Elements of Government The third basic element is legitimacy, “the acceptance by the people of the government’s authority to exercise power” (282). Without this such acceptance, no government or political party can subsist. Socialization plays its part in the legitimacy of a government. Socialization is defined as a “learning process in which the people come to accept the standards of their society” (282), meaning to convert or adapt to the needs of society. There are many ways to endorse socialization.
In most countries, such as Korea, they promote socialization at schools that will teach them about their government and to have optimistic views about it, even when at times it could go wrong. So with this positive view, people build up loyalty and devotion to symbols such as their flag or their national anthem. The last basic element is law enforcement. Law enforcement is enforcing the rules and laws among the people. If people don’t follow the rules, there won’t be much of an effect.
If no one follows it, that society would be chaotic and therefore, there would be no law and order. Willingly, most people follow their group orders and decisions. While some are forced to follow the law, otherwise, there would be a punishment. “Those who have the power to control behavior making and enforcing the rules of a group are often called a power structure” (283). There is one important difference between private and public governments when it comes to law enforcement, and that is how they enforce their laws. Only public governments have the right to define certain acts as crimes or to use physical force against disobedient people. A private government may fine or even expel a disobedient member” (283). Only a public government can imprison and put to death a person. So as you can see, these five basic elements, rules of conduct, sovereignty, legitimacy, jurisdiction, and enforcement that we have in our lives are also common to all governments. Works Cited The World Book Encyclopedia “Government” 1998 Edition