109 terms

Comparative Government Chapter 1-3


Terms in this set (...)

political development
the processes by which modern nation-states develop, mature, and become legitimate
change from being a poor agrarian society to a rich industrial society
set of fundamental rules and institutions that govern political activity
regime in which the citizens are able to impact the compositions of their governments through regular and free electoral competition; provide citizens with rights of assembly, association, and expression
authoritarian regime
lacks structures that let citizens formally change their government
totalitarian regime
characterized by the state's complete control over all aspects of the citizen's life
regime change
when a country moves from being one type of regime to another
social revolutions, democratic transitions, and democratic breakdowns
3 reasons why regimes change
social revolutions
overthrow of the Shah in Iran in the late 1970s or the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917 or the American Revolution in 1776
democratic transition
occur when social movements rise up against authoritarian leaders who give way to popular movements for democracy; happened in Romania in 1989
democratic breakdown
occur when military leaders overthrow democratically elected governments by staging a coup; this happened in 1961 in Congo when Patrice Lumumba was overthrown and executed by the army
civil society
sphere of organized, nongovernmental, nonviolent activity by groups larger than individual families or firms
political economy
study of the interaction between political and economic phenomena
argument that provides a systematic explanation of some phenomena
most similar systems design
common approach of the comparative method that selects cases that are alike in a number of ways but differ on a key question under examination
most different systems design
common approach of the comparative method that looks at countries that differ in many ways but that are similar in terms of the particular political process or outcome in which the research is interested
rational choice theory
explanation for political behavior that assumes that individuals are rational beings who bring to the political arena a set of self-defined preferences and adequate knowledge and ability to purse those preferences
psychological theories
explanations for political behavior based on psychological analysis of political actors' motives
political culture
set of widely held attitudes, beliefs, and symbols about politics
political socialization
process through which people, especially young people, learn about politics and are taught a society's common political values and beliefs
theorists of political culture who believe that clear sets of attitudes, values, and beliefs can be identified in each country that change very rarely and explain much about politics there
set of values in a society in which most citizens are economically secure enough to move beyond immediate economic (materialist) concerns to "quality of life" issues like human rights, civil rights, women's rights, environmentalism, and moral values
systematic set of beliefs about how a political system ought to be structured; underlying philosophical justification for a set of governing institutions; establishes the idealized notions of how citizens and regimes interact and what social life is intended to produce
puts stress on the large political, economic and social structures that shape human behavior
perspective that argues that society is divided into various political groups and power is dispersed such that no single group dominates permanently
elite theory
argues that any society is effectively dominated by a small percentage of social elites
most famous sort of elite theory; argues that the economic system of a country determines how a political system works
structure political actions among citizens, implement and enforce laws that maximize public welfare, and monopolize the use of legitimate force in a given territory
territory, sovereignty, legitimacy, and bureaucracy
4 characteristics of modern states
area with clearly defined borders to which the state lays claim
legal recognition of a state by other governments
external and internal
2 types of sovereignty
external sovereignty
other countries recognize your state and treat it as an equal partner in the family of nations; the country has embassies in other countries and a seat in the UN; this is easy to achieve
internal sovereignty
means that the regime of the country is the only authority within the territory capable of making and enforcing laws; much harder to develop and sustain
recognized right to rule a society
traditional legitimacy
right to rule based on longstanding norms and practices
charismatic legitimacy
right to rule because of a person's personal characteristics
rational-legal legitimacy
right of leaders selected by established formal institutions to command a society; example: our congress or a state governor
administrative organizations of a state that carry out laws, collect revenues, and implement public policies
political system in which a small number of political elites (nobles and kings) shifted alliances and dominated the lives of ordinary citizens
Peace of Westphalia
new order of nation-states after the Thirty Years War that codified the idea of states and compelled states to recognize each others' internal and external sovereignty; as a result states had to work to develop internal sovereignty and legitimacy
ideology in which people imagine themselves to share a common culture or sense of historical destiny and is attached to some territory
weak states
states that are generally bad at providing basic services and political goods to citizens; function and manage to retain territorial control but are generally beset by problems of corruption, political fragmentation, and highly personalized politics
failed states
countries in which the state is so weak that it loses control of internal sovereignty in at least parts of its territory; often characterized by a lack of legitimacy for a formal government, high degrees of corruption and bureaucratic incompetence, and immense economic under development
constituent member of a formal political community or state
positive rights
a right to do things
negative rights
a right to be free of things
civil rights
guarantee individual liberty and equal treatment for all citizens by the state
political rights
assurances that citizens will have the ability to participate in the structure of their governing institutions
social rights
rights that assure citizens of the provision of social equity
social capital
arises from the actions of civil society; reserve of social networks in a society that help cultivate norms of reciprocity and trust
ideology based on the idea that material needs motivate the historical changes we observe in politics and economics
historical materialism
assumption that material forces are the prime movers of history and politics; key philosophical tenet of Marxism
Karl Marx
philosopher most commonly associated with development of modern notions of communist thought
common ownership of means of production and equal distribution of resources
dictatorship of the proletariat
absolute rule by workers intent on implementing the socialist plan
vanguard party
group of communist revolutionaries who could "speak" for the workers
system of representation in which one organization represents each important sector of society; two subtypes are societal and state corporatism
modernizing authoritarianism
ideology in post colonial states that bases its legitimacy on the promise that it will provide economic development; in exchange for this, citizens acquiesce this regime headed by an educated elite who possesses technocratic legitimacy
technocratic legitimacy
claim to rule based on knowledge or expertise
one-party regimes
single party wields authority in the name of national unity
military regimes
authority is wielded by military officers, often in the name of providing stability, eliminating corruption, or reducing internal conflicts
bureaucratic-authoritarian regimes
type of military rule where economic development is the principal goal
personalist regimes
government where authority is vested in the cult of personality of a single ruler
neopatrimonial regime
authority is maintained by a weak ruler through the provision of welfare benefits to well-connected elites
semi-authoritarian regimes
allow for elections and may even let opposition parties exist with minimal harassment but the system is rigged in such a way as to ensure that the ruling elite continue to dominate power
rule by religious leadership; Iran and the Vatican are the two preeminent examples
process by which human communities make collective decisions
comparative politics
one of the major subfields of political science, in which the primary focus is on comparing power and decision making across countries
political science
systematic study of politics and power
first dimension of power
ability to get one person or group to get another person or group to do something it otherwise would not do
second dimension of power
ability not only to make people do something but to keep them from doing something
third dimension of power
ability to shape or determine individual group political demands by causing people to think about political issues in ways that are contrary to their own interests
international relations
study of politics among national governments and beyond national boundaries
empirical theory
argument explaining what actually occurs; first notice and describe a pattern and then attempt to explain what causes it
normative theory
argument explaining what ought to occur rather than what does occur
research methods
systematic processes used to ensure that the study of some phenomena is as objective and unbiased as possible
single case study
research method that examines a particular political phenomenon in just one country or community and can generate ideas for theories or test theories developed from different cases
comparative method
the means by which scholars try to mimic lab conditions by careful selections of cases
quantitative statistical techniques
research method used for large scale studies that reduces evidence to sets of numbers so that statistical analysis can systematically compare a huge number of cases
political actor
any person or group engaged in political behavior
classification of some set of phenomena into distinct types for purposes of analysis
civic culture
political culture in which citizens hold values and beliefs that support democracy, including participation in politics but also enough deference to the leadership to let it govern effectively
groups that hold partially different beliefs and values from the main political culture of a country
political discourse
ways in which people speak and write about politics; influences political attitudes, identity, and actions
ideological hegemony
the ruling class's ability to spread a set of ideas justifying and perpetuating its political dominance
social classes
in Marxist theory, groups of people with the same relationship to the means of production; more generally, groups of people with similar occupations, wealth, or income
the class that owns capital; according to Marxism, the ruling elite in all capitalist societies
a term in Marxist theory for the class of free-wage laborers who own no capital and must sell their labor to survive; communist parties claim to work on the proletariat's behalf
an approach to explaining politics that argues that political institutions are crucial to understanding political political behavior
political institution
set of rules, norms, or standard operating procedures that is widely recognized and accepted by the society, structures and constrains political actions, and often serves as the basis for key political organizations
historical institutionalists
theorists who believe that institutions explain political behavior and shape individuals' political preferences and shape their perceptions of their self-interests, and that institutions evolve historically in particular countries and change relatively slowly
patron-client relationships
top leaders (patrons) mobilize political support by providing resources to their followers (clients) in exchange for political loyalty
ruling class
an elite who posses adequate resources to control a regime; in Marxist theory, the class that controls key sources of wealth in a given epoch
relationship between postcolonial societies and their former colonizers in which leaders benefit politically and economically by helping outside businesses and state maintain access to the former colonies' wealth and come to serve the interests of the former colonizers and corporations more than they serve their own people
strong state
state that is generally capable of providing adequate political goods to its citizens
resource curse
occurs when a state relies on a key resource for almost all of its revenue, allowing it to ignore its citizens and resulting in weak state
states that have legal sovereignty and international recognition but lack almost all the domestic attributes of a functioning state
the exchange of material resources for political support
social contract theory
philosophical approach underlying liberalism that begins from the premise that legitimate governments are formed when free and independent individuals join in a contract to permit representatives to govern over them in their common interests
liberal democracy
system of government that provides eight key guarantees, including freedoms to enable citizen participation in the political process and institutions that make government policies depend on votes and other forms of citizen preferences
social democracy
combines liberal democracy with much greater provision of social rights of citizenship and typically greater public control of the economy
participatory democracy
a form of democracy that encourages citizens to participate actively, in many ways beyond voting; usually focused at the local level
parliamentary sovereignty
Parliament is supreme in all matters; key example is the UK
mode of production
in Marxist theory, the economic system in any given historical era; feudalism and capitalism in the last millennium of Europe
legislative bodies in the Communist regime of the Soviet Union
the chief decision-making organ in a communist party
the belief that Islamic law, as revealed by God to the Prophet Mohammed, can and should provide the basis for government in Muslim communities with little equivocation or compromise
Muslim law