In order for the different people who are part of the same group to organize their activity, human beings have created and developed various mechanisms and organizations that allow correct management of the behavior and activity of its components. These mechanisms act to guide and set the limits of conduct and aim to ensure that the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of every member of society are respected.
The figure of the state is formed, which was led by the government. The two concepts have come to be confused on numerous occasions, so in this article we will try to establish the main differences between state and government.
Definition of state and government
When we speak of the state, we are using a concept of a political and legal nature which refers to all the elements that are part of a society. The State includes both all the individuals who compose it and the way in which it is organized, as well as to a lesser extent the territory they occupy and its borders. The State is sovereign and from it emanate the various powers (legislative, executive and judicial), And allows to establish limits, rules, responsibilities, rights and freedoms so that coexistence can be regulated.
But for the state to function properly, it has to be administered in one way or another. The government is responsible for this. It is understood as such to all the individuals and institutions which administer the State, exercising for it the various functions specific to the executive power. The government assumes the leadership of the society and the authority to ensure that the various laws are followed and implemented, being an important part of the state but not the only one.
This way we can perceive that the government is part of the state, Do not be the two concepts synonymous nor refer to the same.
Main differences between government and state
Below, we’ll take a look at some of the main differences between the two concepts: state and government.
1. Level of inclusion between concepts
One of the main differences between state and government is that one is only part of the other. The state includes the government, who exercises political power (More precisely, it supports the executive power), within the framework of this one.
But the State is much more, because this concept refers to all the components of the same society, its territory and its way of organizing.
2. Level of abstraction
Another aspect in which they differ is in the level of abstraction implied by the two concepts. Government as an institution it is noticeable and it is possible to recognize those who are part of it, Be able to identify the individuals who compose it.
Yet the term state is rather an abstract concept in which citizenship, territory and their organization are embedded, and it is not something clearly perceptible.
3. Duration and stability
State and government are also different in another aspect: their duration. while state remains unchanged over time Unless the unity between its components is dissolved or it is integrated into a new state that includes it, the Government has a fixed duration that is agreed in advance (as in our country, in which we have elections every four years) in the face of deposition with even the death of its leaders (as in dictatorships, or in countries with forms of government such as absolute monarchy).
The level of power held by government and state is also different, although there are clear differences depending on the type of government in a region.
Generally in democratic countries the role of government is to exercise executive power or enforce laws, Being the laws in themselves drawn up and approved by other structures (in countries with absolute monarchy also would be in charge of the rest of the powers as well as in dictatorships, the dictator tries to exercise legislative and judicial power) and having limited powers.
The state, however, is the source of all power (both executive and legislative and judicial), being sovereign and the one who decides who is given the power to govern and organize it.
- Rodríguez Suárez, M .; García Domínguez, C. and Justafré García, I. (2012). The technico-legal difference between the state and the government. Contributions to the social sciences. University of Malaga.