It may be defined as a body vested with the power and authority for maintaining security, peace and stability by making and enforcing conventional and fundamental laws in a given state or society. The organs in which government powers are vested perform different but complimentary functions; they are the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
GOVERNMENT AS AN ACADEMIC FIELD OF STUDY
It may be defined as the study of agencies, political institutions and dynamics of the state. It also studies international organizations of which the state has membership and the relationship between the country and other countries in the world. As an academic field of study, government is given various names as it suites the institutions concerned. Some institutions refer to it as government or political science or simply politics.
REASONS FOR STUDYING GOVERNMENT
1) It prepares us to take active part in the government of our country as administrative officers, personnel officers etc.
2) The study of government equips those interested in politics to be professional politicians.
3) It inculcates the spirit of nationalism and patriotism in us.
4) It helps to develop in us an inquisitive, balanced and highly philosophical and logical thinking mind.
5) It supports the practice of democracy and the rule of law.
BASIC CONCEPT OF GOVERNMENT
1) State: A state may be defined as a politically organized body of people occupying a definite geographical territory with an organized government entirely free from external control and with coercive power to secure obedience from its citizens and others.
2) Society: It includes every kind and degree of relationship entered into by men, whether organized or unorganized, direct or indirect, conscious or unconscious, cooperative or antagonistic. It includes the whole issue of human relations and is without a boundary or assignable limits.
3) Nation: A nation is a community with homogeneous character.
4) Power: Power may be defined as the ability to control the actions of others through the possession of means of sanctions.
5) Authority: It may be defined as the power or right to give orders and enforce obedience.
6) Legitimacy: This is the general acceptance of the political system as the most appropriate and being in line with the laws of the land.
7) Sovereignty: It may be defined as the absolute power of the state to exercise supreme legal authority over its own affairs within its territory without any form of external control.
8) Democracy: Democracy may be defined as a system of government in which all qualified adult citizens share the supreme power directly or through their elected representatives.