I do get the meaning of the words separately but I would like more clarity.

In American media, "Trump Administration" is the usual phrase but the same media use regime to refer to other countries. Also, the Indian media use "government" almost exclusively. Eg: Modi government.

It looks like these words can be interchangeably used but why is not common to see Trump government or Trump regime?

Is it because of the convention or something else?

I also considered the political structures in different countries. India even though a democracy like the US, I find media using the word "government" rather than "administration".

  • 1
    In the UK we do occasionally see references to "the Johnson administration" or the like, but it is far more common to call it "Boris Johnson's government" or "the Tory government" - partly because "administration" in this sense is primarily used to refer to US politics and partly because the word "government" is often used differently in the two countries (and these in turn are partly due to national tradition and a different understanding of the terms, and partly due to the different systems of government).
    – rjpond
    Sep 6 '20 at 10:53

The term “government” is not used consistently between countries. In the US, it generally refers to the whole apparatus of governing the country — the executive, legislature and judiciary. In the UK, it just means the executive, and neither the courts (the judiciary) nor Parliament (the legislature) are part of the government. The Indian press is unsurprisingly using the UK meaning, not the US meaning.

“Administration” in this context is another word for the executive — the body of officials, elected or otherwise, who are ultimately accountable for the day-to-day running of the country.

“Regime” is generally used to describe an executive which the speaker believes is in violation of democratic norms in some way — it is a pejorative term.

  1. We generally reserve "regime" for ruling governments we don't like for some reason. During the late Apartheid era in South Africa, foreign journalists could find their visas revoked if they referred to the government as "the regime" in the stories they filed.

  2. It is customary in US politics to refer to the President and his or her appointed members of the government as "the (e.g. Trump) administration".

  3. "Government" is a neutral term for the governing system of control in a country.

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    The term "government" has more wide-ranging meanings than simply the governing system, though. In British and European politics, the term "government" (sometimes with a capital) often has a meaning very roughly analogous to the US use of the term "administration". At other times, we use phrases like "government MPs" (i.e. MPs from the governing party), which has no real analogue in US politics because of the different political system.
    – rjpond
    Sep 6 '20 at 10:31

It is a matter of how the government is viewed or organized in each country.

The UK has a parliamentary system; after each election, a new “government” or politicians is formed, which is conceptually viewed as a different government from the previous one.

The US is not a parliamentary system; we see “the government” as a permanent thing created by our Constitution, and elections merely bring in different politicians to run (or “administer”) that government.

Both systems are pretty well known, so everyone just learns the appropriate term for each country. But if you said “the Trump government” or “the Johnson administration”, people would know what you meant anyway. It is just a conceptual difference, not a practical one.

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    But I don’t know if “The Trump government” would include Congress and the Supreme Court or not, so I’m not sure people in general do know what that term would mean.
    – Mike Scott
    Sep 6 '20 at 13:31

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