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The Executive, also referred as the Executive branch or Executive power, is the term commonly used to describe that part 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, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government ...
which enforces the
law Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. ...
, and has overall responsibility for the
governance Governance is the process of interactions through the laws, norms, power or language Language is a structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabulary. Languages ar ...
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, U ...
. In
political system In political science, a political system means the type of political organization that can be recognized, observed or otherwise declared by a state (polity), state. It defines the process for making official government decisions. It usually comp ...
s based on the
separation of powers Separation of powers refers to the division of a state (polity), state's government into branches, each with separate, independent power (social and political), powers and responsibilities, so that the powers of one branch are not in conflic ...
, such as the USA, government
authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of Interpersonal ties, social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associated with everyday life. It use ...
is distributed between several branches in order to prevent power being concentrated in the hands of a single person or group. To achieve this, each branch is subject to checks by the other two; in general, the role of 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 to pass laws, which are then enforced by the Executive, and interpreted by the
Judiciary The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of courts that adjudication, adjudicates legal disputes/disagreements and interprets, defends, and app ...
. The Executive can be also be the source of certain types of law, such as a
decree A decree is a law, legal proclamation, usually issued by a head of state (such as the President (government title), president of a republic or a monarch), according to certain procedures (usually established in a constitution). It has the force of ...
or
executive order In the United States, an executive order is a presidential directive, directive by the president of the United States that manages operations of the Federal government of the United States, federal government. The legal or constitutional ba ...
. In those that use fusion of powers, typically
Parliamentary system A parliamentary system, or parliamentarian democracy, is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (or subordinate entity) where the Executive (government), executive derives its democratic legitimacy ...
s, the Executive forms the government and its members generally belong to the political party that controls the legislature or "Parliament". Since the Executive requires the support or approval of the legislature, the two bodies are "fused" together, rather than being independent. The principle of
Parliamentary sovereignty Parliamentary sovereignty, also called parliamentary supremacy or legislative supremacy, is a concept in the constitutional law of some parliamentary democracies. It holds that the legislative body has absolute sovereignty and is supreme over all ...
means powers possessed by the Executive are solely dependent on those granted by the legislature, which can also subject its actions to judicial review. However, the Executive often has wide-ranging powers stemming from control of the government
Bureaucracy The term bureaucracy () refers to a body of non-elected governing officials as well as to an administrative policy-making group. Historically, a bureaucracy was a government administration managed by departments staffed with non-elected offi ...
, especially in the areas of overall
economic An economy is an area of the production, distribution and trade, as well as consumption of goods and services. In general, it is defined as a social domain that emphasize the practices, discourses, and material expressions associated with ...
or
Foreign Policy A State (polity), state's foreign policy or external policy (as opposed to internal or domestic policy) is its objectives and activities in relation to its interactions with other states, unions, and other political entities, whether bilaterall ...
.


Ministers

In
parliamentary A parliamentary system, or parliamentarian democracy, is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (or subordinate entity) where the Executive (government), executive derives its democratic legitimacy ...
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
presidential system A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government, typically with the title of President (government title), president, leads an Executive (government), executive branch that is separate from ...
s, the directly elected head of government appoints the ministers. The ministers can be directly elected by voters. 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), an English pronoun * He (kana), the romanization of the Japanese kana へ * He (letter) He is the fifth Letter (alphabet), letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician alphabet, Phoenic ...
being an embodiment of the State itself or representatitve of its international p ...
– 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 ...
, the
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese ful ...
or the supreme leader, the chief public representative and living symbol of national unity. **
head of government The head of government is the highest or the second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presid ...
– often the
prime minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the Cabinet (government), cabinet and the leader of the Minister (government), ministers in the Executive (government), executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary syst ...
, overseeing the
administration Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management, the act of directing people towards accomplishing a goal ** Administrative Assistant, traditionally known as a Secretary, or also known as an administrative officer, admini ...
of all affairs of state. ***
defence minister A defence minister or minister of defence is a Cabinet (government), cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces in sovereign states. The role of a defence minister varies considerably from coun ...
– 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 distinc ...
, determining military policy, and managing external safety. ***
interior minister An interior minister (sometimes called a minister of internal affairs or minister of home affairs) is a Cabinet (government), cabinet official position that is responsible for internal affairs, such as public security, civil registration and iden ...
– overseeing the police forces, 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. The formal title of the top official varies between c ...
– overseeing the
diplomatic service Diplomatic service is the body of diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanization, romanized ''diploma'') is a person appointed by a state (polity), state or an intergovernmental institution such as the United Nations or the Europ ...
, determining
foreign policy A State (polity), state's foreign policy or external policy (as opposed to internal or domestic policy) is its objectives and activities in relation to its interactions with other states, unions, and other political entities, whether bilaterall ...
and managing
foreign relations A State (polity), state's foreign policy or external policy (as opposed to internal or domestic policy) is its objectives and activities in relation to its interactions with other states, unions, and other political entities, whether bilaterall ...
. ***
finance minister A finance minister is an executive or Cabinet (government), cabinet position in charge of one or more of government finances, economic policy and financial regulation. A finance minister's Ministry (government department), portfolio has a large ...
– overseeing the treasury, determining
fiscal policy In economics and political science, fiscal policy is the use of government revenue collection (taxes or tax cuts) and Government spending, expenditure to influence a country's economy. The use of government revenue expenditures to influence macr ...
and managing national budget. ***
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 ju ...
– 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, typically with the title of President (government title), president, leads an Executive (government), executive branch that is separate from ...
, the leader of the executive is both the ''head of state and government ''. In a
parliamentary system A parliamentary system, or parliamentarian democracy, is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (or subordinate entity) where the Executive (government), executive derives its democratic legitimacy ...
, a cabinet minister 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 the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who ...
*
Diarchy Diarchy (from ancient Greek, Greek , ''di-'', "double", and , ''-arkhía'', "ruled"),Occasionally misspelled ''dyarchy'', as in the ''Encyclopaedia Britannica'' article on the colonial British institution duarchy, or duumvirate (from Latin ', ...
* Legal reform * Rule according to higher law


References

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