Administration (government)

Administration (government)

The term administration, as used in the context of government, differs according to jurisdiction.

United States

In United States usage, the term refers to the executive branch under a specific president (or sometimes governor, mayor, or other local executive), for example: the "George W. Bush administration." It can also mean an executive branch agency headed by an administrator: these agencies tend to have a regulatory function as well as an administrative function. On occasion, people in the U.S. will use the term to refer to the time a given person was president, "e.g." "they have been married since the Jimmy Carter administration."


Usage in Europe varies by country, but most typically the term 'administration' refers to managerial functions in general, which may include local governments, or the hierarchy of national and local government, that applies to a town or district. More specifically, it may refer to public administration, the business of administering public policy as determined by government. However, outside France, this usage of the word is uncommon.

For the US sense of the word, most countries (be they English-speaking or not) use the term "government" instead, as in the "Tony Blair government". This is also true of the non-European members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Depending on the type of government, the word coalition may be used for a specific government. In the Netherlands, cabinet is the most used term (as in the fourth Balkenende cabinet), although 'coalition' or 'government' are also used when one does not refer to a specific coalition (note that the two terms have slightly different meanings).

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