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The executive (short for executive branch or executive power) is the part of
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
that enforces
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
, and has responsibility for the
governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity ...

governance
of a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
. In
political system In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such ...
s based on the principle of
separation of powers Separation of powers refers to the division of a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' ( ...
,
authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empiric ...

authority
is distributed among several branches (executive,
legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure ...
,
judicial The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is t ...
)—an attempt to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of a single group of people. In such a system, the executive does not pass laws (the role of the legislature) or interpret them (the role of the judiciary). Instead, the executive enforces the law as written by the legislature and interpreted by the judiciary. The executive can be the source of certain types of law, such as a
decree A decree is a rule of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is d ...

decree
or
executive order In the United States, an executive order is a directive Directive may refer to: * Directive (European Union), a legislative act of the European Union * Directive (programming), a computer language construct that specifies how a compiler shou ...
. Executive bureaucracies are commonly the source of
regulation Regulation is the management of complex systems A complex system is a system composed of many components which may interaction, interact with each other. Examples of complex systems are Earth's global climate, organisms, the human brain, infras ...

regulation
s. In political systems that use fusion of powers, which typically includes
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
s, only the executive is typically referred to as the government (with the legislature often referred to as "Parliament" or simply "the legislature") which typically is either a part of or requires the
confidence Confidence is a state of being clear-headed either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. Confidence comes from a Latin word 'fidere' which means "to trust"; therefore, having ...
of (requires the support/approval of) the legislature and is therefore fused to the legislative power instead of being independent. In systems where the legislature is sovereign, the powers of and the organization of the executive are completely dependent on what powers the legislature grants it and the actions of the executive may or may not be subject to judicial review, something which is also controlled by the legislature. The executive may also have legislative or judicial powers in systems that where the legislature is sovereign, which is often why the executive is instead referred to as the government since it often possesses non-executive powers.


Ministers

In
parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
systems, the executive is responsible to the elected legislature, i.e. must maintain the confidence of the legislature (or one part of it, if bicameral). In certain circumstances (varying by state), the legislature can express its lack of confidence in the executive, which causes either a change in governing party or group of parties or a general election. Parliamentary systems have a head of government (who leads the executive, often called ministers) normally distinct from the head of state (who continues through governmental and electoral changes). In the Westminster type of parliamentary system, the principle of separation of powers is not as entrenched as in some others. Members of the executive ( ministers), are also members of the legislature, and hence play an important part in both the writing and enforcing of law. In this context, the executive consists of a leader or leader of an office or multiple offices. Specifically, the top leadership roles of the executive branch may include: *
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
– often the
monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...

monarch
, the
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
or the
supreme leader A supreme leader or supreme ruler typically refers to leaderism, the person among a number of leaders of a state (polity), state, organization or other such group who has been given or is able to exercise the mostor complete authority over it. ...
, the chief public representative and living symbol of national unity. **
head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administrat ...
– often the
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
, overseeing the
administration Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management, the act of directing people towards accomplishing a goal ** Administration (government), management in or of government *** Administrative division ** Academic administratio ...
of all affairs of state. ***
defense minister A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent ...
– overseeing the
armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
, determining military policy, and managing external safety. ***
interior minister An interior ministry (sometimes called ministry of internal affairs or ministry of home affairs) is a government ministry responsible for internal affairs, particularly public security, emergency management, civil registration and identification ...
– overseeing the
police forces The police are a constituted body of persons A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic ...
, enforcing the law, and managing internal control. ***
foreign minister A foreign affairs minister or minister of foreign affairs (less commonly minister for foreign affairs) is generally a in charge of a 's and . The formal title of the top official varies between countries. In the United States it is "Secretar ...
– overseeing the
diplomatic service Diplomatic service is the body of diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of comm ...
, determining
foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Poli ...
and managing
foreign relations ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Polic ...
. ***
finance minister A finance minister is an executive or cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass she ...
– overseeing the treasury, determining
fiscal policy In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plan ...

fiscal policy
and managing
national budget A government budget is a document prepared by the government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, governmen ...
. ***
justice minister A justice ministry, ministry of justice, or department of justice is a Ministry (government department), ministry or other government agency in charge of the administration of justice. The ministry or department is often headed by a minister of just ...
– overseeing criminal prosecutions, corrections, enforcement of court orders.


Presidents and ministers

In a
presidential system A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government (President (government title), president) leads an Executive (government), executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch in s ...
, the leader of the executive is both the ''head of state'' and ''head of government''. In a
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
, a
cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
minister Minister may refer to: * Minister (Christianity)Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear distinctive clothing, called vestments, when presiding over service ...
responsible to the
legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
is the head of government, while the head of state is usually a largely ceremonial monarch or president.


See also

*
Constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

Constitution
*
Diarchy A diarchy (from Greek , ''di-'', "double", and , ''-arkhía'', "ruled"). or duumvirate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originall ...
*
Legal reform Law reform or legal reform is the process of examining existing laws, and advocating and implementing change in a legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems: civil law, common law, st ...
*
Rule according to higher law The rule according to a higher law is a statement which expresses that no law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain universal principles (written or unwritten) of fairness, morality, and justice. Thus, ''the rule accor ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Executive (Government) Constitutional law Separation of powers Public law