The Role of Government


Government is a system of rules and controls over the activities, members, or citizens, of communities, societies, states, and countries. It is also the political authority and administration, and it is an essential component of civilized society.

The word government is derived from the Greek noun , meaning “rule” or “management.” Government has many functions, including regulating business, providing services, and providing law enforcement and security. Governments are generally considered to have the responsibility to take decisions about the social, economic, and environmental welfare of their populations, as well as ensuring that the rights of individuals are respected.

In addition, governments must balance the interests of different groups and the needs of the economy. The public expects government to provide a range of services such as education, health care, infrastructure, and national defense. Governments are also expected to manage the risks and opportunities associated with technological change, globalization, and climate change.

The government is composed of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The executive branch is the chief administrative body and includes the President and his or her cabinet members, heads of departments, and other high-ranking officials. The legislative branch writes laws and approves budgets. The judicial branch interprets and enforces the laws. The government is staffed by employees, who are known as civil servants. The responsibilities of the civil service include promoting equality and ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly.

Historically, there have been many different forms of government. Modern classifications of political systems distinguish between democracies, totalitarian regimes, and authoritarian governments; however, a wide variety of hybrid regimes exist. These classifications are based on whether the people who exercise power derive their authority from the majority of the population (democracy), from a select group of people such as a ruling class or nobility (aristocracy), or from a minority of the population as a whole (oligarchy).

There is less consensus about the role of government than there was in previous studies conducted by Pew Research Center in 2019 and 2017. About eight-in-ten Democrats and nearly six-in-ten Republicans say that the federal government should play a major role in managing the nation’s immigration system, handling threats to public health, and promoting economic growth. In contrast, fewer than three-in-ten say that the government should be limited in its scope and provides fewer services. In both cases, partisans are more consistent than they were in 2019. Compared with 2017, the proportion of Americans who say that the government should be expanded has increased among both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans. Moreover, in 2019, there was more common ground between partisans on views of government than there had been in 2015. In both parties, about half of adults say that the government is doing a good job in these areas.