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Flashcards in Chapter 5 Deck (16):


Political power exercised either directly or indirectly by the people through participation, competition and liberty
- Emphasizes individual freedom and is in keeping with the ideology of liberalism



Emphasizes separation of powers within a state and the representation of the public through elected officials (as opposed to unaccountable powers of a monarchy or the direct participation of people)


What are two forms of democracy

- Direct democracy: public participates directly in governance and policy making; historically found in small communities such as Ancient athens
- Indirect democracy: public participates indirectly through its elected representatives; the prevalent form of democracy in the modern age


Why was democratisation thought to be correlated with modernisation?

- Modernisation is associated with better education
- .. a weakening of older traditional institutions that stressed authority and hierarchy
- .. greater gender equality
- .. the rise of a middle class

Modernisation theory suggests that as societies become more educated and more economically sophisticated, they need and desire greater control over the state to achieve and defend their own interests.


Civil society

Defined as organised life outside the state, a fabric of organisations created by people to help define their own interests; these associations serve as a vehicle for democratisation by allowing people to articulate, promote and defend what is important to them


What can influence democracy?

- Modernisation
- Elites (distribution of wealth, people with lots of money are less likely to use it to better society if they think it does not benefit them, those in power might not want to stay in power if natural resources decline and they can get some wealth out of stepping aside)
- Society (civil society)
- International factors (international pressure or incentives may cause elite to favour democracy)
- Culture (political culture may influence preference for certain kinds of policies as well as relationship between freedom and equality)


What are institutions of the democratic state?

- Executives (head of state and head of government) carries out laws and policies of a state
- Legislature; making or passing legislation (bicameral or unicameral system)
- Constitutional court; determines constitutionality of laws and acts


Parliamentary systems

- indirectly elected PM holds executive power as head of government
- Directs cabinet
- Formulates legislation and domestic and international policies
- Serves for unfixed term and may be removed by vote of no confidence
- Head of state (president or monarch) is largely ceremonial


What are the benefits and drawbacks of parliamentary systems?

- PM can usually get legislation passed
- PM may be more easily removed by legislature through vote of no confidence

- Public does not directly select PM and may feel that it has less control over the executive and the passing legislation



- Directly elected president
- Holds majority of executive power as ehad of state and government
- Directs cabinet and formulates legislation and international domestic policies
- Serves for a fixed term and cannot be easily removed from office


What are the benefits and drawbacks of presidential systems?

- President is directly elected and can draw on a national mandate to create and enact legislation

- President and legislature may be controlled by different parties, leading to divided governments
- Office does not allow power sharing
- President may not be easily removed from chair except from through elections



- directly elected president and indirectly elected PM share power
- President helps set policy, while PM executes it
- President also manages foreign policy
- Which office holds more power depends on the country


What are the benefits and drawbacks of semi-parliamentary systems?

- Directly elected president and indirectly PM share power and responsibilities, creating both a public mandate (presidency) and an indirectly elected office that may be supported by a coalition of parties (PM)

- Conflict possible between PM and president over power and responsibilities


Single member district (SMD)/first past the post system)

Electoral constituencies are single-member districts, which means that each constituency
- candidate who receives the most votes, wins the seat
- The votes vast for other candidates are effectively washed
- Fewer and larger parties


Proportional representation

- voters cast their ballots for a party rather than for a candidate, and the percentage of the votes a party receives in a district, determines how many of that district's seats the party will gain
- more smaller parties


Mixed electoral system

- Votes cast both for parties and for individuals
- Some seats filled by individual races, some by party outcome
- Mixed outcome