Scope of Government

len Alfred Ajibola -29th December, 2019 @ 4:17 PM

Topics in Government

One-party system explained with its advantages and disadvantages What is Democracy? Definitions of Democracy Types of Government Arms of Government: Functions of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary 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 What are pressure groups? Types of pressure group Characteristics of Pressure Group Types of Constitution Scope of Government Characteristics of Government Importance of Government One-party system explained with its types and characteristics Multi-party system explained with its characteristics Party System: Zero Party System Two-Party System explained with its Characteristics Types of Democracy explained

Academic Questions in Government

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A type of democracy whereby shura is practiced is termed _____ democracy

  • A. Direct

  • B. Indirect

  • C. Constitutional

  • D. Islamic

  • E. Authoritarian

  • F. Participatory

A type of democracy whereby the people vote a bill into law is termed _____ democracy

  • A. Direct

  • B. Indirect

  • C. Constitutional

  • D. Islamic

  • E. Authoritarian

  • F. Participatory

In democracy, every citizen has got the right to vote and be vote for. Also, the principle one man one vote in this regard refers to which characteristic of democracy?

  • A. Separation of power

  • B. Freedom of expression

  • C. Constitutional supremacy

  • D. Rule of Law

  • E. Political equality

  • F. Popular sovereignty

Democracy is defined as a government formed by the consent of the governed.

  • A. True

  • B. False

Which of the following is not a type of democracy?

  • A. Peripheral democracy

  • B. Direct democracy

  • C. Islamic democracy

  • D. Representative democracy

  • E. Participatory democracy

  • F. Authoritarian democracy

Which of the following is not a characteristics of democracy?

  • A. Kingdom supracy

  • B. Rule of law

  • C. Political equality

  • D. Separation of power

  • E. Freedom of expression

  • F. Popular sovereignty

The following are functions of government except _____.

  • A. To provide free money for her citizens

  • B. To make laws as contained in the constitution

  • C. To defend and protect the lives and properties of her citizens

  • D. To provide a justice system

  • E. To generate revenue for the country

  • F. To maintain law and order through the law enforcement agencies

Government may be defined as an agency or machinery or instrument that is established to manage the general welfare of the people that make up a country.

In the above statement, government is defined _____.

  • A. As a process

  • B. As an act of governing

  • C. As an institution of a state

  • D. As an academic field o study

  • E. As a political wheel

  • F. As a machine of movement

Scope of Government:

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

The above definition holds true when we consider the term 'government' as an institution. Meanwhile, government may also be defined in terms of 'an academic field of study' or 'an act of governing'.

Please read on the various definitions of government here.

The scope of government may also be termed as 'branches' or 'divisions' of government. It refers to the extent or area or fields covered by government. In this regard, the scopes of government (or political science at the tertiary level) can be put into five. These are explained below:

1. Public Administration

Public administration deals with the ways through which people, technology and materials can be managed through the various governmental establishments in order to achieve societal goals.

Please read on the functions of government here.

Take for instance, the minister of education in your country is responsible for administering the best possible ways that people, technology and materials can be utilized towards bringing about quality education in your country.

Please read on the consequences and solutions to illiteracy here.


2. International Relations

This branch of government focuses on the foreign policies of different countries or states. It also deals with diplomacy and external relations with these foreign countries.

You can read on the advantages of foreign trade here.

International relations will also have involvements with international organizations like the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), Organization of African Unity (OAU) and so on.

You can read on global acronyms and their meanings here.

You may have observed that different countries have got their various ambassadors to other countries. Each ambassador (for each country) presents the face of their nation in their different countries of assignment, even as they relate with the country’s government.

Please read on the characteristics of government here.

International relations aims to foster the relationship between different countries such that they are able work together, while also making treaties with one another for their respective benefits.

Please read on the objectives of social studies here.


3. Political Institutions

Political institutions relate to the offices of the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government.

Please read more on the arms of government here.


4. Comparative Politics

This branch of government deals with the comparative analysis (that is, the similarities and differences) between different governments, political systems and political institutions among various countries of the world. As an instance, Nigeria as a nation is considered to run a similar form of government with the United States of America.

Please read on the forms of government here.


5. Political Thoughts or Political Theories

This division of government deals with the ideas, imaginations and thoughts that various legendary and great thinkers envisaged regarding a state or nation. Example of such great thinkers includes Aristotle, Plato, John Locke, Socrates, Karl Max, Martin Luther King Jr, Thomas Hobbles and so on.

Please read on various motivational theories and quotes from great thinkers here.

Below are some of their thoughts:

  • The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.

    Karl Max

  • Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.


  • The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.

    Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge. It is thinking that makes what we read ours.

    John Locke

  • Hell is truth seen too late.

    Thomas Hobbles

  • Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.


Please read on the importance of government here.

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Amazing facts in Government

Abraham Lincoln, the great human emancipator, freedom fighter and 16th American president was popular for the saying:

Government of the people, by the people and for the people

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America was a professional wrestler before he assumed the office of the American President. Interesting, he was only defeated once in his wrestling career


The organs of government (also referred to as arms of government or branches of government) are:

  1. Executive

  2. Legislature

  3. Judiciary

These three arms of government serves as a separation of power.

Separation of Power implies that they carry out their distinct (separate) functions and responsibilities in accordance to the nation's constitution.

The president (who is number one citizen of a country and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces) is the head of the executive arm of government. It is the responsibility of the executive to enforce or execute the law.


The legislature is a group of elected persons who are required to make law.

In Nigeria, the legislature consist of the bicameral national assembly which are:

  1. The upper house or chamber (Senate)

  2. The lower house or chamber (House of Representative)


The judiciary is an independent arm of government whose power is enforced in the courts.

Like the executive and legislature, they function under the guidance of the constitution.

Please read more on the organs of government here

Below are some functions of the executive arm of government:

  1. They ensure the security of the citizens in a country.

  2. The executive cannot pass laws into the constitution. Instead, they can forward bills to the legislature (or parliament) which will deliberate upon it. (Think of 'bill' as a proposal to be made into law; which will be submitted to the parliament in the form of a draft act).

  3. It is the president's responsibility to provide quality healthcare system, education, good roads (transport system), power, labour and finance through his ministers. For instance, the minister of agriculture oversees the affairs of agriculture in a nation. The ministers may also be accountable to the national assembly with regards to how they go about their ministries.

  4. They bring about maintenance of law and order in a country through the National Security Agencies (NSA) like the police, army, navy and air force.

  5. They prepare and execute the nation’s budget.

  6. The president approves the law into the constitution.

Plesse read more on the functions of executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government here

No one is above the constitution, even the president or prime minister.

  • The constitution is the supreme law in a country, nation or state.

  • The constitution specifies how the nation or state should be governed.

  • The constitution gives power to the different organs of government; (that is,  the executive, judiciary and legislature).

  • The constitution consists of all the fundamental human rights of the people.

Juxtaposing the above points, below is a definition for the term constitution:

Constitution is a supreme law that specifies the government of a nation, the distribution of powers to the different organs of government within that nation and the fundamental rights of all her citizens.

Please read more on the constitution here

Below are some qualities or characteristics of a constitution:

  • It is neither too rigid nor too flexible.

  • It accounts for the rule of law, de-centralization of power, an independent Judiciary system and processes of election transparency.

  • It accounts for the fundament human rights of the people.

  • It allocates power to the different arms of government.

  • It must uphold the people’s sovereignty.

  • It is written systematically.

You can read on the types of constitution here.

Dictatorship is one of the forms of government. It can exist either as:

  1. Military Dictatorship
  2. Civilian Dictatorship

In 1966, Major General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi became the first military Head of State in Nigeria after he overthrew a democratic and constitutional government (headed by the prime minister; Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa)

The above instance is a military form of dictatorship.

A typical example of a civilian dictatorship is Adolf Hitler of Germany and Joseph Stalin of Russia and Georgia

You can read more on dictatorship here