Free US Law DictionaryBETA
A government is "the organization, that is the governing authority of a political unit," "the ruling power in a political society," and the apparatus through which a governing body functions and exercises authority. "Government, with the authority to make laws, to adjudicate disputes, and to issue administrative decisions, and with a monopoly of authorized force where it fails to persuade, is an indispensable means, proximately, to the peace of communal life." Statist theorists maintain that the necessity of government derives from the fact that the people need to live in communities, yet personal autonomy must be constrained in these communities.
A state of sufficient size and complexity will have different layers or levels of government: local, regional and national.