What Is The Definition Of Government?

Last updated on May 28th, 2023 at 06:55 pm


Government is an enforcer of the laws of a country irrespective of those involved: extremely rich or poor. Government law is binding on everyone.

A member of a landlord association who doesn’t want to obey the rules of the association may decide to sell off his building or leave the community, but the law of the country doesn’t know the location provided you reside within the country.

So, now that you have a peep into what a government is? If not, let’s dive right into the definition of government.


Definition of government?

Government is the structure and system through which decisions and rules are made and enforced on members of society.

Simply put, a government is an institution through which leaders exercise power to make, implement and enforce laws.  

Society in this context refers to a country. There is no country without a set of rules called the constitution (written or unwritten) which govern such jurisdiction. The government which comprises the executive, legislature, and judiciary now makes, enforces, and punishes violators as stipulated by the law. A government isn’t made up of one person. 

Operation of Government

Even in a democratic country where there is an elected president, he doesn’t make, implement, or prosecute violators. There is what we call separation of power among the arms of government.

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Also, there are lots of delegations that help the president or head of government to fulfil his promises.

For instance, there are agencies of government that help the government to implement its policies. This means the success or failure of a government to carry out its constitutional duties depends on its agencies.

To make things easy for a country, that’s why there is a government. Also, there is a legal document that clearly spells out the functions of each of the arms of government.

The document could be written or unwritten as earlier stated.

It is important to note that whatever a system of a country operates – military, democracy, monarchical, parliamentary, presidential etc -, there is a government in place.

The essence of government in a society is to do for inhabitants what they may not be able to do for themselves in an orderly manner.

For example, an attempt by each citizen to protect themselves might lead to lawlessness, a breakdown of law and order. As such, the protection of citizens and people living within a jurisdiction of a country is the sole responsibility of the government.

A government may have so much in its hands in a situation whereby its citizens can walk freely into a gun shop to buy a gun. There would be an abuse of the use of firearms like what we have in the United States.

Although, there may be advantages of citizens possessing their own firearms, the negative effects are more than the positive impact.


When you think of government, think of a body that makes law, determines, and enforces decisions in such a way as to avoid anarchy.

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Even when there is an unavoidable breakdown of law and down, the government steps in to restore peace and order through its police. And when it is unavoidably necessary, the military may be invited when the situation is going beyond the control of the police.

Government deals with a wide range of issues including rules and regulations, legal documents (constitution), the traditions and customary practices upon which rules are applied, and the institutions and political structures (Leo Dare & Anthony Oyewole).

There is no country without a country in place, when this happens or there is a struggle for power like in the case of Sudan, there will be a total breakdown of law and order.

In the case of Sudan, the struggle for power broke out on April 15, 2023 between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo dragged activities of government to halt.

The takeaway from this definition is that the government controls the affairs of a country, keeps a country together, and relates with other countries on behalf of its citizens.

Practical questions:

  1. What is the simplest definition of government?
  2. What makes the government of a club or association different from the government of a country?
  3. Why is the government important in a country?


  • InfomediaNG

    The Infomediang Team comprises a group of researchers, data analysts, and financial experts who closely follow government policies and spending. Our passion lies in empowering people to make informed decisions about their investments by simplifying data for easy understanding. Find us @infomedia_ng on X.

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