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power that people accept as rightly exercised over them; also called legitimate power

charismatic authority

authority based on an individual's outstanding traits, which attract followers


the concept that birth (and residence) in a country impart basic rights

coalition government

a government in which a country's largest party aligns itself with one or more smaller parties


power that people do not accept as rightly exercised over them; also called illegitimate power

confederal union

system of government in which the provinces have most of the powers and the central government has little authority


the act or process of reducing people to objects that do not deserve the treatment accorded humans


a system of government in which authority derives from the people; derived from two Greek words that translate literally as "power to the people"


a form of government in which power is seized by an individual

direct democracy

a form of democracy in which the eligible voters meet together to discuss issues and make their decisions


the exercise of large-scale power, the government being the most common example


refers to the exercise of power in everyday life


a form of government headed by a king or queen


a strong identity with a nation, accompanied by the desire for that nation to be dominant

noncentrist party

a political party that represents less popular ideas


a form of government in which power is held by a small group of individuals; the rule of the many by the few


the diffusion of power among many interest groups, preventing any single group from gaining control of the government


he ability to carry out one's will, even over the resistance of others

power elite

C. Wright Mills' term for those who rule the country: the top people in the leading corporations, the most powerful generals and admirals of the armed forces, and certain elite politicians, who make the nation's major decisions

proportional representation

an electoral system in which seats in a legislature are divided according to the proportion of votes each political party receives

rational-legal authority

authority based on law or written rules and regulations; also called bureaucratic authority

representative democracy

a form of democracy in which voters elect representatives to govern and make decisions on their behalf


armed resistance designed to overthrow a government


a political entity that claims monopoly on the use of violence in some particular territory; commonly known as a country


a form of government that exerts almost total control over the people

traditional authority

authority based on custom

unitary state

form of government in which all power resides with the central government

universal citizenship

the idea that everyone has the same basic rights by virtue of being born in a country (or by immigrating and becoming a naturalized citizen)


armed conflict between nations or politically distinct groups

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