84 terms

AP Comparative Government UK and EU


Terms in this set (...)

Magna Carta
This document was signed by King John in 1215. It was the first document that limited the power of the government.
Industrial Revolution
Mid 18th century onward - this revolution involved rapid expansion of manufacturing production and technological innovation. Revolution led to monumental social and economic transformations and created pressures for democratization. Creates a new social class. Rise of trade union.
First nation to industrialize.
Reform Act of 1832
was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of the United Kingdom.
Importance of Magna Carta
Split power between monarch and group of people. Idea that noble class had power.
Can't impose taxes without nobility agreeing.
Gives rights to small percent of people.
A policy which involves taking slow, measured actions
-a policy of slow reform rather than sudden change or revolution
- Process by which democratization and legitimacy of the regime has happened over a long period of time
- approach to democracy is relative gradualism
not really in fits and starts, it is gradual
Glorious Revolution
Bloodless change of regime.
1688 - Constitutional Monarchy: Parliament replaces the King.
Establish the supremacy of Parliament.
Kings and queens given a set of rules. No written constitutions.
Parliament act of 1911
Gave full power to house of Commons.
Reduced power of House of Lords. Now unicameral. House of lords, has very little power but tradition is important. House of Lords and House of Commons = (fake) bicameral
Third Way
Under Blair. Modernized the Labour party.
New Labour
Westminster Model
British system of parliamentary sovereignty, prime minister, and two parties alternating in power
House of Commons
Lower house of Parliament
Exercises the main legislative power in Britain
3 Main functions of House of Commons
1.To pass laws.
2. To provide finances for the state by authorizing taxation.
3. To review and scrutinize public administration and government policy.
House of Lords
Upper house of Parliament.
Unelected body - heredity peers, life peers, law lords.
Served as final court for civil cases and criminal cases.
Has the authority to amend and delay legislation.
10 Downing Street
Prime Ministers official residence.
Life Peers
- Part of the House of Lords.
- Appointed for their lifetime only, these Lords' titles are not passed on to their children.
- The Queen formally appoints life Peers on the advice and recommendation of the Prime Minister.
Members of parliament of the governing party who has no governmental office and rank.
Non departmental public bodies.
Have policy influence - considerable administrative and political advantages.
Responsibility for specific functions and can combine governmental and private sector enterprise.
Typically in govt for: funding, function and appointment of staff.
Mixed economies
Mixture of government involvement and public involvement.
There is no pure lasiezz faire.
Public enterprises or Para statal enterprises
partially state owned.
- under Thatcher in the 70's
- violence first erupted but Thatcher stuck to it because change was needed.
Inequalities were present because of this.
Occurred in Great Britain right after WWII
Thatcher reversed this.
4 Political Cleavages (Divisions)
1. Regional
2. Ethnic
3. Class
4. Gender
Regional Cleavage
Northern Ireland
This region wants freedom and independence.
Poorest Region in the UK
Do not want to be independent because they get benefits from being part of the UK.
Northern Ireland Conflict
Whether Northern Ireland should remain part of the UK, or be part of Ireland
Conflict between Unionists (mainly protestants) insisted on union with the UK
VS. Catholic Republicans - want an independent and unified Irish Republic
Irish Republic Army
Started in 1968, more like a terroist group.
Sinn Fein, political party of IRA
Sinn Fien
Political party of IRA
Irish Republic Army
Good Friday Peace Agreement
1998 - Tony Blair was prime minister
- Allowed the NI citizens to pull out of the UK if they wanted to, there would be referendums in order to vote and do so.
- Gave them Northern Irish Assembly - a legislative body that is separate from the house of commons. Giving them devolution.
- allowed for citizens who live in NI can opt to be either Irish or British.
- Asking Republic of Ireland to stay out of this. Let the people decide.
- Vote for the Northern Irish Assembly. 5 MP that are part of the Sinn Fein Party. Do not participate in House of Commons, they choose not to as a way to protest.
Unrest. These groups cause a divide.
Little say in government.
Very few are represented in Parliament.
Have issues becoming part of the society.
Political parties are going to aim for their votes, most of these non - regional ethnic groups are going to vote for Labor. Labor is going to go after their votes.
Prior to WWII you could trace who you were going to vote for through your class.
Typically: Conservative = upper class.
Labor = lower class.
Women are not represented in society based on the number of women in society today.
Economically and politically gender is a divide.
First - past the post
An electoral system in which individual candidates compete in single-member districts; voters choose between candidates, and the candidate with the largest share of vote wins the seat
- a winner take all system
Single Member Districts
an electoral district in which voters choose one representative or official (not voting for more than one person for any position)
Margaret Thatcher
- Leader of conservatives in Great Britain who came to power.
- Pledged to limit social welfare, restrict union power, and end inflation.
- Improved the British economic situation.
- Dominated British politics in 1980s, and her government tried to replace local property taxes with a flat-rate tax payable by every adult.
- Popularity fell, and resigned.
Tony Blair
British prime minister since 1997 and architect of "New Labour".
Gordon Brown
was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party. Brown became Prime Minister in June 2007, after the resignation of Tony Blair and three days after becoming leader of the governing Labour Party.
Nick Clegg
Leader of the Liberal Democrats since 2007.
His party is underrepresented in Parliament compared to the number of votes they received, deputy prime minister to Cameron currently.
David Cameron
Current Prime Minister of the UK. Elected in 2010.
Modernizing, reached out beyond traditional core values.
More centerist party, agreed with many of Blair's new Labour policies.
Ed Miliband
Current Leader of the Labour Party and serves as opposition to the majority party.
Shadow Prime Minister
Welfare State
The government offers programs to protect citizens against economic risks and uncertainties at some or all stages of their lives.
Used to describe government policies that aim to reduce state regulation and promote competition among business firms within the market.
Policies include:
- Reducing trade barriers
- Balancing government budgets
- Reducing social spending
- promote free competition among firms.
- to interfere with companies as little as possible.
the belief that the government must manage the economy by spending more
money when in a recession
and cutting spending when there is inflation.( price of goods are going up = inflation or value of money is going down)
Collectivist Consensus
To describe a consensus that drove politics into the harmonious post war period when a significant number of Britons and all other political parties agreed that the state should take expanded responsibility for economic governance and provide for the social welfare in the broadest terms.
Prime Minister
After a general election - king of queen invites the leader of the party that emerges from the election with control of a majority of seats in the Commons to form a government.
Selects about 24 ministers to form the Cabinet.
The Cabinet
Responsible for formulating policy to be placed before Parliament.
Supreme controlling and directing body of the entire executive branch.
Parliamentary Democracy
System of government in which the chief executive is answerable to the legislature and may be dismissed by it
Stands in contrast to a presidential system, in which the chief executive is elected in a national ballot and is independent of the legislative branch
government ruled democratically by a national representative body that has supreme legislative powers
System of government in which the chief executive is answerable to the legislature and may be dismissed by it. Parliamentary democracy stands in contrast to a presidential system, in which the chief executive is elected in a national ballot and is independent of the legislative branch.
Constitutional Monarchy
a system in which the head of state ascends by heredity, but is limited in powers and constrained by the provisions of a constitution.
Fusion of Powers
Parliament is the supreme legislative, executive and judicial authority.
- Combination of legislature and executive is also expressed in the function and personnel of the cabinet. Executive and legislative work together.
Opposite of separation of powers in presidential systems.
Cabinet government
Exercises responsibility for formulating policy and directing both the government and the executive branch. Cabinet government has been undermined as a check on the power of the Prime Minister.
People opposed to expansion of the EU's power.
The conservative party has a Euroskeptic out look
UK Supreme Court
Made up of 12 justices.
Serves as final courts of appeals. (has the final say in a case)
Protect human civil rights and liberties
Rules on devolution disputes (split power between the state and local governments)
Rules on whether or not UK law is compatible with EU law
Check on Legislative and Executive power but doesn't have the right to call a law constitutional
Created to enhance legitimacy
A promise made by Tony Blair (campaign promise to separate the Law Lords out of the House of Lords/ separate authority from the House of Lords)
Supreme Court used to be under house of lords
Common Law System
Civil Law System
The Napoleonic codes. Codified - it was written down.
Religious Law
Sharia law follows Koran.,
Example: countries like Iran, recognize religious law as the highest legal system. Common in middle east, rules in America such as no selling of alcohol on sundays is an example.
Civil Servants
Members of Parliament, under the cabinet.
Help keep Members of Parliament informed.
European Coal and Steel Community
European Economic Community

an international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members
an international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members
Treaty of Rome
- became EEC ( European Economic Community)
Signed a treaty, formalizing more so the relations. Expanding it beyond coal and steal.
Lets incorporate more goods. Lets allow the free movement of goods.
Maastricht Treaty
This treaty made formed the European Union.
European Constitution
A European Union document not yet ratified (approved), which incorporates a charter of fundamental rights; merges the judicial, economic, and defense aspects of the EU; establishes the European Council; and raises the number of seats in Parliament, among other things
Hegmonic power
Britain ruled as this.
Could control the pattern of alliances and terms of the international economic order, and that often could shape domestic politic developments in countries throughout the world.
Distinctive leadership style, economic and political strategies, as well as her traditional cultural values. These traditional values including: individual responsibility, commitment to family, frugality (spending little) , and affirmation (assert strongly) of the entrepreneurial spirit.
Requirements for Membership to EU
(What countries need to do in order to join the EU)
1. Political Criteria
2. Economic Criteria
3. Legislative Criteria
Political Criteria
- It must prove that it has stable institutions, that guarantee democracy.
- Institutions - Whatever branches they have.
- These institutions must abide by the rule of law. No corruption in government. Must have transparency in government.
- They must protect human rights and respect minorities and minority population.
Economic Criteria
-Must be structurally sound - market based economy.
-Must have a strong private sector (privatization is important) where the private sector can cope with high pressures from other companies.
Legislative Criteria
They must be able to adopt the EU legal framework in different areas.
Such as: Policy on fisheries. (fishing) Such as: Cannot be fishing too much, put restrictions on where you can fish, and how much you can take in. This is all codified. Another area: Telecommunication, company law, energy policy. Any category you can think of there is a codified law.
Laws in your country must be compatible with EU laws in order to be part of this system.
If you want to be part of the EU and get their benefits, you need to follow these rules that are place upon them.
Founding Principles of the EU
—Extend Liberty to all its Citizens


—Respect for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
→ Respecting human rights is taken much more seriously in the EU then in the US

—Follow Rule of Law
European Council
- The main decision making body of the EU that represent the sovereign nation. (27 nations)
- They have yearly meetings, based on different subject areas.
- Made up of secretaries from each of the individual nations, they come together periodically to discuss relevant issues.
- Transport ministers come together.
- A body that address the issues of the sovereign nation.
- What to do they do: They pass laws with the consent of the parliament within the EU,
- Sort of the executive branch, sign off on the laws.
- Coordinate all policy issues. Talk about it, discuss, try to solve problems.
- Negotiate treaties with other countries.
- Represent their countries, get together every once in awhile. (more of a part time job)
- Way for each nation to get discussed.
European Court of Justice
- Follow rule of law, oversee other branches, interpret, apply EU legislation.
- One judge that is appointed for each member state.
- Supreme court of EU.
- European union laws are followed. Ensure nation is abiding by the EU laws. European Union is the highest law that each nation state needs to be following.
European Commission
- represents part of the executive branch of EU.
- Each country assigns a commissioner.
- Work independently of their national government, report to the EU.
Each commissioner has a large staff.
27 commissioners.
What they do: They are the body that writes and proposes legislation.
Their goal: They must act in the interest of the EU. Looking at the goals of the EU.
- run what is going on on a day to day basis.
- Represent the EU, full time job.
a common currency proposed by the European Union for its member nations
(not every single member nation uses this)
Election of 2010
- Past the post was used.
- Conservative won 326 seats but did not win enough, to win the majority seat. In order to get the conservatives seats, they had to join with the liberal democrats because they had a good amount of seats to make it over the majority.
Coalition Government
When two or more parties join together to form a majority in a national legislature. This form of government is quite common in the multiparty systems of Europe.
Three Pillars
—I: Traditional "Community" concerns - freedom of persons (new), goods, services and capital (free movement of money among the 27 nations)
Close economic ties, will then allow us to have closer social and political ties.
Persons - openness to members of the EU, easy to go from state to state. Unites them.
Problems with free movements of people: too much diversity.

—II: Common Foreign and Security Policy
- Hard to obtain 27 different countries on foreign policy and security policy.

—III: Police and Judicial Matters
The "Government"
- Composed of the Prime Minister and his cabinet
- All members of the House of Commons and the majority party (or coalition government)
Their job is to set policy
Because they are an extension of the majority party their policies are usually acted upon
Shadow Cabinet
The exact opposite of a cabinet
Also, can refer to the body that is composed of a shadow minister for each minister as well as a shadow prime minister
Each shadow minister is an expert in their field and directly opposes their minister
All member of the house of commons and the minority party
Collective Responsibility
Party Discipline
- MP's vote in correlation with their party's policy in hope that they will be able to climb the ladder and receive higher positions
- Especially important in UK because the party appoints the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, as well which district a MP runs
- The transfer of power from the national government to smaller local governments
- In the UK this involves giving power to the separate nations within the UK (Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales)
- Used as a way to give them what they want but keep them under the UK's control
Question Time
- A 30 minute session held every Wednesday in the House of Commons
- Any member, from any party, can ask any question to the Prime Minister
- Usually tougher questions from opposing party and softballs from majority party
- The Prime Minister does not see the questions what so ever prior to them being asked
- The Prime Minister needs to know his stuff
- Increases transparency of government because it is nationally televised
an election in which citizens are asked to approve (or reject) a policy system
Euro Crisis
Because the Euro links most EU nations together when one's economy tanks the others must act quickly or they are going to follow the down the drain
White Paper
- Also (apparently) it is a document that is written on a certain subject or problem
- Its purpose is to educate its reader so they can make a well-informed decision.