Forms of Government
The Government is the main agency of the state. It comprises several members belonging to political and administrative wings. It serves as the instrument for delegation and execution of the state policies for the welfare of the people. It formulates expresses and realises the will of the state. It exercises certain legislative, executive and judicial powers based on the constitution and the laws. There are three organs in government, namely – Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. These organs carry out the activities of the state. Governments are classified under Unitary, Federal, Parliamentary and Presidential forms.
a.What comes to your mind when you hear the term Government?
b. In what way you, your family or the citizen are connected with government?
c. Can you identify the role of government in your day to day life?
d. Do you think the government is inevitable or citizen can survive without the government?
e. Can you differentiate the role of elected representatives and appointed Bureaucrats role in the functioning of government?
f. Identify some government departments and segregate into central government, state government and local government.
g. Try to describe your own definition of Government ……….
No man under takes a trade he has not learned, even the meanest: At everyone thinks himself sufficiently qualified for the hardest of all trades, that of government. –Socrates
Studying governments from different approaches help us to understand government from its evolution to its performance in the contemporary times. The approaches to study the Government are...
This approach studied the western political institutions from ancient to modern times, this approach is descriptive in nature, Aristotle, Montesque and Locke adopted this approach to study and analyse governments in those days.
For instance before writing his monumental work politics Aristotle studied 158 constitutions. Montesque studied the working of the British constitution and came to the conclusion that the stability of British constitution was due to the adherence to the principle of separation of powers.
Scholars like Bentham, Austin and Dicey adopted this approach,
This approach focuses on formal legal structure of political institutions.
They helped to develop certain theories which explain the relationship and interconnection between government and Law. Bentham is the distinguished legal reformer in England Likewise Austin provided a legal base to sovereignty which is indivisible, inalienable and absolute. A.V.Dicey judged the government on the basis of law and its applicability to different branches of government.
This approach deals with economic aspects of the government which gives economic interpretation of politics also deals with role of market, mode of production and delivering goods to the society. This approach is classified into liberal political economy and the Marxist political economy approach.
This approach derived its ideas from sociology and anthropology also known as systems approach. Political sociology asserts that government or political system is a sub system of a larger social system. This approach examines the interaction between the larger and the sub systems.
Early Montesque proposed a three-fold division of Government namely Republican, Monarchical and Despotic government
Republican Government: “People possess the sovereign Power”.
Monarchical Government: “Rule by one single person and governed by fixed and established laws”.
Despotic government: “Rule by one single person but there is no fixed rule for governance, everything conducted by his will. According to Montesque the survival of the government depends on “persistence in given society of that particular spirit which is characteristic of the form”.