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What is government? Definition of government and four features explained

Capitol Washington Political Capital Unite

Government as a subject can be defined in three different ways. 

As an institution of state
As an institution of state, it can be seen as a mechanism that has been set up to run the matters of a state. It has three main arms called the legislature, executive and the judiciary. The legislature makes laws for the state, the executive implements the laws and the judiciary interprets the laws and settle disputes arising out of the application of the law.

Power over those residing in the state
Government as an institution of state exercises power over both the citizens and foreigners residing in the state. 

Laws are binding on everybody
When a government in power makes any laws to govern the country, such laws are binding on everybody in the land. It does not matter whether the person is a citizen or a foreigner. The laws applied equally to all.

Power of coercion
As an institution of state, all governments have coercive powers. This power of coercion gives power to the government use all necessary force to make those who reside in the state obey its laws.

Power to punish
As an institution of the state, every government has the power to sanction anybody who flouts the laws of the land. Where a person or persons are found to have breached the laws of the land, the government can punish that individual. That person could either be fined or imprisoned or both.

As a field of academic study, government is made up of studying political principles, institutions, ideas, values, and government agencies. It studies how important they are and the relationships that exist between them and other institutions. 

Government as an academic field of study is related to other subjects like Public Administration, International Relations, Comparative Government, Political theory and the study of Local Governments.

Government as an academic field of study is related to other subjects like Sociology, History, Economics, Philosophy, etc.

Government is also be defined as a process. it is a process that is used to rule a state. This includes the procedures that are used to make laws, how the laws are enforced and what happens in case there is a dispute.

1. a. What is government as an academic field of study?
    b. Describe any three branches of government.
2. a. Explain the term government as an art of governing.
     b. Why is government important as an art of governing?

Test One
1. The absence of government in a state may create
A. a classless society
B. anarchy
C. gerantocracy
D. meritocracy

2. Which of the following is a major function performed by government?
A. Provision of security
B. Provision of immortality vacancies
C. reducing the birth rate
D. Increasing the death rate

3. A major characteristic of government is
A. anonymity
B. resistance
C. sovereignty
D. homogeneity

4. Government as an academic field of study is best defined as the study of the
A. function of government
B. various disciplines of government
C. implementation of the laws of a state
D. relationship between ethnic groups in a state

5. Government refers to all the following except
A. an academic field of study
B. a process of making and enforcing laws
C. an institution made up of people with common interest
D. an organized group of people that formulate policies

6. As an academic field of study, the study of government does not include
A. political economy
B. comparative politics
C. public administration
D. ecological interaction

7. Government as an institution of state is defined as a body which
A. conducts elections for the nation
B. makes, enforces and interprets laws for the state
C. hires and trains political leaders
D. makes and interprets laws

8. The study of government in school is important because the student can
A. be assisted by political leaders
B. learn about their rights
C. qualify for elections
D. be nominated for a trip abroad

9. The primary function of a state is to
A. maintain law and order
B. provide transport services
C. engage in campaigns and rallies
D. imprison criminals

10. Government as a subject refers to the study of
A. territorial expansion
B. political leaders
C. the various nations of the world
D. the institution of the state

Test Two
1. Government is distinguished from the state because it
A. can be changed periodically
B. does not operate in any defined territory
C. is a loose structure
D. forces its will on the people of the state

2. A government is legitimate if it
A. it comes to power through a coup d’tat
B. is not responsive
C. provides social services to the people
D. has the mandate of the people to rule

3. Government as a process or art of governing means
A. voting at general elections
B. orders of the judiciary and police
C. activities of political leaders and pressure groups
D. activities for making and forcing laws in a state

4. Government can be made responsible and accountable to its citizens through the following methods except
A. periodic change of government
B. demonstration
C. political education
D. public opinion

5. Government as an academic field of study refers to the
A. the President and his Ministers
B. study of political institutions and processes
C. workings of the organs of government
D. membership of international organizations

6. Which of the following is related to government as a process of governing?
A. Implementation and adjudication of law.
B. The role of pressure groups within the state.
C. Disagreement between state and local government.
D. Abrogation of Fundamental Human Rights.

7. Government as an art of governing refers to the process of
A. ruling people in the society
B. establishing political parties
C. providing free education
D. Acquiring social skills

8. A government is said to be legitimate if it
A. has the people’s mandate to rule
B. is not oppressive
C. provides social amenities to the people
D. accepts people’s criticism

9. Government as an institution of state refers to the
A. police and the armed forces
B. judiciary, the president and his Ministers
C. legislature, the executive and the judiciary
D. economic and political institutions

10. Government as an institution of state can best be defined as a body that
A. recruits and trains political leaders
B. settles disputes and interprets laws for the state
C. legislates, executes and interprets laws for the state
D. conducts elections for the state

Test Three
11. Government refers to all the following, except
A. an institution of state
B. the process of ruling a political community
C. the exercise of power and authority
D. the act of civil disobedience

2. Which of the following is not a means by which government maintains law and order?
A. Lawmaking.
B. Maintenance of police and other security personnel.
C. Provision of socio-economic services.
D. Establishment of provisional associations.

3. The institutions and processes connected with making, enforcing and reviewing of laws in any society is referred to as the
A. judiciary
B. constitutional drafting committee
C. government
D. Bar Association

4. The term government refers to the following except
A. an academic field of study
B. a process of governing
C. a process of making and enforcing laws in a state
D. an institution made up of persons with common interest

5. Government as an institution of state means the
A. method of organizing political parties
B. process of decision-making in a society
C. methods of resolution of conflicts among people
D. structures and system for decision-making

6. Functions of government include the following except
A. maintenance of peace and order
B. provision of social services
C. protection of citizens from malicious attacks
D. provision of free medical services

7. The primary function of government in a state is to
A. build schools and hospitals
B. provide transport services
C. engage in campaigns and rallies
D. maintain law and order

8. Which of the following is a characteristic of government as an institution of state?
A. Socialization
B. Anomic group
C. Political power
D. Political group

9. The study of government is essential for the promotion of all the following except
A. good government
B. political anarchy
C. political stability
D. political participation

10. An institution set up by a society to control and manage public affairs of a country is referred to as
A. state
B. nation
C. government
D. judiciary


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