A committee comprises a mechanism of bureaucracy or of proto-bureaucracy whereby a limited number of people receive delegated functions of government or administration.

Committees, both permanent and ad hoc, appear both in representative democracies and in non-democratic structures. They may bear grandiose titles such as "Commission", "Board", "Presidium", "Commissariat", "Politburo" or "Council". Detractors and enemies may prefer to use less flattering labels such as junta, camarilla or cabal. A committee may comprise a sub-grouping of a larger body, and in its turn have sub-committees.

Committees may have the advantage of widening viewpoints and sharing out responsibilities. Their disadvantages appear in their reputation for procrastination, often ridiculous compromises and groupthink. The need to call a meeting, gain a quorum and debate until a majority agrees on a course of action can stultify action at the expense of discussion.

Notable committees include: