The Roles of Government


Government is the people, laws, and officials that define and control a country. It also oversees the rules and regulations that govern how citizens interact with one another. Governments can be found at the national, state, and local levels and vary from country to country.

Generally speaking, governments are concerned with public life; however, many of the laws they establish and enforce can regulate private life as well. The American government, for example, includes a legislative branch (Congress), an executive branch, and a judicial branch. Each of these branches are distinct from the other but have intertwining roles in making and enforcing laws.

The word government derives from the Latin term gubernare, meaning “steer the ship/vessel.” Government is considered to be the body, entity invested with the power to manage a political unit or organization, most often a State. Different types of government exist, including monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. Each type of government has a set of political principles and philosophy that shape its operations.

One of the most important functions of government is providing goods and services that cannot be provided by private industry, known as public goods. These include things like law enforcement, education, and health care. Government provides these public goods because the market cannot easily provide them in large enough quantities or at low enough costs to meet everyone’s needs.

In addition to providing public goods, a government must protect the interests of its citizens. To do this, it passes and enforces laws that protect property rights and civil liberties. It must also protect the environment and the natural resources of its territory. Governments also must ensure that its military and national defense is strong enough to deter attacks by other nations.

Lastly, government must ensure that its economic systems operate fairly and efficiently. It does this by regulating the amount of taxes and fees charged by businesses, ensuring that workers are paid a fair wage, and ensuring that businesses pay their fair share of business taxes. Governments must also provide basic infrastructure such as roads, sewers, and electricity.

While most of us know that the role of government is to manage our affairs, it can be hard to understand exactly what it does. To help, this article will explore the various roles of a government and how they work together to form the fabric of our society.

Governments at the federal, state, and local level make laws that regulate what happens in our daily lives, such as the right to vote or the ability to protest. They also maintain peace and order, provide a safety net for those who need it, and create and enforce policies to protect the environment. They also provide social goods, such as education and police services, and regulate the economy by establishing rules for how businesses can operate and by providing tax breaks.

The governmental system of the United States can be explained using the ladder model. The national level, framed by the Constitution, is at the top of the ladder and the state and local levels are on the next two rungs. The federal, state, and local levels can pass laws that do not contradict those made at the previous rungs of the ladder.