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Executive (government): Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On the study of political science the executive branch of government has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy.[1] The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the republican idea of the separation of powers[2] .

In many countries the term "government" connotes only the executive branch. However, this branch fails to differentiate between despotic and democratic forms of government. In authoritarian systems, such as a dictatorship or absolute monarchy, where the different powers of government assumed by one person, the executive branch ceases to exist since there is no other branch with which to share separate but equal governmental powers.

The separation of powers system is designed to distribute authority away from the executive branch - an attempt to preserve individual liberty in response to tyrannical leadership throughout history.[3] The executive officer is not supposed to make laws (the role of the legislature), or interpret them (the role of the judiciary). The role of the executive is to enforce the law as written by the legislature and interpreted by the judicial system.


There are six roles which the top leadership of the executive branch fulfills are as follows:

The organizational structure of the executive branch will determine the relationship between the heads of state and government respectively. The Executive Branch also carries out the laws.

In a presidential system the executive is at once the head of State and Government that model their government after the United States of America have a Head of State compared to other systems. The President of the United States is best described as the head of state for his role as the government's chief ambassador. However there is no constitutional foundation for any head of government in the United States since the separation of powers divides governmental authority amongst the branches with checks and balances over one another. The President of the United States can have significant power over public opinion through personal abilities of persuasion, however this is the natural effect of the executive office.


  1. ^ Executive Branch,
  2. ^ ...central to the democratic idea of Separation of Powers,
  3. ^ attempt to preserve individual liberty, The Federalist Papers #51

Simple English

In political science and constitutional law, the executive is the branch of government that is responsible for the day-to-day management of the state.

In many countries, one simply speaks of the government, but this usage can be confusing in an international context. The executive branch contains the head of government, who is the head of this branch. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the executive is not supposed to make laws (role of the legislature), nor to interpret them (role of the judiciary), their purpose is to enforce them: in practice, this separation is rarely absolute. The executive is identified by the head of Government. In a presidential system, this person (the President) may also be the head of State, where as in a parliamentary system he or she is usually the leader of the largest party in the legislature and is most commonly termed the Prime Minister (Taoiseach in the Republic of Ireland, (Federal) Chancellor in Germany and Austria). In France, executive power is shared between the President and the Prime Minister and this system has been reproduced in a number of former French colonies. Switzerland and Bosnia and Herzegovina have similar collegiate systems for the role of head of state and Government. The Head of Government is assisted by a number of ministers, who usually have responsibilities for particular areas (e.g. health, education, foreign affairs), and by a large number of government employees or civil servants.

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