List of socialist states
The following is a list of self-declared Socialist states—that is to say, past and present states that have declared themselves Socialist or in the process of building socialism. Self-identification is the only criterion used by the list, therefore the list includes all countries that have claimed to be Socialist, even if their claims are disputed. All countries that have not claimed to be Socialist are excluded, even in cases where certain outside observers regarded those countries as Socialist. This list includes countries that assert in their constitutions that they are based on socialism, regardless of their economic or political system. As a result, this list is best understood as a list of countries that explicitly claim to be Socialist and it does not reflect the actual economic systems themselves.
The majority of self-declared Socialist countries have been Marxist–Leninist states, following the model of the Soviet Union or a variant of people's democracy. They share a common definition of "socialism" and they refer to themselves as Socialist states on the road to communism with a leading vanguard party structure. For this reason, they are generally, called "Communist states" albeit erroneously. Meanwhile, the countries in the non-Marxist–Leninist category represent a wide variety of different interpretations of the word "socialism". In many cases, they do not define what they mean by it. Modern uses of the term "socialism" are wide in meaning and interpretation.
A sovereign state is a different entity from the political party that rules that state at any given time, thus a country may be ruled by a Socialist Party, but without the country itself claiming to be socialist. This has occurred in both one-party and multi-party political systems. In particular, there are numerous cases of social democratic and democratic socialist political parties winning elections in liberal democratic states and ruling for a number of terms until a different party wins the elections. For example, the Swedish Social Democratic Party has won most elections in Sweden since 1932, but the country never adopted socialism as its official ideology. This article does not list countries that do not have constitutional references to socialism, even in cases where Socialist Parties have governed those countries for a certain period of time.
On the other hand, countries that do maintain constitutional references to socialism are always listed, even when those countries are ruled by non-Socialist Parties. For example, India is a liberal democracy that has been ruled by non-Socialist Parties on many occasions, but it is listed here because the Indian Constitution makes references to socialism. Certain other countries, such as Hungary, Poland and Croatia, have constitutions that make references to their Communist and Socialist past by recognizing and condemning it, but without claiming to be socialist in the present.
|Country||Since||Duration||Party||Head of party||Head of state||Head of government|
|1 October 1949||68 years, 341 days||Communist Party of China||Xi Jinping
|1 July 1966||52 years, 68 days||Communist Party of Cuba||Raúl Castro
|2 December 1975||42 years, 279 days||Lao People's Revolutionary Party||Bounnhang Vorachith
|2 July 1976||42 years, 67 days||Communist Party of Vietnam||Nguyễn Phú Trọng
|Trần Đại Quang
|Nguyễn Xuân Phúc|
|Democratic Republic of Afghanistan||27 April 1978||30 November 1987||9 years, 217 days||Preamble: "In the present stage, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, as the initiator and coordinator of the policy of National Reconciliation, actively carries forward together with other political, national and democratic forces this humanitarian policy"|
|Republic of Afghanistan||30 November 1987||28 April 1992||4 years, 150 days|
|Total||27 April 1978||28 April 1992||14 years, 1 day|
|Democratic Government of Albania||29 November 1944||11 January 1946||1 year, 43 days||Section 1, Article 1: "The People's Socialist Republic of Albania is a state of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which expresses and defends the interests of all the working people"|
|People's Republic of Albania||11 January 1946||28 December 1976||30 years, 352 days|
|People's Socialist Republic of Albania||28 December 1976||22 March 1992||15 years, 85 days|
|Total||29 November 1944||22 March 1992||47 years, 114 days|
|People's Republic of Angola||11 November 1975||27 August 1992||16 years, 290 days||Section 1, Article 2: "All sovergenity is vested in the Angolan people. The MPLA, their legitimate representative constituted from a broad front including all patriotic forces engaged in the anti-imperialist struggle, is responsible for the political, economic, and social leadership of the nation"|
|Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic||31 July 1920||25 August 1991||70 years, 344 days||Section 1, Article 1: "The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic is a socialist state expressing the will and interests of the workers, peasants and intelligentsia, the working people of all nationalities of the republic"|
|People's Republic of Benin||30 November 1975||1 March 1990||14 years, 91 days||Legally a socialist state.|
|People's Republic of Bulgaria||15 September 1946||7 December 1990||44 years, 83 days||Section 1, Article 1: "The People's Republic of Bulgaria is a socialist state of the working people from town and village, headed by the working class"|
|Democratic Kampuchea||17 April 1975||22 June 1982||7 years, 66 days||Legally a socialist state from 1979 to 1989, ruled by a communist party from 1975 to 1989, but not internationally recognized by some countries|
|People's Republic of Kampuchea||10 January 1979||1 May 1989||10 years, 111 days|
|Total||17 April 1975||1 May 1989||14 years, 14 days|
|People's Republic of the Congo||3 January 1970||15 March 1992||22 years, 72 days||Presidential oath: "I swear allegiance to the Congolese people, to the Revolution and to the Congolese Labor Party. I shall undertake, while guided by Marxist–Leninist principles, [...] to devote all my strength to the triumph of the proletarian ideals"|
|Czechoslovak Republic||9 June 1948||11 July 1960||12 years, 32 days||Section 1, Article 1: "The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic is a socialist state founded on the firm alliance of the workers, farmers and intelligentsia, with the working class as its head"|
|Czechoslovak Socialist Republic||11 July 1960||29 March 1990||29 years, 261 days|
|Total||9 June 1948||29 March 1990||41 years, 293 days|
|Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia||28 June 1974||22 February 1987||12 years, 239 days||Country declared Marxist–Leninist in 1974, the Workers' Party of Ethiopia becoming "the formulator of the country's development process and the leading force of the state and in society" in 1987|
|People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia||22 February 1987||27 May 1991||4 years, 94 days|
|Total||28 June 1974||27 May 1991||16 years, 333 days|
|German Democratic Republic||7 October 1949||3 October 1990||40 years, 361 days||Section 1, Article 1: "The German Democratic Republic is a socialist state of workers and peasants. It is the political organization of the working people of town and country under the leadership of the working class and its Marxist–Leninist party"|
|Hungarian People's Republic||20 August 1949||23 October 1989||40 years, 64 days||Section 1, Article 2: "The Hungarian People's Republic is a socialist state"|
|Democratic People's Republic of Korea||9 September 1948||19 February 1992||43 years, 163 days||Section 1, Article 1: "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is an independent socialist state representing the interests of all the Korean people" (see below)|
|Mongolian People's Republic||24 November 1924||12 February 1992||67 years, 80 days||Section 1, Article 2: "The Mongolian People's Republic is state which exists and is developing in the form of people's democracy"|
|People's Republic of Mozambique||25 June 1975||1 December 1990||15 years, 159 days||Section 1, Article 2: "Power belongs to the workers and peasants united and led by FRELIMO and organs of people's power"|
|Polish People's Republic||28 June 1945||30 December 1989||44 years, 185 days||Section 1, Article 1: "The Polish People's Republic is a socialist state"|
|Romanian People's Republic||30 December 1947||21 August 1965||17 years, 234 days||Section 1, Article 3: "The leading force of society in the Socialist Republic of Romania is the Romanian Communist Party"|
|Socialist Republic of Romania||21 August 1965||30 December 1989||24 years, 131 days|
|Total||30 December 1947||30 December 1989||42 years, 0 days|
|Somali Democratic Republic||21 October 1969||26 January 1991||21 years, 97 days||Section 1, Article 1: "The Somali Democratic Republic is a socialist state led by the working class and is an integral part of the Arab and African entities"|
|Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic||9 November 1917||30 December 1922||5 years, 51 days||Section 1, Article 1, Chapter 2: "Bearing in mind as its fundamental problem the abolition of the exploitation of men by men, the entire abolition of the division of the people into classes, the suppression of exploiters, the establishment of a socialist society, and the victory of socialism in all lands"
Section 1, Article 1: "The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a socialist state of the whole people, expressing the will and interests of the workers, peasants and intelligentsia, the working people of all the nations and nationalities of the country"
|Union of Soviet Socialist Republics||30 December 1922||26 December 1991||68 years, 361 days|
|Total||9 November 1917||26 December 1991||74 years, 47 days|
|Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic||10 March 1919||24 August 1991||72 years, 167 days||Section 1, Article 1: "The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic is the whole people state that expresses the will and interests of the workers, peasants and intellectuals, workers of the republic of all nationalities"|
|Democratic Republic of Vietnam||2 September 1945||2 July 1976||30 years, 304 days||Section 2, Article 9: "The Democratic Republic of Vietnam is advancing step by step from people's democracy to socialism by developing and transforming the national economy along socialist lines, transforming its backward economy into a socialist economy with modern industry and agriculture and an advanced science and technology"|
|People's Republic of South Yemen||30 November 1967||1 December 1970||3 years, 1 day||Section 1, Article 3: "The Yemeni Socialist Party, armed with the Scientific Socialism theory, is the leader and guide of society and state"|
|People's Democratic Republic of Yemen||1 December 1970||22 May 1990||19 years, 172 days|
|Total||30 November 1967||22 May 1990||22 years, 173 days|
|Democratic Federal Yugoslavia||29 November 1943||29 November 1945||2 years, 0 days||Section 1, Article 2: "The socialist system in Yugoslavia is based on relations between people acting as free and equal producers and creators, whose work serves exclusively to satisfy their personal and common needs"|
|Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia||29 November 1945||7 April 1963||17 years, 129 days|
|Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia||7 April 1963||27 April 1992||29 years, 20 days|
|Total||29 November 1943||27 April 1992||48 years, 150 days|
Current countries with constitutional references to socialism
|Country||Since||Duration||Form of government||Constitutional|
|11 April 1971||47 years, 149 days||Multi-party system||Preamble: "Further pledging that it shall be a fundamental aim of the State to realise through the democratic process, a socialist society free from exploitation, a society in which the rule of law, fundamental human rights and freedoms, equality and justice, political, economic and social, will be secured for all citizens"|
|6 October 1980||37 years, 336 days||Multi-party system||Preamble: "Convinced that the organisation of the State and society on socialist principles is the only means of ensuring social and economic justice for all of the people of Guyana; and, therefore, being motivated and guided by the principles of socialism"|
|18 December 1976||41 years, 263 days||Multi-party system||Preamble: "We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens"|
|19 February 1992||69 years, 363 days total;
26 years, 200 days since revision
|De facto one-party state with semi hereditary leadership||Preamble: "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is the socialist motherland of Juche, which has applied the idea and leadership of Kim Il-sung"|
|20 September 2015||2 years, 352 days||Multi-party system||Section 1, Article 4: "Nepal is an independent, indivisible, sovereign, secular, inclusive democratic, socialism-oriented federal democratic republican state"|
|2 April 1976||42 years, 158 days||Multi-party system||Preamble: "The Constituent Assembly affirms the Portuguese people's decision to [...] open up a path towards a socialist society"|
|7 September 1978||40 years, 0 days||Multi-party system||Preamble: "[...] to constitute Sri Lanka into a democratic socialist republic whilst ratifying the immutable republican principles of representative democracy, and assuring to all peoples freedom, equality, justice, fundamental human rights and the independence of the judiciary"|
|26 April 1964||54 years, 134 days||Multi-party system||Section 1, Article 3: "The United Republic is a democratic, secular and socialist state which adheres to multi-party democracy"|
|People's Democratic Republic of Algeria||8 September 1969||23 February 1989||26 years, 76 days||Preamble: "The democratic and popular Algerian Republic will direct its activities toward the construction of the country in accordance with the principles of socialism"|
|Union of Burma||2 March 1962||3 January 1974||11 years, 307 days||Chapter XVI General Provisions: "In order to overcome this deterioration and to build Socialism, the Revolutionary Council of the Union of Burma assumed responsibility as a historical mission, adopted the Burmese Way to Socialism and also formed the Burma Socialist Programme Party"|
|Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma||3 January 1974||18 September 1988||14 years, 259 days|
|Total||2 March 1962||18 September 1988||26 years, 200 days|
|Republic of Cape Verde||5 July 1975||22 September 1992||17 years, 79 days|
|Republic of Egypt||18 June 1953||22 February 1958||4 years, 249 days||Preamble: "The Arab Republic of Egypt is a democratic, socialist state based on the alliance of the working forces of the people"|
|United Arab Republic||22 February 1958||28 September 1961||3 years, 218 days|
|Arab Republic of Egypt||28 September 1961||26 March 2007||45 years, 179 days|
|Total||18 June 1953||26 March 2007||53 years, 281 days|
|People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada||13 March 1979||25 October 1983||4 years, 226 days|
|Iraqi Republic (Ba'athist)||17 July 1968||9 April 2003||34 years, 266 days||Chapter 1, Article 1: "Its [the country's] basic objective is the realization of one Arab State and the build-up of the socialist system"|
|Libyan Arab Republic||1 September 1969||2 March 1977||7 years, 182 days||Section 1, Article 6: "The aim of the state is the realization of socialism through the application of social justice which forbids any form of exploitation"|
|Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya||2 March 1977||15 April 1986||9 years, 44 days|
|Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya||15 April 1986||23 October 2011||25 years, 191 days|
|Total||1 September 1969||23 October 2011||42 years, 52 days|
|Democratic Republic of Madagascar||30 December 1975||12 September 1992||16 years, 257 days||Malagasy constitutional referendum, 1975|
|Republic of Seychelles||5 June 1977||27 December 1991||14 years, 205 days||Preamble: "Seychelles is declared to be a sovereign socialist republic"|
|Democratic Republic of the Sudan||25 May 1969||10 October 1985||16 years, 138 days||Preamble: "In the belief of our pursuit of freedom, socialism and democracy to achieve the society of sufficiency, justice and equality"|
|Syrian Arab Republic||8 March 1963||27 February 2012||48 years, 356 days||Section 1, Article 8: "The leading party in the society and the state is the Socialist Arab Ba'ath Party. It leads a patriotic and progressive front seeking to unify the resources of the people's masses and place them at the service of the Arab nation's goals"|
Multi-party states with governing Socialist Parties
These are territories which have claimed independence, declared themselves "socialist" under some interpretation of the term and created stable institutions of governance that have lasted for a considerable period of time, but which are not recognized as independent states by the international community. According to international law, these territories belong to other states.
These are short-lived political entities that emerged during wars or revolutions (mostly in the aftermath of World War I) and declared themselves "socialist" under some interpretation of the term, but whuch did not survive long enough to create a stable government or achieve international recognition.
Paris Commune (18 March–28 May 1871) Strandzha Commune (18 August–8 September 1903) Soviet Republic of Soldiers and Fortress-Builders of Naissaar (December 1917–26 February 1918) Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic (28 January–29 April 1918) Odessa Soviet Republic (31 January–13 March 1918) Donetsk–Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic (12 February–May 1918) Alsace Soviet Republic (9–22 November 1918) Free Socialist Republic of Germany (9 November 1918 – 11 August 1919) Commune of the Working People of Estonia (29 November 1918 – 5 June 1919) Saxony Soviet (November 1918–14 March 1919) Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic (17 December 1918 – 13 January 1920) Free Territory (1918–1921) Lithuanian–Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (27 February–25 August 1919) Hungarian Soviet Republic (21 March–6 August 1919) Mughan Soviet Republic (March–June 1919) Bavarian Council Republic (6 April–3 May 1919) Limerick Soviet (15–27 April 1919) Crimean Socialist Soviet Republic (28 April–26 June 1919) Bessarabian Soviet Socialist Republic (May–September 1919; 15–18 September 1924) Slovak Soviet Republic (16 June–7 July 1919) Persian Socialist Soviet Republic (9 June 1920–September 1921) Galician Soviet Socialist Republic (8 July–21 September 1920) Hunan Soviet (9 September 1927–October 1927; succeed by Jiangxi–Fujian Soviet and then Chinese Soviet Republic) Guangzhou Commune (Guangzhou Soviet) (11 December 1927 – 13 December 1927) Shinmin Prefecture (1929–1932) Nghệ-Tĩnh Soviet (1930–1931) Chinese Soviet Republic (7 November 1931 – 22 September 1937) Socialist Republic of Chile (4 June–2 October 1932) People's Revolutionary Government of the Republic of China (22 November 1933 – 13 January 1934) Asturian Socialist Republic (October 5–18, 1934) Anarchist Aragon (21 July 1936 – 1939) Revolutionary Catalonia (21 July 1936 – 1939) Finnish Democratic Republic (December 1939–March 1940) Political Committee of National Liberation of Greece (10 March 1944 – 28 August 1949) Second East Turkestan Republic (12 November 1944 – 20 December 1949) People's Republic of Korea (6 September 1945–February 1946) Azerbaijan People's Government (November 1945–December 1946) Republic of Mahabad (22 January–15 December 1946) Provisional People's Committee for North Korea (February 1946–9 September 1948) Marquetalia Republic (1948–1958) Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam (8 June 1969 – 2 June 1976) National Revolutionary Council of Gambia (30 July 1981 – 5 August 1981) Democratic Republic of Yemen (21 May–7 July 1994)
- Not including Hong Kong and Macau, under official policy. See "One Country, Two Systems".
- LL.M., Prof. Dr. Axel Tschentscher,. "ICL – Hungary Index". www.servat.unibe.ch.
- LL.M., Prof. Dr. Axel Tschentscher,. "ICL – Poland Index". www.servat.unibe.ch.
- LL.M., Prof. Dr. Axel Tschentscher,. "ICL – Croatia Index". servat.unibe.ch.
- Article Preamble, Section Preamble of the Constitution of the Republic of Afghanistan (30 November 1987)
- Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania (28 December 1976)
- Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of Angola (1976)
- Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (14 April 1978)
- Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of Bulgaria (18 May 1976)
- Presidential Oath Maarseveen written constitutions by H.Van Maarseveen and G.Van Der Tanq (Nov 21, 1978)
- Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (11 July 1960)
- Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the German Democratic Republic (7 October 1974)
- Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Hungarian People's Republic (20 August 1949)
- In 1992, all references to Marxism–Leninism in the DPRK constitution were dropped and replaced with Juche.
- Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (27 December 1974)
- Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Mongolian People's Republic (6 July 1960)
- "The African Communist". South African Communist Party. 16 February 1974 – via Google Books.
- Article 3, Section 1 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of Poland (22 July 1952)
- Article 3, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Romania (21 August 1965)
- Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Somali Democratic Republic (25 August 1979)
- Article I (R.S.F.R.S. Constitution)
- 1936 Constitution of the USSR, Part I
- Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (7 October 1977)
- Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (20 April 1978)
- Article 9, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (9 November 1946)
- Article 3, Section 1 of the Constitution of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (31 October 1978)
- Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (7 April 1963)
- Article Preamble, Section Preamble of the Constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh (4 November 1972)
- Article Preamble, Section Preamble of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (20 February 1980)
- "THE CONSTITUTION (AMENDMENT)". indiacode.nic.in.
- Article Preamble, Section Preamble of the Constitution of the Republic of India (26 November 1949)
- Article Preamble, Section Preamble of the Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (9 September 1948)
- Article Preamble, Section Preamble of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (25 April 1976)
- Article Preamble, Section Preamble of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (7 September 1978)
- Article 3, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania (25 April 1978)
- Article Preamble, Section Preamble of the Constitution of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (28 August 1963)
- Article XVI, Section General Provisions of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma (2 March 1974)
- Article Preamble, Section Preamble of the Constitution of the Republic of Egypt (22 July 1957)
- Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Iraq (21 September 1968)
- Article 5, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (11 December 1969)
- "The 1979 constitution for Seychelles". Commonwealth Law Bulletin. 5: 1329–1332. doi:10.1080/03050718.1979.9985562.
- Article 5, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Sudan (13 March 1973)
- Article 5, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic (12 April 1973)
- Ediciones El País. "Evo Morales insta a "erradicar el capitalismo" para salvar el planeta". EL PAÍS. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- "Evo Morales: Ten commandments against capitalism, for life and humanity". Climate & Capitalism. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- "Evo Morales: "Capitalism is the worst enemy of humanity"". Climate & Capitalism. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- "SYRIZA – GUE/NGL". European United Left–Nordic Green Left. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
- "Central America and Caribbean: Nicaragua – Government". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Communist Party of Venezuela" [PCV – Partido Comunista de Venezuela]. Communist Party of Venezuela. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- cahoon, ben. "German States since 1918". worldstatesmen.org.