Government is a key part of any society and culture. Learn more about different types of government, politics and civic issues.

If you've ever butted heads with your insurance company to get a surgery covered, you understand why the U.S. is pursuing health care reform. But if you're happy with your coverage, you might wonder why the government is trying to change it.

In the arguments about U.S. health care reform, you'll often hear a country held up as the worst or best example of what health care can be. What is health care like around the globe?

If you've been watching the news or using social media, you've seen angry protesters, town hall free-for-alls and red-faced pundits -- all irate over the issue of health care reform. A lot of the hullabaloo is about "facts" that are just plain myths.

Protesting is one way some people fight for change. See pictures of protests and learn more about this form of activism.

Whether you indignantly objected when Fox canceled "Firefly" or marched around your nation's capital hoping for change, you're a protester. But would you stop paying your taxes to voice your displeasure? Would you face down a tank?

Want to see a party turn into an all-out brawl? Invite people of differing political views and bring up abortion. But for such a controversial topic, many people often know surprisingly little about the procedure behind the politics.

What goes on in other people's bedrooms has long been an issue that divides people in the United States. Planned Parenthood, provider of sexual health information and services, is no stranger to controversy.

The Senate confirmation process is a labyrinthine maze of governmental procedure, cronyism and public opinion that presidential appointees must navigate to attain high-level political positions.

Although the arduous Senate confirmation process can break even the strongest candidates, the vast majority of presidential appointees are ultimately confirmed. We present the cases of 10 unfortunate exceptions to that rule.

Think of midnight regulations as a flurry of presidential Hail Mary passes. How many regulations can an outgoing president pass before he leaves office? How many of these last-minute regulations will become law?

The vice presidency was originally a consolation prize given to the runner-up in the national election. More than two centuries later, the role of vice president is little more respected among the public than it was in the beginning.

When the framers of the Constitution considered an executive branch, they were still stinging from the despotic rule of King George III. Ultimately, the framers saw the need for a single person to lead. Enter the president of the United States.

When you think of propaganda, Rosie the Riveter may come to mind. A lot of famous pieces of propaganda were created during World War II, but this covert practice of persuasion stretches as far back as ancient Rome.

Wishing you could start your own country? There's good news and bad news. The bad news is that it will take a lot of hard work to make this dream come true. But the good news is that there's actually a procedure in place to make it happen.

The Bioterrorism Act of 2002 (BTA) combines the resources of several American government agencies to protect food, water and drug supplies from terrorist attacks.

Nearly three decades ago, the booming Chinese population caused the government to limit most couples to one child. The plan worked, but at what expense?

During the Cold War, the U.S. and USSR stockpiled weapons but never started a nuclear war. What held them back from launching a strike for nearly 40 years? Could two nations embroiled in conflict have made a mutual agreement not to strike?

Judy Blume, John Steinbeck and Maya Angelou are among the top 10 most challenged American authors. But to be challenged is not to be banned. What does it take to ban a book?

If you decide to go nameless, the cops won't hunt you down and throw you in the slammer. But you may have trouble functioning in society.

Spying is an important part of government intelligence gathering. This collection of pictures gives you an insight into this highly secretive task.

The donkey and the elephant are widely recognized symbols of the U.S. Democratic and Republican Parties. But what do animals have to do with politics, and how do cartoons fit in?

If you get tagged for extra security screening each time you take a flight, you may be on a government watch list. Find out how you -- innocent you -- made the list.

Hitler, Kim Jong-Il, Saddam Hussein: Dictators come hand-in-hand with violence and controversy. But what makes a dictator different from any other leader?

In fascism, the state is all that matters, and constant conquest is necessary to glorify that state. But how do you convince people to support a philosophy that denies their personal value? Is fascism really still alive today?

Can you kiss your old life goodbye and start anew? In the movies, people do it all the time, but a real-life clean slate is a little more complicated.