What does it mean to have a stable government?

  • I am doing an assessment and I have to write about why having a stable government is attractive to illegal immigrants. I do not know what exactly a stable government is though. Does it refer to the system eg having parties or does it refer to the politicians not being corrupt or both? Or is it something completely different?

    Why *illegal* immigrants? People usually don't set out to be illegal immigrants. Most people who are currently staying illegally in Europe (and I would guess the US) did not even enter illegally. That category is entirely a result of the host society's legal and political process but not very relevant when it comes to examining the beliefs of the migrants themselves.

    A stable government is attractive to *most* people--I'd argue for obvious reasons--namely personal safety, fewer fiscal risks, etc.

    What do you mean by stable? Is Italy stable ?

  • Stable first and foremost means just that: Not changing constantly. Some countries like Thailand or Mauritania go through a military coup every 10-20 years, sometimes even more frequently. The problem is not merely that new people are coming to power but rather that you can't even trust that a given government will be able to govern to the end of its term or that regular political processes (e.g. elections) will be allowed to run their course.

    More benignly, the French fourth Republic has a bad reputation in France because governments seldom lasted more than a few months. After that, coalition members would disagree on something and look for new partners or demand some changes to the composition of the government. The transitions were peaceful and happened within the framework of the constitution of the time but it is still remembered as a period of instability.

    And of course some governments that are very bad in other respects (e.g. corrupt, inefficient, autocratic and repressive) are still quite stable. But very often, power is highly personalized in such countries and the transition from one strongman to the next is not easy.

    “Stable” could also be a short-hand to cover several other related ideas: Democratic, open, peaceful, not corrupt, etc.

    In a democracy, the government can change approximately every 4 years. Wouldn't that be less stability than a military coup every 10-20 years? (Of course it isn't, but your answer could benefit from explaining why)

    @Philipp It seems I address that, in particular in the second sentence of the first paragraph and in the third paragraph.

    My first thought was that the *peaceful* transition of power is the biggest part of being "stable", but your example of the Fourth Republic seems to contradict that. Interesting. I'll have to go look into that more.

  • I think it means "not changing"


    1. not likely to fall or give way, as a structure, support, foundation, etc.; firm; steady.
    2. able or likely to continue or last; firmly established; enduring or permanent: a stable government.
    3. resistant to sudden change or deterioration: A stable economy is the aim of every government.
    4. steadfast; not wavering or changeable, as in character or purpose; dependable.
    5. not subject to emotional instability or illness; sane; mentally sound.
    6. Physics. having the ability to react to a disturbing force by maintaining or reestablishing position, form, etc.
    7. Chemistry. not readily decomposing, as a compound; resisting molecular or chemical change.

    This is really just a link-only answer. I recognize it's not a good question, but it could be improved with explanations as to how these concepts relate to government, e.g. little concern of regime change, relatively small fluctuations in the economy, etc.

    @Avi The reason why link only answers are a problem is because someone has to follow the link in order to find it useful, and the link can go dead.

    that is one reason, the other being that link only answers provide no more information than a Google search might.

  • A stable government means that there is no cognitive dissonance within yourself. If your beliefs, thoughts, or actions are not in unison, then your government is not stable. If your government is not stable, you are contributing to the chaos that exists in the world.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM