Government StudiesHistory Classroom

The Definitions of Government

The Three Definitions Of Government

*Government As An Institution Of The State

Government as an institution of the state can be defined as a “machinery” set up by the state, to keep the state organised, run its affairs and administer its various functions and duties.
The coming together of people to live in a society arouse the need to form a body (government) which will handle the administration of the society. If a state should exist without this kind of body (government), anarchy is said to be reigning in such a state.
Government as an institution of the state is made up of three organs:
1. The Executive– This organ formulate and implement policies
2. The Legislature– This organ make laws
3- The Judiciary– The Judiciary is the organ that interpret the law.

*Government As An Art Of Governing

Government is referred to as an art of governing because it is a body vested with the supreme power of the affairs of a state. (Essential Government, C. C. Dibie, August 2008)
The supreme power of a state lies in the hands of the government thus giving it the authority to make and enforce laws and implement policies as well. The government can also punish any erring member of the society that breaks the law. The principle of separation of power aids the government in efficient administration.

*Government As A Field Of Study

Government is also a subject, a social science subject ( to be specific), studied in various educational institutions (primary, secondary and tertiary). It is known as Political Science in higher institutions. Government Studies covers a range of International Relations, Comparative Politics, Public Administration and so on.

Further Reading:
* Essential Government, C. C. Dibie, August 2008, Tonad Publishers
Please, kindly drop a comment below if you find this helpful or you have a question.

Cite this article as: Teslim Omipidan. (August 10, 2016). The Definitions of Government. OldNaija. Retrieved from


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