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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 (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, Executive (government), ex ...

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 boundaries, ...
, and has responsibility for the
governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws 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, ...

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. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political activities, political thoughts, political behavior, and asso ...
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 ...
is distributed among several branches (executive,
legislative A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the 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 l ...
,
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 institution, with the authori ...
)—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 usually issued by a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of statebeing an embodiment of the ...
or
executive order An executive order is a means of issuing federal directives in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily lo ...
. Executive bureaucracies are commonly the source of
regulation Regulation is the management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends. In systems theory, these types of rules exist in various fields of biology and society, but the term has slightly different meanings according to context. Fo ...

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' and ...
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 governance Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – whether undertaken by the government of a state (polity), state, by a market (economics), mar ...
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 who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 "
he head of state He or HE may refer to: Language * He (pronoun) In Modern English, ''he'' is a Grammatical number, singular, Grammatical gender, masculine, Grammatical person, third-person personal pronoun, pronoun. Morphology In Standard English, Standard M ...
being an embodiment of the State itself or representatitve of its international perso ...
– often the
monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore the head of state of a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority a ...

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, 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 branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presides over a cabinet (gover ...
– often the prime minister, 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 administration ...
of all affairs of state. ***
defense minister A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force ...
– overseeing the
armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct m ...
, 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 cabinet minister in charge of a state's foreign policy and relations. Difference in titles In some nations, such as India ...
– overseeing the
diplomatic serviceDiplomatic service is the body of diplomats and foreign policy officers maintained 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 ...
, 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 Polic ...
and managing
foreign relations Foreign relations or foreign affairs refers to the management of relationships and dealings between countries. Any results of foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, curr ...
. ***
finance minister A finance minister is an executive or cabinet position in charge of one or more of government finances, economic policy and financial regulation. A finance minister's portfolio has a large variety of names across the world, such as "treasury", ...
– overseeing the treasury, determining
fiscal policy In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods ...

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, governme ...
. ***
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 A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, governmen ...
, 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' and ...
, 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 ...
*
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


References

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