What are the difference between State and Government?



Often the term 'State' and 'Government' are used interchangeably, but the two are not the same it is necessary to note the following points of difference between state and government.

1) State stands for the whole community, which is politically organised, whereas government stands only for a group of persons, who exercise power on behalf of the state.

2) Sovereignty or the supreme controlling power lies in the state and it is exercised through its instrument, which is government.

3) The state is permanent, whereas the governments change. Changes in the gov­ernment do not affect the existence of state. The state enjoys continuity.

4) The State is an abstract concept, whereas the government is the concrete, physical embodiment of the state.

Prof. Laski makes a significant observation regarding the distinction between state and government. According to him, the distinction is one of theoretical interest than of practical significance. 'For every act of state that we encounter is, in truth, a governmental act. The will of the state is in its laws, but it is the government which gives substance and effect to their content'.