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Comparative Government vocabulary and definitions.

Normative Questions Questions that deal with how the world should be
Empirical Questions Questions that deal with how the world is
State Organizations that exert a monopoly of violence or force over a territory
Unitary State A state where the political power is concentrated in the national capital!
Federal State A state where political power is divided between the national capital (central state) and regions/localities
Rentier A state which derives a substantial portion of its national resources from renting indigenous resources to external clients
Nation A human community with shared culture, history, psychological sense of identity; based on culture, geographic, linguistic ties
Country state, government, regime and people within a political system
Regime norms and rules regulating individual freedoms and collective equality
Society Group of people who share a distractive cultural and economic organization, as well as set of values and norms
Government The leadership that administers the state
Institutions Legislative, executive, judiciary, and bureaucracy
Politics The struggle for power that gives winners the ability to make decisions affecting others; who gets what, when, and how
Political Culture patterns of basic norms relating to politics; includes history, values, beliefs, traditions; influences political behavior
Legitimacy extent to which a state’s authority is considered right or proper
Traditional Legitimacy legitimacy derived from a long-standing tradition of being obeyed
Charismatic Legitimacy legitimacy derived from the peoples’ identification with the magnetic appeal of the leader
Rational-legal Legitimacy legitimacy derived from a system of laws or procedures that have become highly institutionalized
Sovereignty a state’s ability to carry out actions independently
Legislature branch of government formally charged with making laws
Bicameral A legislature with two chambers
Unicameral A single chamber legislature
Executive Branch of government formally charged with making laws
Head of government leader who deals with everyday tasks of running the state
Head of state Leader who symbolizes and represents the people nationally and internationally, embodying and articulating the goals of the regime
Revolution A major revision or overthrow of basic institutions
Correlation Apparent association between certain factors or variables
Causation When a change in one variable causes a change in another
Political Cleavage Factors that separate groups
Crosscutting Cleavages A division that includes people with differences, strengthening society
Coinciding Cleavages A division that strengthens feelings of difference and discrepancy, weakening society
Democracy System of government where the people choose policymakers in free, fair, and competitive elections
Liberal Democracy A democracy with political competition, economic freedom, civil rights and liberties
Illiberal Democracy A democracy where some personal liberties and democratic rights are limited
Social Democracy A hybrid of liberalism and communism; values on both equality and individual freedoms; mixed welfare state
Communism A system of government that emphasizes economic equality rather than individual political and economic freedoms; includes collective property (state ownership) and a dominant state
Authoritarian regimes that limit the role of the public in decision making and deny citizens’ basic rights and restrict their freedoms
Corporatism Citizen participation is channeled through state-sanctioned groups. When business, labor, and the government work close in policymaking
Cooptation System used by non-democratic regimes where members of the public are brought into a beneficial relationship with the state and government
Theocracy A system of government where the leader claims to rule on behalf of God
Political Ideology Universal sets of political values regarding the fundamental goals of politics; ideal balance between freedom and equality
Liberalism (as a political ideology) A political ideology that places a high priority on individual political and economic freedoms; favors economic equality, private property, capitalism, and protection
Libertarian ideology favoring little government interference in the economy and personal freedoms
Political Attitude Views regarding the status quo in a society; desired pace and method of political change
Liberalism (as an attitude) A political attitude that supports evolutionary change within a system
Reactionary A political attitude that promotes rapid change to restore political, social, and economic institutions that once existed
Radicalism A political attitude that supports rapid, extensive, revolutionary change
Conservatism Supports the status quo and views change as risky
Nationalism The pride in one’s country or culture
Fascism political attitude hostile to the idea of individual freedom and rejects notion of equality
Proportional Representation in multimember districts, more than one legislative seat is contested in each electoral district. Voters vote for a list of party candidates instead of for a single representative and the percentage of votes a party receives determines how many of the di
First Past the Post/Single Member District System where there is only one representative for each constituency and in each district the candidate with the greatest number of votes wins the seat.
Mixed electoral system voters are given two votes for a candidate in a party; SMDs are elected based on plurality while other seats are elected from MMDs using PR
Political Economy The study of how politics and economics are related
Developed Countries high level of development based on industrialization, GDP, HDI, etc.
Developing Countries countries with low standards of democratic governments, industrialization, social programs, and human rights guarantees
Under-developed Countries State that has failed at some of the basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government (loss of control of territory, erosion of legitimacy, unreasonable public services, inability to interact as a member of the international community)
Neoliberal Economic Reforms Free markets and free trade. Break down barriers to international trade and investment.
GDP The total market value of goods and services produced in a country in one year, measured in US dollars. Tool for evaluating size of economy.
PPP Purchasing power parity. Mechanism for estimating the real buying power of income in each country using prices in the U.S. as a benchmark.
Gini Index Commonly used measurer of economic inequality; equality = 0 and inequality = 100.
HDI a measure produced by the United Nations to measure standards of living; considers a variety of factors of affluence such as health and education
Globalization Phenomenon where international forces shape politics in the context of a rapidly expanding and intensifying set of links among states, societies, economies
Linkage institution Groups that connect the people to the government, such as political parties, interest groups, print and electronic media
Bureaucracy structure and set of regulations in place to control activity, usually in large organizations and government
Marxism Struggle between resources of the elites and proletariats leads to the classless society
Marxism-Leninism vanguard of the proletariat, which is that the people with an understanding of Marxism would help the proletariat revolutionize
Command Economy The government decides, plans, and controls the economy
Economic Liberalization Decreasing involvement of the state in economics
Democratization Transformation process from a nondemocratic regime to a procedural democracy to a substantive democracy
Democratic deficit Idea that the EU is not democratic enough or meaningful enough to most EU citizens
Devolution The handing down of power to regions and localities
Civil servants Branch of government where people work for merit
Civil service Government workers hired on the basis of competitive exams
Civil society Place where political conflict and competition takes place; comprises organizations outside the state that help the people define and advance their own interests
Clientelism states provide benefits to groups of political supporters
ISI (Import substitution industrialization) – an economic development strategy emphasizing growth of domestic industries by using tariff protection
Interest group Group of individuals who share common goals and try to influence public policy to meet these goals
NGOs (Nongovernmental organizations) organizations across many different countries such as Amnesty International and the International Red Cross
Judicial review Mechanism through which the court reviews laws and policies and overturns those seen as violations of the constitution
Parliamentary system a system of government featuring an executive head of government (prime minister) elected from the legislature who is the leader of the largest political party; he and his cabinet are charged with formulating and executing policy
Prebendalism Extreme patron-clientelism; common in Nigeria
Presidential system Combines the roles of head of state and head of government; the president holds most of the government’s executive powers. Has directly
Semi-Presidential System A system of government that includes a prime minister approved by the legislature and a directly elected president; they share executive power
Privatization Selling state-owned company
Referendum Direct vote yes/no policy; examples: Tony Blair for adopting of euro (considered) and Putin for Russia policy
Rule of law A state of order in which events conform to the law; every member of society must obey the law
Supranational organization An organization where decisions are made by international institutions
Technocrat A system where decision makers are selected based on how skilled they are rather than how much political capital they hold
Totalitarianism regime wherein a Communist party controls most aspects of a country’s political and economic system
Fusion of powers the idea in the UK that Parliament is the supreme legislative, executive, and judicial authority. Legislative and executive is fused in the cabinet.
Socialism State before classless society gains control
Radical Favors fundamental, drastic, revolutionary changes in society
Nationalism Ideology that focuses on the nation; pride and love of one’s country
Market Economy Interaction between forces and supply and demand that allocate the goods and resources
Created by: asdfalice
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