Government Keypoints; Definitions Of Government; This study guide dives into defining government and understanding the basic functions of government. Students who are writing JAMB, WAEC, NECO, GEC and IJMB will find this topic very useful while studying for their examinations.
Introduction To Government
There are 3 significant definitions of government and we will treat them in this government key points study guide.
1. Government as an institution of a state.
This definition of government has one significant word that should be put into consideration to understand it properly. “Machinery”
Government as an institution of a state simply means the machinery that guides and controls the direction of a state. The word machinery can be replaced with an institution, so government is the institution that guides a state. Such institutions are the arms of government, security institutions, etc.
2. Government as an ACT or PROCESS of governing.
This definition of government should not be mistaken for the one above, the answer is right in the heading. Government is the process of governing, so the question is what is the process of governing? Creating laws is a process, executing laws is a process, and interpreting laws is also a governing process.
Thus we can say governing as an act or process of governing are the steps of governance to bring peace and security within a state.
3. Government As An Academic Field Of Study
Once again the answer is right in the heading, what this means is that government can be defined as a subject studied in schools that provide political knowledge to students of government.
The name “government” changes based on the level of academics that the learner is in. For instance, it is Government for students in ss1-3 it is also called the government for students studying IJMB and JUPEB, but it is called Politics for students in universities and Polytechnics.
Functions Of Government
1. Law-making is a major function of the legislative arm of government, hence it is the function of government.
2. Providing social and basic amenities to citizens in the state.
3. Providing security to maintain law and order, a role of the executive arm of government.
4. Managing the economics of the state through proper policies and taxation.
5. Administering justice within the state is also a function of government.
Why Do We Study Government?
When introducing this topic to my students I rephrase it many times to “What are the advantages of studying government as a course “
1. The study of government gives students a proper understanding of systems of governments operating in the world
2. Students of government are more politically educated.
3. The study of government provides knowledge of conflict resolution to students of government.
4. The study of government gives insight into historical events that helps decision-making so mistakes aren’t made again.
5. The study of government reignited nationalism and patriotism amongst students of government.
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