The term government as stated in the work of Hornby (2005) is used to define a body that has administrative power in the control of the state and its internal affairs and the manner in which this governing body is structured (P. 646).
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Every government in the world has various responsibilities to its citizens. These responsibilities may differ from one government to another because of the different policies and legislations which these governments follow. However, there are those responsibilities which all governments to provide for its citizens.
Rosen (2005) argues that the responsibilities of a government are divided into two: those which the government must provide to its citizens, and those which the government may provide for its citizens. Responsibilities which the government has to provide to its citizens include:
- Defending the country from intrusion or attacks by foreign nations or states.
- Defending the people against natural calamities such as droughts, floods, earthquakes, avalanches and contagious diseases.
- Protecting human rights.
- Safeguarding freedoms such as life, liberty and property.
- Facilitating the means to solve disputes among individuals and the government by using the justice system.
- Contributing to the growth and development of the society.
The government ensures that it fulfills these responsibilities to its citizens exclusively by itself without any assistance from the society (Rosen 2005).
As stated earlier, there are responsibilities which the government may provide to its citizens. These are responsibilities for which the government requires participation of the society for their success. They include protection from non-transmittable diseases, education, and development of infrastructure and alienation of poverty (Rosen 2005).
The implementation and success of these programs requires active participation of the society. This is because it is the society who knows their own problems and needs thus they can work towards their alleviation. The government only assists in these operations, either through provision of funds, skilled manpower or the necessary machinery and equipments (Rosen 2005).
The aforementioned responsibilities ensure the maintenance of peace and security, protection of rights and freedom of individuals, high rates of literacy within the society, development of infrastructure, better health care and poverty alienation (Bullard 2008). Since it can protect its territories and citizens the government also maintains good international relations and gains respect from other nations.
The government should therefore provide these responsibilities (stated above) if it wants to achieve social development and sustainability (Bullard 2008). Once the above objectives have been achieved, then there will be a high rate of political, social and economic development in the society.
Through fulfilling its responsibilities, the government also enters into partnerships and agreements with other nations. These partnership help to develop trade, act as a forum of exchange of ideas and, in most cases, they lead to the development of good international relations with other Countries (Bullard 2008).
The government is a body in which all the powers of the state are vested. In this respect therefore, the government has various responsibilities which it has to provide for its citizens. Some of these responsibilities require the government to partner up with the society for proper implementation, while other responsibilities are to be performed by the government alone.
However, all of them are equally important, especially in ensuring that the society achieves political, social and economic sustainability. It is therefore the duty of the government to ensure that all its responsibilities have been met and delivered in the best way possible.
Bullard, Robert D. Assuring Environmental Justice for All. Environmental Justice Resource Center. Web.
Hornby, Albert. Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press, 2010.
Rosen, James. Responsibilities of Governments, 100 Essays. 2005. Web.