Pols Glossary Terms
Terms in this set (172)
the human action that makes something happen and to the capacity for such action
alternative member model
A hybrid voting system that combines the strengths of majoritarianism and proportional representation: votes are cast both for individual candidates within a constituency and for a general list of candidates from separate parties
The promotion of family interests above all other moral considerations; the term was coined by Banfield to describe social relations in Sicily and was later used by Putnam
absence of government
Human-centered philosophy. Human needs take priority.
Arrow's Impossibility Theorem
A mathematical theorem, formulated by the economist Kenneth Arrow, that shows the impossibility of determining the "optimal" ranking of preferences when none of the options voted on receives an absolute majority of the votes.
a form of rule that restricts personal liberty and is not accountable to the public
Balance of Power
a system of relations between states in which the goal is to maintain an equilibrium of power, thus preventing the dominance of any one state
An approach to the study of social phenomena based on the methods used in the natural sciences. Objective measurement of the social world was the goal, and values were considered to have no place in social enquiry.
The principle of a two-house legislature.
a situation in which two states possess a preponderance of economic, military, and political power and influence either internationally or in a particular region
merchant or propertied class that possesses essential economic power and therefore has control over the working class or proletariat
A type of political party that has a relatively limited membership and is dominated by professional politicians: Compare to a mass party
the state of being a citizen, with the social and political rights required to participate in state decision making
The particular set of attitudes that allow citizens to feel capable of taking an active part in politics
Loyalty to the institutions and values of a particular political community; sometimes presented as a more moderate form of nationalism.
community of citizens, interest groups and nongovernmental organizations that stand in an intermediary position between the individual and the state
largest possible grouping of individuals with shared religious, linguistic, or cultural features
centers on socioeconomic class
promotes limiting the state's role in political, economic, and social life
a state of political hostility between countries characterized by threats, propaganda, and other measures short of open warfare, in particular.
a mode of domination involving the subjugation of one population group and their territory to another - usually established by settling the territory with sufficient people from the colonizing group to impose direct or indirect rule over the indigenous population and to maintain control over resources and external relations
emphasizes the individual's particular community as the source of his or her her identity, rights, and duties
Concert of Europe
a largely informal agreement among the major powers of the 19th century Europe to act together on matters of mutual concern
a political theory advocating traditional inherited values and methods of achieving political, economic, and social objectives
A form of rule practiced in some divided societies whereby the elites of different communities within the society share power
an electoral district
the body of principles governing relations between a state and its population, including the understandings that are involved
the principle that assassins a special significance to constitutions and rule of law in national life
the notion that "reality" of the world around us is constructed inter subjectively through social interaction that gives meaning to material objects and practices
-the state incorporates economic interests in order to control them and civil society in general
A system based on popular control of supranational institutions and processes
the ideology that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality.
The existence of a many cultures within a society/country.
A political system in which decisions are made based on discussion by citizens rather than by elected representatives alone.
A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
voters have the opportunity to choose between competing teams of leaders
the easing of hostility or strained relations, especially between countries.
the possession of powerful weapons will deter aggression by other countries
gives priority to rapid economic development and uses carrots and sticks to induce private economic institutions to comply
A form of government in which citizens rule directly and not through representatives
The tendency for the single-member district plurality system to favor a two-party system, as documented by French sociologist Maurice Duverger.
An ethic that removes humans from the centre of the moral universe and accords intrinsic value to non-human parts of nature.
A version of the "sustainable development" principle according to which liberal capitalist societies can be reformed in an environmentally sustainable way
an ideology that stresses the interdependence of all forms of life; often connotes the moral dethroning of humans
the rule of the most able
the fact or process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions; liberation.
The insulation of state economic policy-makers in developmental states from short-term political pressures.
a system in which on country or center of power directly or indirectly dominates and controls other, weaker countries
-analysis of factual information
-what is as opposed to what ought to be
A philosophical movement which started in Europe in the 1700's and spread to the colonies. It emphasized reason and the scientific method. Writers of the enlightenment tended to focus on government, ethics, and science, rather than on imagination, emotions, or religion. Many members of the Enlightenment rejected traditional religious beliefs in favor of Deism, which holds that the world is run by natural laws without the direct intervention of God.
theory of knowledge concerned with establishing what can be known about what exists
the systematic killing or extermination of an entire people or nation
Devotion to a cultural, ethnic, or linguistic community.
believing in the superiority of one's own ethnic and cultural group, and having a corresponding disdain for all other groups
A term used by Karl Marx to describe an attitude held by members of a class that does not accurately reflect their objective position.
the principle that different territorial units within a state have the authority to make certain policies without interference from the center
A group of Canada's Native American people
Form of mass production in which each worker is assigned one specific task to perform repeatedly.
organized killing of an entire people
An extension of the concept of governance referring loosely to the architecture constituted by various authoritative political, social, and economic structures and actors that interconnect and interact in the absence of actual government in the global sphere
the ongoing movement toward economic, political, social, and cultural interdependence that has reduced the autonomy of sovereign states
The application of principles of justice at a global (as opposed to national) level.
a term used to designate the less-developed countries located primarily in the Southern Hemisphere
A set of principles formulated by international financial institutions to make the government of developing states fair, effective, and free from corruption.
a term often preferred now to government since it reflects the broader nature of modern government
the actions of individuals should only be limited to prevent harm to other individuals
political domination; complete authority
a general term for innate and immutable human characteristics
Direct intervention by one country or a group of countries in the internal affairs of another country for humanitarian reasons
A theory of international relations that focuses on the hope the nations will act together to solve international problems and promote peace.
A state in which elections are held but there is relatively little protection of rights and liberties, and state control over the means of communication means that the party in power generally remains there.
the exercise of power by one group over another
the accumulated experience, wisdom, and know-how unique to cultures, societies, and communities of people
living in an intimate relationship of balance and harmony with their local environments has evolved over many generations within a particular ecosystem
natives of an area who have been conquered or dominated by others who came later
Interest groups that enjoy a privileged relationship with government.
regular patterns of behavior that provide stability and regularity in social life
in international relations, the notion that states are increasingly interconnected through a web of relations
groups within civil society that seek to press specific interests on governments
Principles of justice relating to non-contemporaries; e.g., between parents and children, or those living now and those still to be born.
international civil society
Broadly, the realm of non-state actors, including interest groups and voluntary associations, in the international sphere.
The principles, norms, rules, and procedures around which groups of actors in certain areas of international relations converge. An example is the international human rights regime. The concept was developed by Stephen Krasner.
Notion of a 'society of states' in which law, order and cooperation are the basis of interaction, and that states work towards achieving common ideals and goals. The extent to which a functioning and an effective international society exists is contentious.
The belief that nations must engage in international problem solving.
getting involved in a situation to change what is happening
Principles of justice relating to contemporaries, that is, people who are living at the same time.
a member of the Arctic native peoples of North America; once known as Eskimo
groups of officials, politicians, and outside experts who formulate policy
A loose grouping of people and organizations who seek to influence policy formation.
A form of legal theory according to which law is simply what the state says it is.
a state characterized by free and fair elections, universal suffrage, a relatively high degree of personal liberty and protection of individual rights
Focuses attention on the ability of international institutions to alleviate the negative effects of anarchy in the international system.
parties consisting of large numbers of citizens as members and that undertake massive political mobilization
An economic theory designed to increase a nation's wealth through the development of commercial industry and a favorable balance of trade.
meritocratic theory of justice
A theory that advocates distributing resources to those who display some merit, such as innate ability, or willingness to work, and therefore deserve to be rewarded.
a grand-scale story or theme that members of a given culture recognize and that often drives ideas and actions within that culture
a particular way in which knowledge is produced
A temporal and cultural phenomenon linked in part to the rise of industrialization in Europe and North America and in part to profound changes in social and political thought associated with the intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment.
the view that there are no fundamental divisions in phenomena
a named community, often referred to as "a people," usually occupying a homeland and sharing one or more cultural elements
the process in which a state is created and then its leaders attempt to mold its sometimes quite diverse groups
a concept that is supposed to represent what is best for the country
the doctrine or ideology according to which "the nation" is entitled to political autonomy
law conceived as both universal and eternal, applying to all people in all places at all times because it derives from either "nature" or God
rights that all humans are said to possess
can be increased by removing external obstacles
a political theory developed in the US that focuses on the expansion of US military power to accomplish democratic regime change and other goals to further US primacy.
A version of liberalism that advocates a more positive role for the state than classical liberalism. Argues that the state, in correcting the inequities of the market, can increase liberty by creating greater opportunities for individuals to achieve their goals.
a system of governance resembling Europe in the Middle Ages where authority belongs to an overlapping array of local, national and supranational institutions
New Public Management
an approach to the reform of government bureaucracies in the 1990s that sought to introduce methods of business administration
Night Watchman State
A model in which the state concentrates on ensuring security (external and internal), playing little role in civil society and allowing the economic market to operate relatively unhindered.
analysis concerned with what ought to be
the study of what exists,of what there is to know
John Rawls' name for a hypothetical condition in which rational and unbiased individuals select the principles of social justice that govern a well-ordered society,
Interest groups that enjoy no special relationship with the government and thus seek to press their case from the outside.
The principle that governments are formed by prime ministers (as opposed to heads of state) and are therefore primarily responsible to parliament.
male-dominated society in which cultural beliefs and values give higher prestige and value to men than to women
a state in which power flows directly from the leader, and political elites take advantage of their connections to enrich themselves and their clients
A policy initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev that involved restructuring of the social and economic status quo in communist Russia towards a market based economy and society
theory of the state according to which political power is diffuse
the number of votes cast for a candidate who receives more than any other but does not receive an absolute majority.
The community of officials, experts, and interest groups with a stake in a particular policy area whose regular interaction leads to a convergence of views that is reflected in policy-making
aggregate attitudes of members of a society toward the institutions of rule and how they should operate
The question of what, if anything, obliges individuals to obey the state; a central preoccupation of political theorists. Answers to this question range from the ancient notion that monarchs have a "divine right" to rule to the modern notion that democracy is the basis of authority.
A group of individuals with broad common interests who organize to nominate candidates for office, win elections, conduct government, and determine public policy
The totality of institutions within a state and all the connections between them.
A term coined by Robert Dahl, refers to a society where government outcomes are a product of the competition between groups. The rule of minorities, not majorities, is postulated as the normal condition of pluralist democracies.
discriminating in favour of a person with a protected characteristic
Liberty that can be increased either by state action or by removing internal obstacles such as immorality or irrationality.
A school of thought that believes it is possible to generate empirical statements without any evaluative or normative connotations
a multifaceted theoretical approach and challenges the certainties and dualisms of modernism and promotes pluralism
the ability of one person to get another person to act in accordance with the first person's intentions
A view of politics associated with realism and which generally takes morality and justice to be irrelevant to the conduct of international relations, a view predicated in turn on the notion that 'might is right'.
The principle that the president of a republic is the head of the government.
principal agent relations
A term for the relationship between the person who gives instructions (usually a government administrator) and the person who implements them
perceived fairness of the process used to determine the distribution of rewards
Marx's term for the exploited class, the mass of workers who do not own the means of production
an electoral system in which parties gain seats in proportion to the number of votes cast for them.
Economic policy of shielding an economy from imports.
the arena in which an member of society is free to express views on any issue of interest to the public
Rational Choice Theory
A theory that states that individuals act in their own best interest.
a school of thought that explains international relations in terms of power
a law based state as distinct from a state where the executive is free to change policies as it see fit
process by which specific regions acquire characteristics that differentiate them from others within the same country; certain economic activities may dominate in particular regions.
a system in which the people choose others to represent their interests instead of making decisions themselves
Rule of Law
principle that the law applies to everyone, even those who govern
A doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations.
the anarchy of the system forces states to engage in self-regarding behavior to survive
a principle that explains that all people have the right to freely determine their political statue and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.
analysis of the meaning of language
aggregate of attitudes and networks that enable members of society to cooperate in joint projects
the idea that individuals in the state of nature have voluntarily agreed to accept certain limits on their freedom in return for the benefits that gov will provide
The belief that only the fittest survive in human political and economic struggle.
political ideology in which there is a gradual transition from capitalism to socialism instead of a sudden violent overthrow of the system
the defense of human dignity by ensuring that essential human needs are met and that essential human rights are protected for all people
broad-based demand for government action on some problem or issue, such as civil rights for blacks, equal rights for women, or environmental protection
A branch of thought in English School IR theory that promotes solidarity among humans and argues that the obligation to protect human rights can override the right of states to non-intervention in domestic politics.
a supreme ruler, especially a monarch.
a two level concept:
-the government executive of a country
-the whole structure of political authority in a country
the skillful management of state affairs; statesmanship.
State of Nature
Hypothetical condition assumed to exist in the absence of government where human beings live in "complete" freedom and general equality.
Development strategy that stresses integration into global markets, privatization, and so on. Supported by the World Bank, IMF, and other major northern financial institutions.
theory, developed by Giddens, which argues that structure and action are equally significant in terms of our ability to understand the relationship between the individual and society
the notion that economic growth is not incompatible with environmental protection and therefore can be sustained indefinitely
A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
informal, non-governmental, ties between citizens and groups outside formal power channels
political system consisting of one legislative chamber
ethical theory that the behavior of individuals and governments should be judged by the degree to which their actions maximize pleasure and happiness
an ideal society
A government that undertakes responsibility for the welfare of its citizens through programs in public health and public housing and pensions and unemployment compensation etc.