Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, and so on.
Features of the Unitary State
Below are some explanations about the characteristics of a unitary state that you need to understand more deeply, including:
1. Consists of One Head of State
The first characteristic of a unitary state is that it only consists of one head of state. That means, in a unitary state, they will only be led by a head of state. Usually the head of state is the president or prime minister who organizes the central government.
2. Consists of a Council of Ministers and a House of Representatives
Then the next characteristic of a unitary state is that it only consists of a council of ministers or a cabinet and a people’s representative council or parliament. There is no more stacked cabinet or parliamentary compositions, because there is only one council of ministers and also the DPR at the central level.
3. Consists of a Constitutional Law
In a unitary state, there is only one constitution as the basic constitution of the country nationally. This is very different from a union state where each state can have its own different laws, depending on the government in each state.
4. The Supreme Authority is in the Hands of the Central Government
Government power can be held and controlled by the central government. Where the local government will only carry out all the policies and provisions of the central government. In addition, the central government can also grant regional autonomy rights to each regional government. However, the ultimate authority remains in the hands of the central government.
5. State Sovereignty Includes Inward and Outward Sovereignty
State sovereignty that exists within a unitary state includes internal sovereignty as well as external sovereignty. This has also been signed by the central government, which means that the central government holds sovereignty both internally and externally within a country.
6. Can Embrace Centralized and Decentralized Systems
The system that exists within a unitary state can be a centralized system and a decentralized system. In a centralized system, all issues and problems will be regulated directly by the central government. Meanwhile, for a decentralized system, the central government will give authority to each region to manage their own household affairs.
7. Using One National Policy
In a unitary state, the central government will only use one policy to address various problems faced at the national level. For example, such as economic, political, socio-cultural, and security and defense issues.
8. There Is No Country Within A Country
The next characteristic of a unitary state is that there is no state within a state. That means, there is only one free and sovereign country that covers all regions and areas in that country. This is very different from the united states which have several states within one country.
That is a discussion of the characteristics of a unitary state. This unitary state is one of the countries whose supreme power is in the hands of the central government and has the concept of the absence of a state within a state. In the next material, we will discuss the advantages of the unitary state form compared to other forms of government:
The Advantages of the Unitary State
All over the world, there are hundreds of officially registered countries. According to the United Nations, there are around 195 sovereign states registered as members. This number does not include dependent countries and countries that are part of the territories of other countries. There are hundreds of countries that have different forms of government, such as union states and unitary states.
The example of a united state is the United States and the example of a unitary state is Indonesia. So, what are the advantages of a unitary state compared to other forms of government? Let’s see the explanation below:
According to the book entitled The Unitary State in Theoretical Discourse by Dr. Ni’matul Huda, SH., M.Hum (2021:6), according to Fred Isjwara, a unitary state is the most solid form of state, when compared to a federal or confederation. Within a unitary state, there is both unity and unity. When viewed in terms of its composition, a unitary state is not a country composed of several countries, but only a single state.
From the explanation above, we can conclude that according to one expert, the unitary state form is the most solid compared to other forms of state. Not only that, there are other reasons that make the unitary state superior to other forms of state. These reasons include:
1. The government can be more responsible for all development carried out throughout the country. So that the results of the development can be more evenly distributed and uniform.
2. Existing rules will be the same in all regions. So that the law that is enforced will be fairer for every citizen. In addition, the same rules can also increase unity among citizens.
3. With a unitary state system, decisions can be taken more quickly.
4. A country that has an area that is not too large would be good if it adopted the form of a unitary state.
5. The country will become more stable because various races, ethnicities, groups, religions, and also gender will be more likely to work together in government.
6. Funds that are in the center of government can be saved more because they don’t have to support the government in the regions.
Example of a unitary state other than Indonesia
Apart from Indonesia, below are several countries in the world that adhere to a unitary state system, including:
Japan itself adheres to the form or system of a unitary state. In fact, this cherry country was included in the nomination for the best unified state in the world. Japan has an emperor who has the same authority as the president, namely as head of state. While the prime minister’s role is to hold the mandate to run the government.
Countries in the European region are also in the form of republics and unitary states. While the system of government adopted by Italy is parliamentary. There is a president who serves as head of state. Then there is also the prime minister who acts as head of government.
Greece has a prime minister who is authorized to run the country and is elected on the recommendation of parliament. In that case, the constitution in Greece is single and made to regulate all state, national and religious life. The Greek constitution upholds a religious norm that frees all citizens to have an official religion.
4. The Netherlands
The head of state in the Netherlands is led by a king. However, the power of the King will be limited by its symbolic function. While the head of the Dutch government is held by the prime minister. Then for the constitution which is the guideline for the government and also the people of the Netherlands is referred to as the Dutch constitution.
Vietnam adheres to a one-party system that has a thick communist stream. The name of the government party known by the State of Vietnam is DCSVN or Dang Cong san Viet Nam. It is DCSVN that has the highest authority and influence in the country. The Vietnam Constitution is a product of DCSVN. So that the government in it carries out their duties and must submit to this constitution.
6. East Timor
Timor Leste is a country that adheres to a semi-presidential republic system of government. The government arrangement is headed by a president and a prime minister. In this case, the president acts as the head of state, while the prime minister has the authority to head the government.
This is an explanation of the characteristics of a unitary state, understanding, and several examples of countries implementing a unitary state system. Hope it is useful.