What is a Centralized Government?

Definition: A centralized government hands over supreme political authority to a central body or small group of individuals, which is responsible for ensuring the proper function of the economy and all other governing bodies.

What Does Centralized Government Mean?

What is the definition of centralized government? This style of government can take many forms. In the ancient times, it could take the form of a monarchy, where the monarch could address several roles of regional administrators, but he maintained the absolute power to lay off and use his senators at any time.

In a more contemporary version, a central government is characterized by a variety of centralized functions with legislators being responsible for the laws that govern a particular country, yet the power is in the hands of the central government or, in the cases of dictatorship, of a single person.

Let’s look at an example.


Examples of central governments with delegated power in some cases are the governments of the People’s Republic of China, Denmark, France, Georgia, Indonesia, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, UK and Vietnam.

The main benefit of a central government is a higher and more direct control over tax collection as well as other forms of government revenues and government spending compared to decentralized governments. Due to the centralized power, the government planning and strategy is more cohesive and capable of promoting a common culture in the country. A central government tends to maintain a higher level of national security and is responsible for all the laws and legislation as well as for international diplomacy.

On the downside, a central government falls into the trap of “one size fits all” policies, which address the needs of the country as a whole, failing to address the needs of distinct groups in society. Also, a wrong decision of a central government tends to have a greater and wider impact on society as the system lacks the balancing mechanisms to recall a bad decision or bad policy. In this case, corruption and authoritarianism are the worst case scenarios for a nation.

Summary Definition

Define Centralized Government: Central government means a governing body consisting of a few individuals that has authority over all aspects of the economy and political system.

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