Government As An Institution
government as an institution of the state may be defined as a machinery established by the state to organise the state, manage its affairs and administer its functions and duties. it is also seen as a machinery through which the will of the state is formulated expressed and realise.
the need for government came up as a result of people living together, interacting and working together as well as forming different associations.
this living and working together may bring about conflicts, disagreements, crises, of different dimensions etc. the result would be that the rich will exert force to operate the poor.
The fundamental function of any state, therefore, is to come up with a dynamic policy, to control people by the administration of justice so that the weak are protected from the strong and the poor from the wealthy. therefore, the need to have a body capable of regulating their daily activities arises.
if there is no such agency, anarchy could reign in the society. there is the need for people to elect and establish among themselves and agency (GOVERNMENT) with political power and authority to direct all activities in a state.
Government as an institution of the state has three branches or structure and the functions of each of them are stipulated accordingly in the constitution.
Branches of government
In government there are three major branches of government , which all three has different role to play and they include :-
* The Executive
This branch of government is concerned with policy formulation and implementation for the smooth run of government as a body.
* The Legislature
The legislature is also a body equally involved in law making.
* The judiciary
This branch concentrate mainly in the interpretation of the law.
A government must possess this three major branches of government for effective management.
Government as a process or the art of governing.
government is referred to as an act of government because it is a body vested with the supreme power of the affairs of a state a government is vested with the power of maintaining peace and security by putting in place machinery for that purpose.
1- Government makes law and enforces them on the people of that country. it makes policies and implement them. equally, it interprets law and punishes the offenders. most of the policies, and actions taken are meant for the general well-being of the society.
2-government should be able to carry the people along in most of their activities and backed up on the efficiency of government in the process of administration is based on the principle of seperation of powers, where the branches of government – the executive, the legislature and the judiciary have their powers distinctly separated both in functions and in personnel.
Each of the organs has it functions defined by the constitution.
Government as an academic field of study .
Government as an academic field of study involves the study of political institutions in the state, ideas, values and doctrines about politics, the view of political thinkers on what constitutes the welfare of the people.
It is a social science subject that is taught in schools and colleges as well as in higher institutions where it is popularly known as political science .
The study of government embraces international relations, public administration, local government administration, comparative politics, etc.
Government as a science studies politics through the use of computers, research statistics, and analysis of data.
Government also relate to other subjects or disciplines such as economics, history sociology philosophy, psychology, and mathematics.
Functions of Government
The following are major functions of modern government.
* Law making : government is responsible for making laws in a country.
Laws are made to ensure peace and order in the society. The legislature is the organ of government responsible for law making.
* Provision of social amenities : amenities like electricity, portable water, health centre etc are provided by the government. These are necessities for human existence.
* Maintenance of law and order : the maintenance of law and order is the responsibility of government. This function is usually performed by government agencies like the police.
* Defence of the country : government is responsible for defending the country against external aggression. It is the duty of the armed forces of a country to maintain the Territorial integrity of the State.
* Protection of lives and property : government is also responsible for protection of lives and property for example any person can seek the police protection if there is the need for it.
* Provision of employment : Job is also provided for the citizens . This goes a long way in improving the welfare of the people.
* Formulation and implementation of policies : formulation and implementation of policies are carried out to ensure the well – being of the people . The executive arm of government performs this function.
* Promotion of economic activities : the promotion of economic activities is done through the provision of infrastructure, eg. roads, rail ways, airports etc and by encouraging local and foreign investors.
* External affairs function : government maintains good relations with other countries. The head of state and the minister of external affairs performs this function in various countries.
Diplomats who represent their country in other countries further this noble role.
* Administration of justice : The judiciary is responsible for the administration of justice. It settles disputes between individuals and between individuals and the government.
Importance of studying government
1- Types of government : the study of government helps in knowing the types and different systems of government operating in the world.
2- To widen people’s knowledge : The study of government helps to widen people’s knowledge about administration and other institutions involved in governance.
3- Political Education : Government educates the people of a country on the political life or affairs of the country.
4- Opportunity for leadership : The opportunity is provided or people through the study of government to become future political leaders.
5- Conflict resolution : Through government ,an opportunity is provided for people to know how conflict originate and are resolved.
6- Mistakes of past leaders : The study of government helps to prevent mistakes of some past political leaders from being repeated.
7- Decision making : The study of government equally opens the eyes of the people for the need to take part in political decision – making of a country.
8- Government provides the opportunity to know : it provides the opportunity for people to know their rights , duties and obligations as citizens.
Definition of government , branches , functions and Importance of studying government are very essential when discussing about government as a body.