The six major functions of the government

Administration of justice; the government has the mandate of enforcing the rule of law. The government operates the system of courts and laws which make all mature citizens equal under the law and gives the citizens equal opportunities to achieve a just settlement of their civil disputes. It also ensures that fair treatment is given to the suspected or accused in the event of a criminal activity.

Common defense; it is the most important function of the government. A political society’s government, whether central or national, is liable for preserving the safety of that society from alien aggression according to Ethridge and Handleman (2009). As a result, the government upholds the armed forces which it utilizes during attacks and incursions by foreign authorities to provide protection of the country and the people it governs.

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Domestic order; it is the duty of the government to govern and protect its citizens. Therefore, the government should uphold internal peace among the people and other groups in the society. In the constitution of the United States, domestic order or internal peace is known as domestic tranquility. The constitution was established to ensure domestic tranquility.

Protection of civil liberties; in a constitutional democratic civilization, the protection of civil liberties is the most significant function of the government. The government preserves and conserves the basic rights and liberties assured by the constitution to the members of the society.

Foreign diplomacy; the handling of foreign diplomacy is another crucial responsibility which in a sovereign state is done by the national or central government as stated by Dick, Blais and Moore (1996).

In a completely independent political culture, the central government sustains official diplomatic ties with a considerable number of other sovereign nations in the globe whose central governments formally recognize the independence of the particular political culture. It also maintains these ties with those sovereign societies willing to maintain diplomatic ties with its conventional existing central government.

Promotion of the general welfare; the government should endorse the universal good of all classes of citizens by ensuring laws safeguarding them equally are passed and that equal opportunities are provided. The general welfare encompasses transportation, education, public health and safety as sated by Noona (2006).

The human basic needs and interactions which are human rights, public service, allocation of resources, war and peace and physical environment are highly affected by how the government upholds its functions. The instability of the functions of the government has very adverse impacts on the most basic needs and the interaction of the citizens.

For instance, the allocation of resources can be impossible in a case where the domestic order is not maintained. Internal peace is very crucial to the survival and satisfaction of every individual and any rift in this can affect how resources are distributed.

In addition, the provision of public service in a democratic government is bound to be fair to all citizens. Therefore, the lack of justice in the provision of public service for instance in a court case, might cause enormity among citizens.

Foreign diplomacy is very important as it keeps the country secure from war and maintains peace according to Webel (2007). However, failure of the government to maintain good relations with foreign countries is likely to cause war and lack of peace among citizens.

The physical environment in which people live is very important and the government should provide enough defenses to that environment. In case of instability in military defense it can lead to insecurity of the environment in which people live since there is no strong defense.

Human rights are a major stake in the political process according to Poe and Souffrant (2008). It is the mandate of the political arm of the government to guarantee equal rights for all individuals and make sure that every individual enjoys their rights to the full capacity. Failure of the government to provide general welfare or maintain protection of civil liberties to all citizens leads to a case where some individual live much better than others hence it breeds indifferences among citizens.


Dick, J., Blais, J. & Moore, P. (1996). Civics and Government. New York: Council for Economic Educat.

Ethridge, M. E. & Handleman, H. (2009). Politics in a Changing World. A Comparative Introduction to Political Science. Auckland: Cengage.

Noona, J. (2006). Democratic Society and Human Needs. Canada: McGill-Queen’s Press – MQUP.

Poe, D. & Souffrant, E. (2008). Parceling the Globe: Philosophical Explorations in Globalization, Global Behavior, and Peace. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Webel, C. (2007). Handbook of Peace and Conflict Studies. London: Taylor & Francis.


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