Governments concern themselves with regulating and administering many areas of human activity, such as trade, education, medicine, entertainment, and war.
Enforcement of power
Governments use a variety of methods to maintain the established order, such as secrecy, police and military forces, (particularly under despotism, see also police state), making agreements with other states, and maintaining support within the state. Typical methods of maintaining support and legitimacy include providing the infrastructure for administration, justice, transport, communication, social welfare etc., claiming support from deities, providing benefits to elites, holding elections for important posts within the state, limiting the power of the state through laws and constitutions (see also Bill of Rights) and appealing to nationalism. Different political ideologies hold different ideas on what the government should or should not do.
The modern standard unit of territory is a country. In addition to the meaning used above, the word state can refer either to a government or to its territory. Within a territory, subnational entities may have local governments which do not have the full power of a national government (for example, they will generally lack the authority to declare war or carry out diplomatic negotiations).
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