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In the terminology of political geography and historiography a national department ( , ) is an administrative political subdivision of a country established by the cognizant (usually legislative) government authority holding sovereign power for the territory.

Departments are roughly equivalent to a state, province or county (since each is established by home rule, size and definitions vary considerably from one country to another), and may exist either with or without a subnational representative assembly and executive head depending upon the countries constitutional structure.

Countries using departments

Former countries using departments

See also

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