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Representation and Political Process.ppt

Representation and Political Process.ppt - Representati on...

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1 Representati on and the Political Process
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2 Democracy Direct (historically earlier form): citizens themselves govern To which extent is it possible? Representative (modern) Government by citizens’ representatives The main principles: The state is a separate entity above society The state derives its authority from citizen consent State officials have an autonomy from society, but are accountable to it
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3 What is the meaning of representation? 1. Rulers are elected , granted authority to govern - but may not necessarily do what citizens want: unfulfilled promises “painful but necessary” reforms 2. Rulers are not elected , but govern in such a way that citizens do feel that their interests are taken into account kindly kings, benevolent dictators seeking citizen support Obviously, electoral democracy is a better form of representation But major problems remain
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4 For instance: washingtonpost.com: Big-Money Contributors Line Up for Inauguration
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5 1. Electoral mechanisms : how well do they communicate society’s demands to the state 2. Channels of citizen influence on the government between elections – in the policy-making process 3. The contents of policy Some of these problems can be solved through improvements in the mechanisms of representation But there are strong arguments in favour of reinforcing representation with robust institutions of direct democracy
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6 The political process The political process can be described as the flow of political power This flow never stops It has its own patterns , reproduced over and over again in a systematic way It moves through institutions , links , channels which connect society with the state
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7 Demands Supports INTERESTS Interest Groups Political Parties Media Executive Assembly Government Judiciary L A W S A N D P O L I C I E S Social impact of laws and policies Elections THE STATE SOCIETY The Political Process
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8 Some interests have more weight than others. Such differences
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