|Politics in the World of Avatar|
There are four broad types of political systems, each of which has a distinctive character that corresponds with the element of its respective nation. The Air Nomads had a theocracy led by four councils of monks or nuns, the Water Tribes have a tribal system led by chiefs, the Earth Kingdom has a confederate monarchy led by the Earth King, and the Fire Nation has an absolute monarchy led by the Fire Lord. There are, however, some exceptions.
- Main article: Air Nomads
The Air Nomads had no overall government that made unified decisions before their genocide. Instead, there were four Councils of Elders that presided over the four temples respectively. The Council of Elders had no exact leadership or rule. They were just a group of wise airbending masters that made decisions regarding the temple and its people.
Southern Air Temple
- Main article: Southern Air Temple
Ruler: Council of Elders
Current leader: None
Other air temples
Each air temple had its own council that operated exactly the same way as the Southern Air Temple's Council of Elders. It is known that Sister Iio was the Mother Superior and thus head of the council in the Eastern Air Temple.
- Main article: Water Tribe
Government system: Tribal Chiefdom/Royal Chiefdom
Head of state: No overall head of state
Territorial divisions: Two tribes, plus Foggy Swamp
Capital: No overall capital
The Water Tribe does not have an overall leader. The chief presides over only their own division of the tribe.
Foggy Swamp Tribe
- Main article: Foggy Swamp Tribe
Northern Water Tribe
- Main article: Northern Water Tribe
Politics in the Northern Water Tribe are more complicated than in its southern sister tribe. There is one all-powerful leader, but there is a small council that advises him, most recently including the tribe's greatest waterbending master, Pakku. Politics can also be personal. For example, marrying the chief's daughter, the Tribal Princess, can be a significant step in a political career.
Southern Water Tribe
- Main article: Southern Water Tribe
Decisions in the Southern Water Tribe are made exclusively by the current chief, and politics appear to be extremely simple, with only one person in power and all others completely loyal to that person. Unlike in the Northern Water Tribe, the chief's children, such as Katara and Sokka, are not viewed as royalty.
- Main article: Earth Kingdom
Government system: Confederate Monarchy
Head of state: Earth King
Most recent known head of state: Kuei
Territorial divisions: Unknown number of provinces
Territorial divisions led by: Kings, mayors, others unknown
Capital: Ba Sing Se
Though the King of Ba Sing Se, titled as the Earth King, is the official overall leader of the Earth Kingdom, the country functions as a sort of confederation, with individual provinces and cities given a great deal of autonomy. Outside of the cities, the central government has little influence. Furthermore, the Earth Kingdom has no unified system of laws, with each region having its own legal code. These territories do, however, provide support and troops to the Earth King whenever necessary, and the military functions as a unified body.
Ba Sing Se
- Main article: Ba Sing Se
The Earth King is the leader of the government of Ba Sing Se, and by extension the entire Earth Kingdom. It should be noted that the day-to-day affairs of the city are managed by the Grand Secretariat, who answers only to the Earth King.
- Main article: Omashu
Omashu, though part of the Earth Kingdom and therefore answerable to the Earth King in Ba Sing Se, has its own king and is relatively autonomous of the capital.
- Main article: Fire Nation
Government system: Absolute Monarchy
Head of state: Fire Lord
Most recent known head of state: Fire Lord Zuko's daughter
Territorial divisions: Homeland and colonies
Territorial divisions led by: Governors
Capital: Fire Nation Capital
- Main article: Sun Warriors
United Republic of Nations
- Main article: United Republic of Nations
The United Republic of Nations is led by a council, composed of one representative from each major nation, who represents the interest of their people. Its capital, Republic City, is divided into boroughs.
- Main article: Avatar
Current Avatar: Korra
Current Avatar's nation of origin: Southern Water Tribe
The Avatar is independent of all government systems and acts in the interests of world balance, as well as the balance between the Earth and the Spirit World. As such, the Avatar acts as the international authority for peace, justice, and order.