What is Government? Definitions of Government

len Alfred Ajibola - Wed, 12th June, 2019 @ 17:01

Topics in Government

Scheme of Work for Government, SS1, First Term Scheme of Work for Government, SS1, Second Term Scheme of Work for Government, SS1, Third Term Concept, Advantages and Disadvantages of Multi-Party System Concept, Advantages and Disadvantages of Two-Party System Pressure Group: Types of Pressure Group Characteristics of Pressure Group Constitution - Types of Constitution Government - Scope of Government Government - Characteristics of Government Government - Importance of Government One-Party System explained Multi-Party System explained with its Characteristics Party System: Zero Party System Two-Party System explained with its Characteristics Democracy and Types of Democracy Democracy - Characteristics of Democracy Government - Types and Forms of Government Government - Functions of Government What is Government? Definitions of Government

Academic Questions in Government

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The absence of government in a country or state is referred to as _____.

  • A. chaos
  • B. doom
  • C. oligarchy
  • D. autocracy
  • E. anarchy
  • F. meritocracy

The definition of democracy as "Government of the people, by the people and for the people" is a concept of _____.

  • A. John F. Kennedy
  • B. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • C. Aristotle
  • D. George W. Bush
  • E. Kamala Harris
  • F. Abraham Lincoln

A form of government where the wealthy rule the people is known as _____.

  • A. plutocracy
  • B. timocracy
  • C. technocracy
  • D. meritocracy
  • E. richocracy
  • F. autocracy

Which of the following countries isn't a result of the disintegration of the Soviet Union (USSR)?

  • A. Malta
  • B. Latvia
  • C. Moldova
  • D. Estonia
  • E. Georgia
  • F. Uzbekistan

Click here to watch the video


For a free trial, click here. Recommend to a school and get 25% commission for 6 academic terms

What is Government?

Imagine a community comprised of both the rich and the poor. There are chances that some of the rich might oppress the poor; and this could even be made worse where there is absence of an institution or agency responsible towards defending the poor against the oppressive actions of the rich.

The above instance will also hold true in a society where we have the strong and the weak living together; and for this reason, the government was conceived.

The need for government (good governance) resulted because people of different status will always live together, interact together and work together.

Please read on the Importance of Government here.

Note: It is certain that disagreements, conflicts, crisis, abuse, crime and other bad stuffs would likely happen among various group of people living together.

Please read on Conflicts and Causes of Conflicts here.

In regards to conflicts and the other aformentioned vices, one of the reasons for the formation of a government is to put in place a policy that will direct, encourage and control people with justice, equity and fairness such that the poor can be protected from the oppression of the rich; and the weak from the might of the strong.

Please read on Your Fundamental Human Rights here.


Definitions of Government

Government may be defined under the following headings:

  • As an Institution of a State.
  • As a Process or "As an Act of Governing".
  • As an Academic Field of Study.


Definition of Government as an Institution of a State

Government is an institution or agency or machinery or instrument that is established to manage the affairs of the general welfare of the people that make up a state or country.

Please read on the Civic Responsibility and "Who is a Citizen?" here.

The institutions through which the government carries out its purpose in the above definition are referred to as the arms or organs or branches of government.

We have 3 ARMS of Government. These are:

  1. The Executive
  2. The Legislature
  3. The Judiciary
  4. Please read on the Organs/Arms/Branches of Government here.


Definition of Government as "a Process" or "an Act of Governing"

Government is the various processes and methods that are involved in the formulation, administration and implementation of public policies from a procedure which had been specifically spelt out in the constitution of a country or state.

Please read more on Constitution here


Definition of Government as an Academic Field of Study

Government is the study of institutions, theories, ideas, values and doctrines as relating to the acquisition and use of political power for the welfare of the people.

Please read on the Characteristics of Government here

At the tertiary level, the term government is synonymous to Political Science (which is a discipline under the social sciences).

Please read more on the Scopes of Government here.

If You are a Student, Teacher or Lover of Education, please click here to follow LEN ACADEMY on Google News

THANKS FOR READING - Please Help Share!


Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

Please Register here or Login here to contribute to this topic by commenting in the box below.


Amazing facts in Government


Anarchy is one of the forms of government. Ironically, it is the absence of government in a society, country or state.

An instance of anarchy occurred in Somalia in 1991 after a dictator name Said Barre was overthrown. This made Somalia disintegrate into fractions with local warlords imposing their authority over their land/area.

Other forms of government includes:

  1. Oligarchy
  2. Colonialism
  3. Monarchy
  4. Communism
  5. Federalism
  6. Dictatorship
  7. Democracy
  8. Meritocracy
  9. Autocracy
  10. Aristocracy 

Please read on the various forms of government here

Democracy is a form of government where the power of choosing a leader is vested on the people. It represents a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

According to Abrahim Lincoln,

Democracy means government of the people, by the people and for the people.

In democracy, the citizens have the rights to vote and be voted for. The citizens are mandated to choose their preferred candidate by voting for them through their political party. In fact, this voting process is considered as one of the civic responsibility of every citizen.

Please read on the fundamental Human Rights here.

NOTE: No one is above the rule of law in the democratic system. If the election outcome does not reflect the mandate of the people, a court of competent jurisdiction can nullify such election.

Democracy is practiced in countries like Nigeria, United States of America, India and South Africa.