A government is the system by which a state or community is controlled. In the case of this broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislators, administrators, and arbitrators. Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy of the state. Forms of government, or forms of state governance, refers to the set of political systems and institutions that make up the organisation of a specific government. Governments control the economy, social freedoms, and political systems, and may or may not be voluntary.
In the Commonwealth of Nations, the word government is also used more narrowly to refer to the ministry (collective executive), a collective group of people that exercises executive authority in a state or, more narrowly, the governing cabinet as part of the executive. This usage is analogous to what is called an "administration" in American English. Furthermore, especially in American English, the concepts of the state and the government may be used synonymously to refer to the person or group exercising authority over a politically organized territory. Finally, government is also sometimes used in English as a synonym for governance.