AP Comparative Government Fundamental Concepts
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Terms in this set (182)
empirical or positive question
The first type of question - how do things actually happen? - is known as a factual question, ___________. The answer to such a question tells us the way things actually are.
The second type of question asked by political scientists - how should things happen? - is known as a ______________. The answer to this type of question is subjective, value-laden, and open to debate.
The system and the rules and laws in place in a particular territory at a particular time.
The people in charge of a territory at a given time. Note: This term is also used to describe the prime minister and the cabinet in a parliamentary system. When used in this way, Government is often capitalized.
The process of making collective decisions. _______ takes many forms. The concept encompasses what is done within the formal governmental and political structures of a society, but also informal interactions as well.
The ability to make others do something they might not otherwise have done.
Similar to power, but with at least a claim of legitimacy.
_______ is the generally held belief, within a society, that a government has the right to rule or exercise power.
sources of legitimacy
1. Charisma of a leader
2. Belief systems, ideologies, and founding myths
3. Tradition (including monarchy and birthright)
7. Rule of law and/or rational legal authority
8. Competitive elections
9. Distinct aspects of a country's political culture
a large group of people, with ties to a particular piece of land or area, who share a unified identity based in a shared culture, history, and language. Normally, the term nation is only used when such groups have or desire a government of their own.
The territory (or one of the territories) under the control of a government. The concept of _____ includes the idea that control is exercised by some degree of force. While a _____ may consist of only a single nation, many ___s rule over two or more nations.
A nation which has its own government.
A _____ is any type of structure that allows buyers and sellers to exchange goods, services,and information. For a true _____ to exist there must be competition. In recent decades, most political and governmental systems around the world have moved toward allowing freer _____s.
_____ is made up of the voluntary organizations that form the basis of a functioning society. Social organizations, religious organizations, charities, civic groups, and other voluntary organizations are part of _______.
_______ does not include the structures
of the state, which are backed up by force, nor does it include the economic structures of society that form the market. The success of a _______ rests on social norms that lead to cooperation within and among groups, such as belief in the rule of law, respect for others, and honest and reliable performance of duties. Such social norms are the social capital of a society. If a society has few widely respected social norms of this type, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to establish a well-functioning ________. Well-functioning ___________s
are often seen as necessary to establish a well-functioning liberal democracy.
In a basic sense, ____________ can be defined as having independent legal authority over a particular territory, and the legitimate power to rule and make laws for
A ______ is a division in a society that
causes people within that society to support different sides of an issue, support a particular political party, or vote differently.
sources of cleavages
1. Wealth (Rich vs. Poor)
2. Region (Urban vs. Rural, Center vs. Periphery)
3. Religion (Catholics vs. Protestants, Christians vs. Muslims, Religious vs. Secular voters)
4. Level of education (University graduates vs. High school graduates)
when membership in a particular segment of society correlates with membership in another segment of society. For example, membership in a particular ethnic group tends to correlate with membership in a particular social class.
__________ exist when membership in one segment of society does not correlate with membership in another segment of society. For example, membership in a particular ethnic group does not tend to correlate with membership in a particular social class.
Social movements and interest groups
_______________ arise when a segment of society feels strongly about a particular cause. These causes may include environmental issues, concerns over women's or minority rights, concerns over globalization, or just about any other political issue imaginable. Social movements are usually informal in nature, but may lead to the creation of
more formal interest groups. ______________ often arise along
cleavages in a society, and can have a great deal of influence on political events if the governmental and political system in place allows.
_________ is the ideas one holds about politics.
_________________ describes the way a nation or other group of people approaches issues of government and politics. A strong consensual political culture, for example, can help develop
and maintain a similar political orientation across a wide political spectrum.
_________ is the process by which people get their ideas about politics (political
orientation), and about government as well. The process of __________occurs through interactions between people and agents of political socialization, and includes the passing down of political ideas from one generation to the next.
Agents of political socialization
__________ vary from society to society, but always include some of the following:
3. Race or Ethnicity
4. Economic or Social Class
10. Political Parties
11. Interest Groups
13. Trade Unions
_______ describes any means used by people to express their opinions, and perhaps influence political events and/or government actions. The means and methods available vary from country to country, but some are available regardless of the political regime in place or country involved.
examples of political participation
a. Coup d'etats, revolutions, resistance movements, and political violence
b. Protests, demonstrations, rallies, boycotts and strikes
c. Civil disobedience
d. Petitioning government (including town hall meetings, letters, emails, phone calls, etc.)
e. Forming interest groups, joining social movements, non-governmental organizations (NGO), citizens' policy meetings, etc.
f. Joining political parties
g. Standing for political office
___________ is the number of eligible voters who actually vote in an election. It can be expressed as either a raw number, or as a percentage. In countries which use electoral systems to choose government officials, it can be helpful to look at level of _______ to determine how satisfied the people are with the current system. However, you must always be aware
that _______ can sometimes be coerced, and at other times governments may inflate the numbers to increase their apparent legitimacy.
____________ is a measure of the social and economic progress of countries.
Increases in ___________ are often indicated by factors such as an increase in the use of new technologies - a move from an agricultural society to an industrial society for instance - and rising living standards.
A __________ is a set of ethical principles that helps provide an outline of the proper ordering of society, and explains how society should work.
advocates a political system in which all property is held in common, usually by the state.
advocates a political system in which the means of production and distribution are held in common, usually by the state.
advocates a political system in which the individual is autonomous, civil liberties are respected, and rapid progress is encouraged.
advocates a political system in which traditional institutions are respected and maintained, while allowing for slow and minimal change.
advocates a political system in which the nation or a race is seen as most important, not the individual or even the people as a collective.
Functions of Political Parties
1 Articulating ideology
2 Recruiting leaders
3 Staffing the government bureaucracy
4 Proposing, forming, and shaping policy
5 Connecting people to government
6 Mobilizing citizens
7 Aggregating interests
8 Engaging in political socialization and educating the public
In a ____________, competitive elections are held and the results are likely representative of the political views of the population. Peaceful transitions from one government to the next are also an important aspect of _______________ies.
In a _____________, elections are held, and the institutions and processes of elected government appear to be in place, but for any number of possible reasons, including electoral fraud and excessive vetting of candidates prior to the election, the results of those elections may not be reflective of the political views of the population.
In a ______________, free, fair and competitive elections are
held, and political liberties such as free speech and press are respected.
1 Free, fair, and competitive elections
2 Large scale disenfranchisement is not a.problem
3 Civil liberties and/or human rights are protected
4 Strong independent judiciaries
5 Large, strong civil societies
In an _______, elections are not free, fair, or competitive, and/or political liberties such as free speech and press are not respected.
1 Elections without protections of civil liberties and/or human rights
2 A lack of independent judiciaries
3 Small or weak civil societies
4 Large-scale disenfranchisement, often along racial or ethnic cleavages
the term _____ refers to any movements in a society toward free, fair, and competitive elections of policy makers that reflect the collective will of the society. These movements need not result in a true substantive, liberal democracy to qualify as
_______ is also present when a system transforms in a way that moves it from being an illiberal democracy to more of a liberal democracy.
_____ is fully achieved when a country's system meets all the requirements of both a substantive democracy and a liberal
______ is the manipulation of electoral district boundaries for political purposes.
In a ______, all power ultimately rests in the hands of the central government. Any power exercised by sub-national governments (e.g., state, provincial, or city governments) exists because it was granted by the central government.
In a ________, there is some power that does not ultimately rest in the hands of the central government and such power may not be taken away by the central government through normal law making procedures. Instead, in ______, the power of the sub-national governments is guaranteed in the constitution and only by amending that document can the powers of the sub-national governments be altered or taken away.
In _____, the ministers of Government who hold executive power are chosen from within the legislature and are accountable to it. There is no clear separation of executive
and legislative functions in such a system. The head of government - often called the prime minister, premier, chancellor, or some other similar term - is a member of the legislature as well, and is usually the head of the majority party in parliament.
In many presidential systems, including that of the United States, elections are held on regular schedules. In parliamentary systems, this is rarely the case. Instead, there is usually a maximum term between elections of the legislature, but no minimum. Elections occur on irregular election cycles, and are usually" called" by the prime minister at some point prior to the deadline.
votes of confidence
In many parliamentary systems, _____, sometimes called "no confidence" votes, are the means of removing the prime minister and the cabinet from power. In essence, a majority vote of "no confidence" removes the current government from power and sets in motion the procedures to put another government in place.
In_______, the executive power is held in a separate branch of government from the legislative and judicial powers. This executive branch is usually led by a single president, hence the name. Under normal circumstances, the executive is not accountable to, nor removable by, the legislature. Votes of confidence are not part of presidential systems. As a result of this separation of executive and legislative powers, presidential systems are often slow to act, lack party discipline in the legislative branch, and are prone to political "gridlock."
Impeachment vs. Confidence Votes
In parliamentary systems, Governments and prime ministers are usually removed through confidence votes or internal actions of the ruling party, while in presidential systems, impeachment is the usual means of removing the executive administration. While there are many differences between these two approaches to government, one of the most important to keep in mind is that confidence votes normally require only a simple majority of the lower house to topple a government, while impeachment often requires that the president first be accused of violating a law (the literal impeachment), and then that a super-majority of the
legislature, or some other body, vote to remove the president.
unicameral legislature vs. bicameral legislature
A unicameral legislature consists of one chamber or house, while a bicameral legislature consists of two chambers. Federal systems of government often have bicameral legislatures, while unitary systems of government often have unicameral legislatures. In federal systems with bicameral legislatures, the lower house usually represents the people directly, while the upper house represents regional concerns. This is the basis for the bicameral systems in the United States, Mexico, and Russia, for example.
In general, _________s display a high degree of specialization of functions, as well as fixed rules and a rigid hierarchy. _____ is a part of nearly all governmental systems regardless of size, but is particularly crucial in implementing policy in authoritarian systems led by a single party. In such systems, members of the ______ are usually drawn from party members, and are accountable to the party leadership.
the distribution of material benefits to supporters in return for loyalty
A _______ is a vote on an issue referred to an electorate by the
government. The result may lead to new laws or may in some cases amend the constitution.
advantages of holding referendums
The advantages of holding referendums include the following:
1. The government can avoid responsibility for the policy implemented through a referendum, shifting accountability to the people.
2. If, as is often the case, the executive has the power to call a referendum, it allows the executive to bypass the legislature. Although this is only true if the executive branch has the power to call referendums unfettered by the legislature.
3. The government can claim it is acting democratically by putting the issue to a vote of the people.
4. Calling for a referendum on an issue, and actually holding a vote, can force a decision on an issue and shut off debate. This can be very important to a government if it is using up valuable political capital debating an issue that is important to the public,
but not a major part of the government's agenda.
5. Calling for a referendum on an issue can lead to greater legitimacy for the policy if the referendum succeeds and the policy is ultimately implemented.
A government is being transparent when it allows the public to see and understand what it is doing and why. No government acts in a completely transparent manner. Many display little transparency at all.
Here are some examples of the types of government actions that indicate transparency.
1. Providing accurate political and economic information to the public
2. Allowing information about government policies to be freely disseminated
3. Allowing citizens numerous avenues to gain information about the government and its actions
4. Allowing information about the government to flow freely, including information that could be damaging to the government, with little or no censorship
5. Allowing independent media to operate free from government control
6. Providing open government proceedings, including courts, legislative sessions, and government hearings
7. Publishing the workings of the government, including laws, rules, budgets, and officials' salaries
8. Choosing leaders in an open way, without secrecy
An _____ is one that is not subject to the coercion of other parts of the government.
Coercive Governmental Structures
No matter which type of governmental system is in place, all governments exercise their power through the use of force from time to time. The coercive governmental structures used can range from the military or secret police, to regular police and a penal system. In many countries, these coercive forces are used to suppress opposition to the government. While in others, they mostly serve to protect against crime and civil unrest., In authoritarian systems, the use of coercive force to suppress opposition to the government is common. Torture, imprisonment without a fair trial, and summary executions of oppositions forces are frequently used to maintain control in such systems.
In _____, certain interest groups within society have a special relationship with the government. These key interest groups have a "seat at the table" in return for their cooperation in the creation and implementation of government policies.
In _______, interest groups compete, rather than cooperate, for influence over government. ______ are based on the idea that all individuals, political parties, and interest groups have roughly equal access and ability to influence government policy, and
that the government is neutral in its treatment of interest groups. In theory, so long as all interest groups feel they have access to the political process and are being heard, such systems will remain stable.
A system of government under which a deity is seen as
the supreme ruler, or the entity in which ultimate sovereignty rests.
An ____ is one led by a leader, or a small group of leaders, who has complete authority and is unaccountable to the population. While ________s can develop following elections, as was seen in Nazi Germany in the 20th century, more often _______s arise following coups and revolutions. Many ___________s are ruled by military leaders.
A ___________ has governmental policies that provide a "social safety net" by directly or indirectly providing pensions, health care, unemployment insurance, and assistance to the poor and others in need. _________ may also redistribute
wealth to provide for the needs of the public.
Welfare state systems may have some, or all, of the following policies in place:
1. Government funded poverty relief
2. Government mandated unemployment benefits
3. Government mandated maternity leave and/or paternity leave
4. Government subsidized housing
5. Free job training provided by law
6. Government mandated disability insurance
7. Government subsidized or free university tuition
8. Government mandated retirement benefits or pensions
9. Government funded programs for the homeless
_______ often have many of the following characteristics in common:
1. Central planning of all major economic decisions
2. Fixed or government set prices for goods and services
3. Government control of distribution and production of most, if not all, goods in the economy
4. Government control of employment and wages
5. Government ownership of most economic resources
6. Government ownership of all property, or few private property rights, if any
7. Government determined production levels and production quotas
8. Government created economic "plans" (e.g., 3-year plans, 5-year plans, etc.)
9. Small degree of income inequality for the vast majority of the population
10. Little freedom of choice in economic matters, including occupations, jobs, and housing
________ often have many of the following characteristics in common:
1. The law of supply and demand, rather than the government, allocates most resources
2. Private property is largely respected
3. Significant income and wage inequality can be found across a large portion of the society
4. Economic booms and busts (i.e., the business cycle)
5. Persistent unemployment, although the rate of unemployment varies over time
6. Focus is on the profits of businesses
7. Population has significant freedom of choice in occupations, jobs, housing, etc.
8. Competition is expected between workers and between businesses
_________ is the process through which the countries of the world are becoming more interconnected in the economic, political, and social realms. Many believe that technology is
driving _____, although other factors may contribute as well. The increased reliance on market economies seen all around the world, the ratification of numerous free trade agreements, and the increasing importance of supranational organizations, such as the European Union (EU), have also played a role.
Today, groups ranging from the World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO), and International Monetary Fund (IMF), to the European Union play an important role in world governance. These organizations all have some authority to enforce multilateral agreements on a wide range of issues. At times, member and non-member states have claimed that these organizations infringed upon the sovereignty of nation-states. These organizations can have a significant effect on any number of domestic political issues within member states, including environmental, taxation, and monetary policies. The current standoff in the United Nations over the development of nuclear technology in Iran is but one example of a country claiming that a supranational organization is infringing on its national sovereignty.
The United Nations
When it was formed in 1945, the United Nations' main mission was to prevent World War III. Since its founding, the primary structure within the United Nations for achieving this goal
has been the UN Security Council. The Security Council consists of five permanent members, and ten members who hold their seats on a rotating basis. The five permanent members of the Security Council are the five victorious powers from World War II: The People's Republic of China, France, the Russian Federation, The United Kingdom, and the United States. These powers are also the only countries that are recognized as nuclear weapons powers under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NNPT).
Causation vs. Correlation
Causation, means that one event caused another. In other words, a certain event, let's call it X, led to or is responsible for a second event, Y. Correlation, on the other hand, simply means that two events are associated. That is, they are often, or even always, seen at the same time. While correlation between two events may hint at causation, it does not prove a cause and effect relationship. For example, two events that occur at the same time may both be caused by a third event. In addition, even if there is a cause and effect relationship between two events, correlation alone cannot tell us which event is the cause and which is the effect.
The total number of people who live in a particular territory.
Total population is one indicator of a country's global and regional importance. It is no surprise that all six countries covered in this course are among the 25 most populous countries on earth.
Population Growth Rate
The change in population over time.
The rate of population growth often slows as countries become more developed. However, other factors including war, famine, and disease may also slow or even reverse population growth. It is also important to remember that population growth can be affected by factors other than birthrates or fertility rates. Net positive immigration, for example, may be an important factor in the population growth of some countries.
The number of childbirths per 1,000 people per year. Decreasing birthrates are often a sign of economic development.
The number of deaths per 1,000 people per year
Decreasing death rates are a sign of economic development.
Infant Mortality Rate
The number of deaths of children one year of age or younger per 1,000 live births. Decreasing infant mortality rates are a sign of economic development.
Life Expectancy at Birth
The expected number of years of life remaining at the time of birth for a given population. Increasing life expectancy at birth is a sign of economic development.
The average number of children that would be born per woman if
all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore
children according to a given fertility rate at each age. Decreasing fertility rates are often a sign of economic development.
The ratio of men to women in a population. An unusual imbalance in the sex ratio of a society is often an indication that war or disease has had a greater impact on one sex in a society than the other. Such an imbalance may also be an indication
that members of the society have chosen to undergo sex-selection abortions. Sex may also be an important cleavage within a society.
Population Breakdown by Age
The distribution of a population by age. For example, the percentages of a population aged 0-14, 15-49, and 49 and over. An older, or aging, population is often a sign of economic development. Age may also be an important cleavage within a society.
Population Breakdown by Race or Ethnicity
The distribution of a population based on ethnic or racial classifications. Examinations of the racial or ethnic distributions within a country may provide insights into political cleavages within that society.
Population Breakdown by Religion
The distribution of a population based on religious classifications. Examinations of the religious distribution within a country may provide insights into political cleavages within that society.
The percentage of a population that lives in urban areas. Heavily urbanized societies are often more economically developed. This data may also be useful in analyzing
an urban/rural cleavage within a society
Rate of Urbanization
The percentage change in the population that lives in urban areas over a given time.Rapid urbanization is often an indication of economic development. This data may also be useful in analyzing the growth of an urban/rural cleavage within a society.
The difference between the number of immigrants to a territory and the emigrants from that same territory. A positive value indicates a net inflow of people; a negative number indicates a net outflow.
School Life Expectancy
The number of likely years of schooling for a child within a given society. Be aware that this figure is of limited use in making international comparisons because it does not take into account the content covered in those years of schooling. Higher numbers tend to indicate that a country is economically developed.
The percentage of people who can read and write at a particular age. (There is no universal definition of what it means to be able to read and write). Higher literacy rates tend to indicate a higher degree of economic development.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year. Higher levels of GDP often mean more power in world affairs.
GDP per capita
GDP divided by total population.
GDP real growth rate
The percentage change in GDP over a given period adjusted for inflation.
GDP by economic sector
The distribution of a country's GDP by economic sector. For example, the percentages of a country's GDP derived from agriculture, industry, and services. Countries with large service sectors are usually the most developed. Those with large industrial sectors usually come next. Those with large agricultural sectors are usually the least developed.
The percentage of the population, that is willing and able to work, but does not have a job.
A measure of income or wealth inequality within a society. Lower values indicate less income inequality while higher values indicate greater income inequality.
The distribution of land between various uses. Often land use is split between arable land, permanent crops and other uses. Can indicate level of economic development. However, simple rules are difficult to create. For instance, a high percentage of agricultural land often indicates a country is still developing. However, some developed
countries have a significant, portion of their land growing crops as well.
the concept that government officials are responsible to, and may be removed from office by, their constituents or other government officials.
a system of government in which one person has unlimited power.
Head of Government
usually the person in charge of the executive power.
Head of State
the representative of a country to the world. A largely ceremonial position in many systems.
the privileges a government grants its supporters.
movements toward greater individual liberty or greater use of free markets.
describes a society in which a large portion of the economy is engaged in providing services rather than industrial or agricultural production.
the study of political systems and political behavior.
the range of political beliefs in a society.
a governmental and political system in which the government lets market forces, for the most part, control.
a regional or local government.
having to do with religion.
evaluating for possible approval or acceptance.
a state that regularly derives a substantial portion of its revenues from payments by foreign concerns in the form of rent.
"Rubber Stamp" Legislature
a legislature which uses little or no independent judgment when approving proposed legislation.
having to do with worldly rather than religious concerns.
a country that has recently moved significantly toward an industrial economy, and, as a result, has seen a significant rise in its standard of living.
the relationships seen in systems of clientelism, in which governments hand out privileges to supporters.
politics based on membership in a particular interest group or segment of society rather than individualized self-interest.
the process by which a government under a unitary system transfers power to sub-national governments.
describes the power of government officials derived from their political popularity.
Human Development Index
a statistical measure of the development of a society based on levels of health, education, and standard of living.
the manipulation of electoral district boundaries for political purposes.
loyalty to and love of one's nation. Nationalism is often displayed by those who live within nation-states, as well as by those who desire to.
rights of political participation such as voting, lobbying, and protesting
a system in which more than two parties vie for real power within the political structure.
the process of moving from an agricultural society to an industrial society.
a set of fundamental laws, usually found in a single document, which layout the powers and structures of a government, as well as the relationship between the government and the people.
the political tactic of winning over opponents by assimilating some of their positions into your own.
the forceful removal of a government, often by the military.
a Latin term meaning in fact. Often used in politics to describe situations in which political realities differ from those required by law
a Latin term meaning in or by law. Often used in politics to describe situations in which political realities differ from those required by law.
voters as a group.
movements in a society towards free, fair, and competitive elections of policy makers.
the system by which voters choose their representatives.
a council of high-ranking government officials, wielding at least some of the executive power of government. Members often serve as advisers to a president or a prime minister.
the practice of exchanging public resources for votes, and political support. Often seen in corporatist systems, although its existence is not limited to such systems.
Civil Law (also known as Code Law)
a system of laws in which only legislative acts, and properly executed regulations, have the force of law. Judicial precedents rarely, if ever, have the force of law in these systems.
a system of laws created through judicial precedents rather than legislative or executive actions. In common law systems, judicial precedents have the force of law, unless a specific legislative act, or executive regulation, is passed that supersedes these precedents.
a society in which most economic production comes from agriculture.
the process of bringing individual property and resources under communal control. Normally seen in communist systems.
the intentional breaking of laws with the intention of exposing those laws' lack of fairness or justice.
rule by the few.
are crops that need not be replanted after each harvest, such as coffee, olives, rubber, apples and oranges
an informal agreement among a government and important interest groups, in response to the interest groups' concerns about government policy or program benefits.
the inability to reach political consensus.
the process through which citizens of a country are chosen to be involved in politics.
the actions of a state regarding a particular issue.
a system in which groups compete for influence and power.
a largely outdated term used to describe countries with low standards of living.
a vote by an electorate on an issue referred to it by the government.
a largely outdated term used to describe countries that have not fully industrialized.
Welfare State System
a governmental system under which the government directly or indirectly provides pensions, healthcare, unemployment insurance, and assistance to the poor and others in need.
a way to describe the degree of participation of eligible voters in an election. Can be described as a raw number or as a percentage.
the power to reject a piece of legislation.
Right to Self-Determination
the concept that nations have a right to choose which government will exercise sovereignty over them.
organizations consisting of a number of sovereign states.
a society with an economy based in the production of machine-made goods.
describes a society in which mechanized production of goods is common.
a country with an industrial or post-industrial economy and a high standard of living.
a country with a an economy that has yet to fully industrialize.
members of a bureaucracy who are chosen for their jobs through a process other than political appointment, and who may enjoy other legal protections from political influence as well.
the measure of the social and economic progress of countries.
land that is suitable for raising crops. It need not be cultivated to count as arable land
in some political systems it is possible for voters to choose a candidate whose name does not appear on the ballot. Such candidates are known as write-in candidates.
votes cast that do not influence the outcome of an election.
a system that seeks to forcibly control all fundamental aspects of state, society, and the economy.
a legal limit on the number of terms a person may serve in a particular elected office.
owned by a government.
a political ideology that advocates a political system in which the means of production and distribution are held in common usually by the state.
a segment of society grouped together based on economic level or hereditary status.
the social norms that lead to cooperation within and among groups in a society.
a political system with a dual executive, usually a president and prime minister.
a governmental system that does not have a monarch.
describes a system of government in which the president wields extraordinary power and the legislative and judicial branches of government are subordinate to the president.
an organization created to get and maintain power, usually within a government.
the ability of a court to hear a case at trial rather than having to wait to hear the case only on appeal after another court has heard the original trial. Original jurisdiction is usually the province of lower courts in tiered systems, but is sometimes granted to higher courts.
a political ideology that advocates individual autonomy, respect for civil liberties, and rapid progress.
the concept frequently found in presidential systems that the three branches of government are equal in power to each other, with no branch superior to the other two.
individual rights such as the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, right to a fair trial.
"Big Tent" Parties
political parties that seek to build large coalitions across the cleavages within their society.
an opinion of a court that does not decide a specific legal case, but instead simply advises other parts of the government on the proper interpretation of the constitution, a law, or regulation.
the formal abandonment of one's religion.
the process of allocating power to a set of constituencies.
the ability of a court to hear an appeal of a case, usually from a lower court.
Ethnic Group (Ethnicity
a group of people who identify with each other due to a shared culture and/or language.
the power to execute or enforce laws.
a governmental system in which the power of a monarch is limited.
rule by the people.
the power to make laws.
groups of people organized to support a particular cause.
the power to interpret the laws.
of or having to do with, governors.
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