Government is something a state or country cannot do without. It is as important as the state itself. In fact, it has more roles to play to make a better Country. In this article, we shall see the meaning and scope of government. We shall also look at the reasons it is good to study government.
The Meaning of government
The term government refers to a whole machinery or system through which a state or country is ruled. It is an institution which pilots the affairs of the state.
A government could be likened to a wheel of a bicycle. Without the wheel, a bicycle cannot move. In the same way, without the government, the state won’t make any progress. The government is a product of the state. It is a machinery which serves the state and makes it better.
Government started when people could not come together to make decisions due to the large number of persons in the State. They saw the need to select few persons of good reputation to make those decisions on their behalf. Meanwhile, those selected persons will remain accountable to the people because they didn’t just get there on their own accord. So, the government was established as an agent.
Government, as a term could be treated in different scopes. We shall look at government as an Institution of the State, as a process or art of governing and as an academic field of study.
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Government as an Institution of the State
Government as an Institution of the State talks about the state and how it gave birth to the government. Just like I stated above, the government is a product of the state. Without the state, there will be no government. It is the State that gives the government the power to govern. The State gives such power through election.
Let me explain it better here. When you talk of a State or country, you are looking at everyone and everything in a particular territory. On the other hand, when you talk about the government, you are looking at a particular set of people managing the affairs of the State. So the people, through elections, choose representatives who stand in for them and also be accountable to them.
Since the State gives the government powers to act, and without the State there will be no government, therefore, the State is more powerful than the government.
One may ask, if the people give government the power, what then is the role of the Constitution? The Constitution contains the rules and regulations as made by the people through the parliament.
Read more about the parliament.
Furthermore, the State can exist for a long time if there is no government. But the truth is that it won’t function more efficiently than when it has a government. It is the government that protects the State against external aggression. It also maintains peace and order in the State.
There are certain reasons the government is important.
It is hard to manage people especially by fellow ordinary people. But it is better when there is a constitution authority backed up with the law. It establishes authorities by creating branches of government to enable it govern better.
Government as a Process or Art of Governance | Meaning
The meaning of this scope of government is that the processes of governance in a state is based on the Constitution. Governing a country is difficult. It has a good number of governing processes which a Governor must follow especially in a democratic state. These processes are contained in a country’s constitution.
Those who aspire to occupy one office or the other also have some processes in the Constitution to fulfill before they will be eligible. And even the exercise of powers by the representatives also has its won processes.
Furthermore, all government officers are under the law and must work in line with it. It further appears that any breach of the dictates of the Constitution by any of the arms of government will be declared null and void by the Judiciary.
It is also worthy of note that the process of governance is important in the military government. This is exactly the reason the Constitution is totally changed when a new military Head of State emerges. The military government understands that, for the government to be productive, it needs a process of governance.
Governing, however, is not only a process but also an art. The process requires guidelines while the art requires skills of governance. So, both terms are actually different from each other but they work together. You need the skill of governance to apply the process. And when you have the process without the skill, you won’t make it in the field of governance.
The art of governance means the distinguishing quality which the representatives have to figure out what the people need at a particular time. It is also the skill to know how to handle any particular issue according to it’s peculiar facts.
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Government as an Academic Field of Study
This is another scope of government which talks about studying government as a subject in our secondary schools, colleges and universities. In our different institutions of learning, students now study government as a subject or course.
Why is government a field of study? The reason behind this is that the government is a system, an art and also a science. It has facts which holds true at given situations like any other science. Because of this reason, the study of government in the University is called Political Science.
Other reasons include that the problems of government are virtually the same in all the countries. How powers should be used are also same thing everywhere. Due to these unified reasons, it is essential that students study government in their different schools.
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10 Advantages of Studying Government
- The study of government helps us know the processes of government.
- It helps us know the different types of government.
- It exposes us to the world of politics and also creates the interest for art of governing in us.
- The study of government enables us know and learn from the past.
- It helps youths acquire leadership qualities.
- The study of government also gives you the opportunity to know the different types of Constitution.
- It enables you know the structure of government in your country.
- You will also know the functions of the different arms of government, their powers and limitations.
- It helps us know our rights and how to enforce them.
- It makes you sociable and you can argue favorably in any place. In other words, it is an eye opener.
Final Words – The Meaning of Government
Government is the best agent a State can have. It has a lot of things to do in the lives of the citizens. As an agent of the State, the State can retain or remove it at anytime. At this juncture, it is important to add that the State is sovereign and permanent while the government is inferior and temporal.
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