Since the demise of colonialism and advent of democracy, the role of government has undergone a tremendous change. As humans and the society in general, try to move towards a better world, the involvement and responsibilities of governments throughout the world are getting more diverse and challenging.
In the modern world, we can see that the society governs itself. The democratic form of governance has been accepted by almost the entire world today. Democracy was preceded by monarchy, which came into being because men chose to follow leaders. The democratic form, however, was a form of government where men chose to elect their own leaders. Both these forms were products of society and according to many sociologists, they evolved to serve the society by governing it.
Role of Government in Society
During the times of tribal leaders and early monarchs, the government had a Laissez-faire policy, meaning that the government and the leading king were principally bestowed a role wherein they undertook the duty of only defending their people and lands. With time, however, the duties that were to be executed by the governing parties became more and more complicated. The Greek, Roman, Harappan, Egyptian, and Babylonian civilizations had governments that had a fantastic system of governance, which helped them to cope with all possible problems even in everyday life.
All throughout the history, rulers were supposed to protect their people from foreign aggression. With the concept of ruling class becoming history, the responsibility has been passed on to the government, who has filled the vacuum left by these rulers. The military duties have substantially increased, as several new components such as external affairs, alliances, treaties, and development of arms have also come into being. The military duties of the government are extremely important due to the fact that they insure the integrity of the nation and thus, help civilization, economic activity, and social components within.
Human habitation of a particular area or land requires basic amenities, such as sanitation, hygiene, and a secure environment to live in. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that these civic amenities are made available for the people.
Education is a profound need of any human society as it makes mankind rational, intellectually enriched, and thoughtful. Hence, to complete all the elements of society, the government should provide adequate education everyone. Everybody in the society needs to think, and food for thought is derived from knowledge.
Justice and Administration
In order to prevent chaos in the society, it is essential to have laws in place; laws ranging from small unspoken norms, such as standing in a line for the bus, to ones that are complex, such as tax laws. This function, which is also known as judicial function, helps the society to function smoothly. It also encompasses the government’s role in business, as the growing volume of economic activity calls for good mercantile laws for governance.
In order to best understand the government’s functions in society, it is advisable to study the society first.