Chapter 2: The UK political system Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 2: The UK political system Deck (22)
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Define authority.

The right to take a particular course of action.


Define power.

The ability to do something or make something happen.


Define governance.

A form of decision making which involves a wide range of institutions, networks and relationships.


Define government (give 2 definitions).

(a) The activity or system of governing a political unit. (b) The set of institutions that exercise authority and make the rules of a political unit.


What is meant by the executive?

The branch of government responsible for implementing policy.


What is the legislature?

The branch responsible for passing laws.


What is the Westminster model?

A form of government exemplified by the British political systemic which parliament is sovereign, the executive and legislature are fused and political power is centralised.


What is the judiciary?

The branch of government responsible for interpreting the law and deciding upon legal disputes.


What is Rule of Law?

A the legal theory holding that the relationship between the state and the individual is governed by law, protecting the individual from arbitrary state action.


What are civil liberties?

Fundamental individual rights and freedoms that ought to be protected from interference or encroachment from by the state.


What is an elective dictatorship?

Where there is excessive concentration of power in the executive branch of government.


Define legitimacy.

Rightfulness: a political system is legitimate when it is based on the consent of the people and actions follow from agreed laws and procedures.


What does sovereign mean?

Legal supremacy, or absolute law-making authority.


What is a referendum?

A vote on a single issue put to a public ballot by the government.


What is a constitutional monarchy?

A form of monarchy in which the monarch is head of state but in which powers are exercised by parliament and by ministers.


What is meant by the term 'fusion of powers'?

The intermingling of personnel in the executive and legislative branches found in parliamentary systems.


What is the head of state?

The chief public representative of a country, such as the monarch the president.


What is meant by the term 'separation of powers'?

The principle that the legislative, executive and the judicial branches of government should be independent of each other.


What is judicial review?

The process by which judges determine whether public officials or public bodies have acted in a manner which is lawful.


What does Quasi-federal state mean?

The central government of a state devolves its powers to sub-national governments. It has some features of a unitary state and some of a federal state.


What is a unitary state?

A homogeneous state in which power is concentrated at the political centre and all parts of the state are governed in the same way.


What is devolution?

The transfer of some policy making powers from the centre to sub-national institutions, but which sees the state wide legislature retain ultimate authority.