LeoGlossary: Government

How to get a Hive Account

What Is Government?

The means by which a society organizes itself and how it allocates authority in order to accomplish collective goals and provide benefits that the society as a whole needs. Some of the goals are the prosperity of the economy, secure national borders, and the safety and well-being of citizens.

Governments can be structured many different ways. Great debate exists as to which approach is the best.

Typically the structure will include:

  • Executive
  • Judiciary
  • Legislature

There are roughly 200 national governments and their different subsidiaries.

Throughout history, we saw these forms:

  • Monarchy
  • Oligarchy
  • Aristocracy
  • Democracy
  • Tyranny
  • Theocracy

The two ways power is attained is elections and hereditary succession.

Government And The Economy

Many confuse government systems with economic ones. Many systems can see the two interrelated.

Some economies are centrally planned. Under such a system, decisions are made by government institutions who provide an outline and targets of how the economy is going to proceed.

Resource allocation including commodities such as food and energy is part of the plan.

There are market based economies where governments are overseers as opposed to the central force. Businesses are the ones who decides on the direction. Adam Smith wrote about the "invisible hand" that drive economies.

Under a market economy, government exerts influence through regulation. It oversees different industries by passing legislation regarding what corporations can do.

The government is also a major consumer. It has a host of requirements to sustain its operations. Like any business, supplies and resources are needed. Government make purchases like any other entity.

Government Funding

Government revenues primarily come from taxes and debt. When nations engage deficit spending, the expenses are exceeding the money brought in. To close the gap, debt is issued, typically sold through the central bank. Financial institutions sell the bonds into the marketplace.

This provides the government with the cash required to meet the expenses. A key part of the process is ensuring that legal tender is acquired in return for the bonds.

Political System

A political system is the type of political organization that can be recognized, observed or otherwise declared by a state. It defines how the government makes decisions.

This usually comprises the governmental legal and economic system, social and cultural system, and other state and government operations.

A major part of the political system is how representatives are elected. Laws relating to the elections, campaigns, financing, and eligibility are all contained under this.

The party system is also part of the process. Some countries, such as the United States, operate basically under a two-party system. Britain is an example of a country that has more parties exerting influence.


Government systems of today are based upon geography. National borders are established, providing a physical area the country occupies. People born within this area are immediately citizens of that nation.

There are other ways to become a citizen of another country. The most common is legalized immigration. A nation could have a series of requirements that to meet for citizenship.

Refugees often are granted asylum by a particular nation, allowing them fast track citizenship.


The use of technology, such as computers and the Internet, to provide public services to citizens and other persons in a country or region. E-government offers new opportunities for more direct and convenient citizen access to government.

It uses the digitalrealm to foster communication. This can be with the citizens, other governments, and businesses.


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