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Government vs Governance

Government and governance are two very similar words. People often get confused about the differences between
governance and government. Here we are going to discuss the differences between these two related words.

Government is a group of people who rule or run the administration of a country. In other words, it may be said that a
government is the body of representatives that governs and controls the state at a given time. Government is the medium
through which the power of the state is employed.
Government may be of different types. It may be a democracy or autocracy, but most of the modern governments are
democratic. Here we are taking into consideration the democratic ones in relation with the government.
A democratic government may be defined as that which has the public mandate to run the affairs of the country with a
well-defined term after which in the successive term the same people may be elected again. The government may be
labeled as good or bad according to their ways of working for the good of the people. If a government provides capable
governance, then it has a chance of coming back into power again.
Governance is the act of governing or ruling. It is the set of rules and laws framed by the government that are to be
implemented through the representatives of the state. Simply put, governance is what governments do.
Governance is a concept that can be followed in an organization of any size, be it a single cell or an organism or all of
humanity. Governance may function variously for profit or non-profit, for people, or itself. The main purpose of
governance is to assure good results following a set pattern of rules.
Governance may be of various types:
Global Governance
Corporate Governance
Information Technology
Non-Profit and a few others
The difference between government and governance may be clarified using an example of a business which is run by a
group of people. The rules and regulations which they follow in order to run the business successfully are called the
management. This involves the experience and the knowledge of the owners working together with the employees to meet
the set target. On a similar pattern, the government is a body of elected representatives which is headed by a single person.
This body makes use of established rules and a principle to efficiently run the affairs of the country in favor of the people
of the nation is called governance.


1.Governance is what a government does.

2.Governance is the physical exercise of the polity while the government is the body through which this is done.
government vs governance

Government and governance are two words that sound similar but are different in meaning. Difference between government and
governance is confusing for many people, and this article intends to clarify the meaning and definition of the two words so as to leave
no scope for confusion. An analogy can be drawn between officer and official and also bureaucrat and bureaucracy if we wish to
understand difference between government and governance.


This is a body that comprises a person or a group of persons who run the administration of a country. This is a means in which power is
exercised. There are various forms of governments such as democracy or autocracy but this article will remain confined to the general
term government which is commonly used in social sciences. In normal circumstances, a state is run by a government that has a
mandate from the people to run the affairs of the country and also a term that may be of 4-6 years to serve the state. Thus there is a
succession of governments in any country or the same government may be elected again for a successive term if people feel that it has
done its job of running the country in a fair and close to ideal manner.


The word governance refers to the activities of a government. In laymans terms, it is the rules and laws made by the government that
are sought to be implemented through a chosen bureaucracy which is referred to as governance. The process of governing people or a
state is called governance.

Difference between government and governance

To understand the differences between government and governance, one can take the example of a business which is handled by a
person or group of persons (called partners or owners). The way they run the business with the help of employees applying their
knowledge and experience is called management. In a similar manner, government is the elected body of representatives headed by a
person. This body has the mandate to rule or govern people. And the manner in which they use the established system and principles
to run the affairs of the country is called governance.

Governance can be good or bad depending upon the perception of the people and they may accordingly choose to retain or vote a
particular government out of power.

In nutshell, governance is what a government does. It is the exercise of powers that are bestowed upon the government according to
set rules and regulations using a system of bureaucracy that defines governance. Government is merely an instrument for the purpose
of governance.