Local government

  • Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state.
  • This particular usage of the word government refers specifically to a level of administration that is both geographically-localised and has limited powers.
  • While in some countries, “government” is normally reserved purely for a national administration (government) (which may be known as a central government or federal government), the term local government is always used specifically in contrast to national government – as well as, in many cases, the activities of sub-national, first-level administrative divisions (which are generally known by names such as cantons, provinces, states, oblasts, or regions).
  • Local governments generally act only within powers specifically delegated to them by law and/or directives of a higher level of government.
  • In federal states, local government generally comprises a third or fourth tier of government, whereas in unitary states, local government usually occupies the second or third tier of government.