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The set of formal legal institutions that constitute a “government” or “state” including actual as well as prescribed political behaviours: not only the legal organization of the state but also the reality of how the state functions.

A political system is the set of formal legal institutions that constitute a “government” or “state.” More broadly, the term may also include actual as well as prescribed political behaviours: not only the legal organization of the state but also the reality of how the state functions. The term political system may also define a set of “processes of interaction” or subsystems of the social system interacting with other nonpolitical subsystems, such as the economic system, in situations where such systems interact directly or indirectly with instruments of political power or political influence.