Midterm Studyguide Fall '07 - Comparative Politics Study...

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Comparative Politics Study Guide Ch. 1: Government : formal, authorized power given to people to pass laws, control the police, issue regulations, etc. - In USA includes everyone in Congress, House of Reps, and Senate - “Direct” Political Power- in USA, Democrats and Republicans(they have seats in Congress), In England, Labor and Torrey Party - If Gov’t controls everything- totalitarianism State: have geographic boundaries, a political unit that has sovereignty over a certain area; includes all the institutions and individuals that exercise power. Often “indirect”political power: interest groups (campaign money), smaller parties (green, ind. party) Regime: institutions that endure from gov’t to gov’t (ie; Filibuster) Nation: Have no geographic boundaries, more psychological referring to cultural, linguistic, and other identities Three Templates of Comparative Politics: 1.The Political System: 1) inputs-ways average citizens and the groups they form engage in politics. 2) Decision making. 3) Output/public policy- regulates, redistributes, can be symbolic. 3) Feedback-the process through which people find out about public policy and the ways in which their reactions help shape politics. 4) Environment- everything lying outside the political system 2.Historical and Contemporary Factors: -Imperialism-very important in how the state was formed -Cold War-left the U.S. and the former Soviet Union with a lot of power -International Political Economy(IPE)-trade and other interactions that take place between countries 3.State, Society and Globalization Chapter 2 Differences in Democracies and Elections: -Great Britain: Prime Minister can dissolve parliament and prompt an election w/in weeks -France: presidential and legislative elections are held at different times, so France directly elects its president. -Germany: Common and Not-so-common Themes: -elections determine who governs in democracies -some critical issues are not up for debate and democratic regime is stable and secure Differences -U.S. and France elect their chief executives, Britain and Germany don’t Proportional representation: Germans elect half of their Bundestag system with what gives each party the same percentage of seats that they got in the popular vote. -U.S. is unique with separation and division of powers Democratization: no definition, only criteria
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- Rights -individual freedom of religion, press, speech, etc. Rights expressed differently in different countries. Different kinds of gov’t restrictions - Competitive Elections- requirement that the gov’t can be chosen through regular, free, and fair elections in which people can choose between two or more candidates/political parties( Kinds-1)Majority-vote for person, 2) Proportional-vote for party ) - Rule of Law: no arbitrary personal exercise of power Civil Society: general acceptance of legitimacy of the system, even when something goes wrong you accept rules Capitalism and Affluence: democracies have always been somewhat uneven and imperfect, democracy may need affluence and capitalism Origins of Democratic State:
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