State Institutions are inseparable from the state and in a sense are the manifestation of the state because the state does not exist in itself but it is through these different and divergent institutions that the state exists. These institutions of state are essential in functioning and existence of the state. These political institutions determine the political outcome such as government decision that determine “who gets what”. As said by Sadaro, these institutions of state are often decisively affected by the institutional framework and not simply by the impact of influential social groups or non-governmental organizations and therefore a different outcome may result depending on how a country organizes its different branches and different institutions and how these organs functions in practice.
Five most important governmental institutions as per Sadaro are:
- Executive– Sadaro distinguishes the executives as the primary branch of a political system. The head of executives is on the top of the governmental hierarchy. This head of state shapes the policies and politics of the state and is also responsible for the outcomes of the policies and politics. It is important to stress the difference between head of state and head of government. Most of the states in the world has two executives that is to say a head of the state and a head of the government. This is the case of countries like India where the President is the head of the state while Prime Minister lead the government as head of the government. The head of state has little or no decision making power with him so is just a ceremonial head of the state. He/ She is basically a symbolic prestigious but a politically neutral who is above of al these politics and represents the unity of the nation. The head of government on the other hand is the chief political officer of the state who is responsible for presenting and conducting its principal political policies. The person supervises the executive branch of the state, its senior ministers or cabinet their respective ministry they hold and host of executive government policies. In countries like the United States and many Latin American countries which has presidential form of governance consist of an executive president which is the head of the state also and there exist a definite separation of power between the executive and the legislative.
- Legislative: This also an important state institution whose main function is make law and the representation of citizens in the process of lawmaking. These legislatives exist in the representative capacity of the citizens laid the foundation of democratic politics. The legislative is the body of people who are having the power to legislate or to make law taking into consideration the issues of the general public. In parliamentary for of government like India these legislative are known as the Parliament while in presidential form it may be called as Congress or senate. Legislative generally elects the head of the government so he/she is accountable to the parliament but in the Presidential form of governance the legislative and executive are independent of each other and do not have such authority so two different election takes place in the presidential form. Sodaro says that even in the most of the authoritarian regimes the legislative body plays a certain role in the political system. Although the power of law making is negligible or nonexistent as the ruler has the final authority. So, they are merely for being there but the decision of the ruler prevails at last.
- Judiciary: It is also a very important institution specially in the states where high significance is given to the judiciary. Every state has some kind of legal structure but in some places the role of judiciary is very limited as to only concerned with the routine tasks of adjudicating various cases. In some states the role of judiciary is not only limited to adjudicating civil and criminal cases but is more than this. At some places the judiciary has also determined the politics of the country (Bush v. Gore). At some places judiciary is independent like in US while some imposed restrictions and limitations, In the authoritarian regimes specially we can see that the judiciary is politicized. At many places the judiciary is based on secular laws like in India but at some places it is based on the religious law like in the Iran which applies only the Shariah Law. The power of judicial review can be seen in mostly the democratic states like US, India but not in every democratic state like UK. The courts in these states have the power to invalidate the laws made by the legislative if they violate or not in conformity with the constitutions and the fundamental freedoms of the citizens.
- Bureaucracy: It is the non elected institution not like the executive or the legislative. It is a necessary part of every government because they advice the decision makers about the policies to be adopted and implementing the final policy option decided by the decision makers. The various departments, agency, bureau, officers etc. are the brain behind the framed policy as they have the required knowledge to framed such policies which could help in the governance of the nation.
- Military: Military also impact the organization of the state. In some countries the state are directly rule by the military or military officials or in some states it many influence the government indirectly. This impact of military can be specially scene in the states which are in the transition phase to democracy e.g. Portugal etc.
Apart from these five state institutions Poggi adds citizenship as an important institution. According to Hague and Harrop Citizenship refers to the rights and obligations of citizen following the membership of a specific state. It determine what state looks like or want kind of citizen it want to have like some states want to have a uniformity while some supports plurality.