The term administration, as used in the context of government, differs according to the
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin 'law' + 'declaration') is the legal term for the legal authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice. In federations like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels. J ...
under which it operates. In general terms, administration can be described as a decision making body.

United States

In American usage, the term generally refers to the executive branch under a specific president (or governor,
mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official in a municipal government such as that of a city or a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than cities, though the criteri ...
, or other local executive); or the term of a particular executive; for example: "President Y's administration" or "Secretary of Defense X during President Y's administration." It can also mean an executive branch agency headed by an administrator, as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Small Business Administration or the National Archives and Records Administration. The term "administration" has been used to denote the executive branch in
presidential system A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government The head of government is the highest or the second-highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated st ...
s of government.


The term's usage in
Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ...
varies by country, but most typically the word "administration" refers to managerial functions in general, which may include local governments, or the hierarchy of national and local government, that applies to a town or district. More specifically, it may refer to public administration, the business of administering public policy as determined by government. However, outside
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
and Romania, this usage of the word is uncommon. For the British sense of the word, most countries use the term ''government'', referring to the "administration" of Winston Churchill as the "Churchill government". This is also true for the non-European members of the Commonwealth of Nations. An older, chiefly Commonwealth usage, is the term "ministry", as in "Churchill Ministry", which is still in official and academic use in Britain, Australia and Canada to refer the terms of prime ministers.Ministry – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Depending on the type of government, the word coalition may be used for a specific government. In the Netherlands, cabinet is the most-used term (as in "the fourth Balkenende cabinet"), although "coalition" or "government" are also used when one does not refer to a specific coalition (note that the two terms have slightly different meanings).

See also

* Executive (government)


{{DEFAULTSORT:Administration (Government) Government institutions Public administration