Government

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

Topics to Explore

Learn More / Page 14

How Political Conventions Work

In an election year, political conventions take over the U.S. media for days, filling TVs, radios and newspapers with political-party platforms and propaganda. But what real purpose do the conventions serve?

How Presidential Memoirs Work

Just about every U.S. president of the past 80 years has released his memoirs. But they don't all take the same format. We'll look at the variations and why -- apart from historical record -- former presidents feel compelled to put pen to paper.

How does the FCC police obscenity?

The FCC is the government group that reacted to Janet Jackson's Super Bowl exposure and to indecency violations by Bubba the Love Sponge. Learn about the FCC's obscenity criteria.

How do caucuses work?

A caucus, like a primary, is held to determine the party's nomination for president. Those candidates face their first big test during the Iowa caucuses. Why is it such an unusual piece of the election process?

How AMBER Alert Works

It's an all too terrifying reality: Thousands of children are kidnapped each year. The AMBER Alert system gets the word out quickly when a child is taken. Find out how AMBER Alert works.

How the Rules of War Work

The idea of a "war crime" seems to be pretty redundant, but there are countless treaties that declare otherwise. Learn about the basic rules of war and about specific acts that have been designated as war crimes by the Hague and Geneva Conventions.

How the United Nations Works

The world looks to the United Nations for guidance on important international matters. Find out what goes on inside the United Nations and what role it really plays in international politics.

How Air Force One Works

When the president goes anywhere by plane, he travels in the most amazing private jet in the world -- a flying White House complete with a gym! Take a tour of this amazing aircraft and see pictures from past and present.

How the U.S. Draft Works

With the United States at war with Iraq, male U.S. citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are, in effect, on notice. Find out what would happen if the military needed more troops.

Do the digits in my social security number represent anything in particular?

Do the digits in my social security number represent anything in particular, or is it just a random number? Do they recycle social security numbers so that if someone dies, that number goes back into action?

Why was 911 chosen as the emergency phone number?

During an emergency, we are told to dial 9-1-1. How and why was that number selected as the emergency phone number for the entire United States?

How the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Works

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ensures air travel safety in the United States. In this article, you can learn about the history of the FAA and the duties the agency must fulfill.

How Wiretapping Works

It's easy to tap a phone. Keeping a wiretap secret, now that's the tricky part. That’s where the recording equipment and surveillance teams come in. Learn how government spies and other pros go about listening in.

Refugees Survive on Aid and Apps

The smartphone has become a crucial part of migrant travel.

How the Electoral College Works

The Electoral College is not an Ivy League school. Rather, it's a process for selecting the next U.S. president that actually carries more weight than the popular vote. Why is it there and should it be continued?

How Presidential Debates Work

This American institution began with Abraham Lincoln following Stephen Douglas on the campaign trail and heckling him from the crowd. Today, the presidential debate is one of the most informative and anticipated markers of candidates' campaigns.

How does the Electoral College work?

In the U.S. presidential election system, the Electoral College plays an extremely important role in determining who the next president will be. Learn about the Electoral College system in this article.

How Social Security Numbers Work

What do the numbers on a Social Security card mean? Are they random? And how easy is it for someone to steal your identity using your SSN? Find out all about Social Security numbers.

How the U.S. Customs Service Works

U.S. customs officers do far more than looking through people's bags at the airport. They enforce hundreds of laws for 40 different government agencies. We'll examine what U.S. Customs does and what you need to know about bringing goods into the U.S.

What do the big diamond-shaped signs with red yellow and blue diamonds mean?

Many buildings in my area have a big red, yellow and blue diamond-shaped sign with numbers on it. Do you know what this sign means?

What happens if I don't fill out my census form?

On my census form it says, 'Your response is required by law.' What happens to me if I don't fill it out? Will anyone even notice?

How the Census Works

The U.S. census is a huge project bent on counting every U.S. resident. Some people object to this government head count. But participating can lead to many benefits for your community. Plus, it's the law.

How Emergency Rooms Work

Movies and TV shows depict emergency rooms as insanely intense places. But do you want to know what an emergency department in a hospital is really like? Learn all about what goes on in a real-life ER.

How Newspapers Work

Even in the digital age, newspapers continue, although they've had to change dramatically to survive. We'll look at all aspects of putting a newspaper together as well as unusual strategies newspapers are using to bring in revenue.

How State Dinners Work

State dinners are hosted by the president of the United States to honor a visiting head of state -- kings, queens, presidents or head of a government. How do you prepare for a state dinner?

More to Explore


Recommended