Distinction Between State and Government

Topics: Political philosophy, Government, Sovereign state Pages: 5 (1773 words) Published: April 5, 2013
The state and government are distinguished in terms of functions, structures, duties, composition and the nature of their powers. The state is permanent, whilst government changes, altered or modified and even overthrown. The state employs bureaucrats who employed based on merit and who are politically neutral to conduct its business whilst government consists of elected officials who represent partisan sympathies. The state is more extensive than the government. The state is characterized by state institutions, exercise of legitimacy, territorial association and sovereignty whilst government is composed of three arms namely legislature, executive and judiciary. However the state and government are interrelated as the government acts in the name of the state to make public choices. The state cannot exist without a government. Government represents the state in international politics. Government is the brains of the state hence they are mutually related and bad relations as government do what is contrary to its people. Definition of key terms

The state according to Heywood (2000:39) argues, that the state is a political association that establishes sovereign jurisdiction within defined territorial borders and exercises authority through a set of state institutions. Khan and Mc Niven (1999:26) defined a state as symbol of social and political organization of a large group of people and states contain population, territory, government and sovereignty.Shivelly (2008:54) argue that a state is a political unit that has ultimate responsibility for the conduct of its own affairs for example Brazil, Zimbabwe or Zambia. The Jewish people do not make a state since it is not a political unit but Israel is the state. Government is according Everyman’s Library (1973:228), it is an intermediate body set up between the subjects and the sovereign to secure their mutual correspondence, charged with execution of the laws and maintenance of liberty both civil and political. Dean (2010:17) defines government as the conduct of conduct which means to lead, direct or to guide a state.Shivelly (2008:62) contends that government is the group within the state who has ultimate authority to act on behalf of the state. Levine and Cornwell (1972:1) are of the view that the term government means a set of constitutionally derived formal institutions such as executives, legislature and courts. Hence the government is the unique group of the state, only that group has the right to make decisions that everyone in the state has duty to accept and obey. Distinguishing state and governance

The state is permanent whilst the government changes, is altered or modified and even overthrown. The state, for example Zimbabwe remains as it is, it does not go under changes. Zimbabwe as a state in 1980 it is still Zimbabwe even today. Government on the other hand changes isaltered or modified and even overthrown. Heywood (2000:40) argues nevertheless the state is a continuing even permanent entity while government is temporary within an enduring state system governments may come and go and systems of government may be reformed and remodeled. .For example according to Khan and Mc Niven (1999:28) , contends that the coming to power of government of the Philippine’s under Corazon Aquino in 1986 which was overthrown by Ferdinard Marcos did not did not alter the statehood of the Philippine’s. In Zimbabwethe government changed to the Government of National Unity (GNU) in 2008.Hence state and government are different as the state is permanent whereas government changes, is modified or overthrown. The state and government are different in terms of the nature of their powers. The state according to Burns et al (1994:47) argues the power not given exclusively to the national government by the provision of judicial interpretation, maybe concurrently exercised by the states as long as there is no conflict within the national law. Each state has concurrent powers with...
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