What are the institutional foundations of democracy

What are the institutional foundations of democracy - What...

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What are the institutional foundations of democracy? What is a democracy? A. Relationship between economy and democracy? a. How related- poorer countries tend not to have democracy B. Countries to look at: a. Russian- failed attempt b. China- filled w/questions about relationship between econ and poli transition/social. Moving towards demo? NOTE: we will focus on the rules of democracy C. How is power divided? Executive/legislative relations. a. Ex. Different systems of checks and balances, parliament vs separation of powers. D. How are leaders selected? Electoral rules a. Important implications for number and power of parties. Impact how executive and legislature work together. Definition of democratization A. Creation of the institutional requirements of representative gov. B. Extension of the right to vote to the entire pop. a. How to structure: electoral votes difference in systems C. Basic means of enforcement i. Ex Russia- very little institutional checks on the executive in constitution. Because of this lack of institutional checks, the president could continue to eliminate the other checks via restricting press, parties, right to privacy of citizens. Final check of the people’s vote is deteriorated. ii. Ex. USA- there are checks- congress, judiciary 1. but congress/judiciary can choose not to limit the executive, same with patriot act and privacy. This depends on what party controls the HR/S. b. Free Press c. Independent Judiciary d. Political competition e. Elections Relationship between executive and legislature is most distinguishing characteristic of any democracy. A. British Parliamentary system- evo over 600 years. a. Pop votes for leg i. Leg selects the executive who is almost always a parliament member
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ii. Pop votes for their local parliamentary member (approx 40 ppl but temporary committees are often added) iii. Parliament can remove the executive by majority vote w/ vote of no confidence at any time iv. parliament members don’t do much except obey the party leaders, service their districts 1. minority are pretty powerless. v. If Prime minister is fed up w/parliament, he/she can call an election, and can dissolve the legislature 1. also a form of checks and balances, it’s not about crimes, it’s about politics vi. “government” = PM + cabinet vii. Queen is the “head of state” but PM acts as head of state to negotiate treaties or foreign policy, technically PM is head of government 1. much more involved in law making bc he is DIRECTLY involved B. USA- Presidential system- evo over several hundred years a. Pop votes separately on leg/president b. Both branches act independently c. Only can remove P is he commits a crime. d. “Government” is more vague, members of government are not defined e. No head of government, just a head of state f. Not as involved in law making i. Only veto power C. Hungary/Russia- system put in place in approx 7 years. a.
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2009 for the course POL 2 taught by Professor Scheiner during the Winter '08 term at UC Davis.

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What are the institutional foundations of democracy - What...

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