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Difference between State and Government

Difference between State and Government

State vs. Government

What is Difference between State and Government? In everyday conversations the terms “state and government” are often used interchangeably, which is a mistake; but then what is the difference between state and government? That is what we will clarify to you next. Do not worry if you do not have the slightest idea about it, since even King Louis XIV was wrong to use these concepts when he said “The State is me.”

Political scientists make a clear distinction between government and state and such distinction is that which we explain below, therefore, if you have doubts about it or just wants a little more information; continue reading. This post is all about the difference between State and Government.

Difference between State and Government


The State contains four elements: population, territory, government and sovereignty. That is, it is an organic concept of which government is a part. Unlike government, the state is more or less permanent; it is maintained over time regardless of the occurrence of various changes.

It is generally composed of all citizens, including those who are chosen to be part of the government. On the other hand, when it is said that the State possesses sovereignty to which it refers is to that it has absolute and unlimited authority in relation to the matters that are its own; that is to say, that it does not depend on any other State for its decisions to be taken. The State is an abstract concept and all States are identical in character and nature. They manifest themselves or act through their governments.


It is a less encompassing concept that is closely linked to that of the State. He is an agent of the latter, for that reason; in democracies he is considered a servant of the state. It would be more or less like the brain of a living organism.

Governments are temporary and change quite often. The death of a regent or the holding of elections does not mean a change of the state, but of the government. Only a select group of citizens are elected to govern.

The organs of the government are the executive, legislative and judicial power. The select group of chosen people will manage those three powers. Finally, the government does not have sovereignty, but its power derives from the State through the Constitution. It is a concrete element that manifests itself and acts according to the requirements of the State.

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