Executive (government)

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Executive branch of government is the part of government that 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 democratic 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 are 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.


The five roles that the top leadership of the executive branch may fulfill 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 (e.g. United States of America) the leader of the executive branch is at once the head of state and head of government. In a parliamentary system, the chief executive (usually called prime minister) is the head of government, while the function of head of state is assumed by a largely ceremonial monarch or as the president.

See also


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