Government is the group of people in a country who have the authority to make laws and rules, to protect citizens, and to provide public services such as education, healthcare, waste collection and support systems for businesses. Governments have evolved throughout history as societies discovered that it was easier to protect themselves if they stayed together in groups, and that those groups should be free of outside interference. These concepts formed the basis of government as we know it today.

Typically, governments organize themselves into different branches or areas of responsibility that are called departments. Each department has a director or leader, who is assisted by staff members and/or subordinates. Each area of responsibility has its own set of goals and objectives. The number of departments, their goals and responsibilities vary between countries. In some countries, there are three levels of government: national, state and local. Each level of government has its own funding streams, goals and objectives. The money that each level receives is used for many purposes:

National Governments are responsible for maintaining strict security within their borders and ensuring the safety of its citizens. They also provide benefits such as welfare, national medical insurance and public education. These responsibilities are often viewed as the most important functions of a government, as they ensure the social well being of its citizens and provide security for them and their property.

Governments are also responsible for regulating and enforcing laws, balancing budgets and managing key expenditures. They also establish and maintain law enforcement agencies and systems for protecting the environment. Governments are involved in international relations and diplomacy, as they work to create and sustain partnerships, agreements and negotiations with other countries and governments.

Many forces generate conflict between countries, such as economic rivalry, desire to control strategic land and sea areas, religious or ideological beliefs and imperialistic ambition. Governments develop organizations and policies to meet these challenges, and often work to foster good will in other nations through foreign aid and cultural exchange programs.

Some people are critical of government efforts to help the poor. They argue that the invisible hand of the market is more likely to lift people out of poverty, and that it is not a moral obligation for government to do this. However, others believe that government programs such as Medicare and Social Security are effective means of reducing poverty and providing for those who need assistance. The debate over the role of government continues. Ultimately, the decision of whether a society should have a government is a choice made by its citizens. The debate is often influenced by political beliefs and ideologies, such as liberalism, conservatism and socialism. It is also influenced by current events and trends such as globalization, technology, climate change, inequality and population growth. These factors will influence the type of government a country chooses to have, as well as its structure and areas of focus. These factors will also impact its effectiveness.