194 terms

AP Comparative Government and Politics: Political Theory

AP Comparative Government and Politics Flashcards: Political Theory
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Autonomy
The ability of the state to wield its power independently of the public
Authoritarianism
A political system in which a small group of individuals exercises power over the sate without being constitutionally responsible to the public
Bicameral System
A political system in which the legislature comprises two houses
Bourgeoisie
The property-owning class
Bureaucratic Authoritariansim
A system in which the state bureaucracy and the military share a belief that a technocratic leadership, focused on rational, objective, and technical expertise, cam solve the problems of the country without public participation
Capacity
The ability of the state to wield power to carry out basic tasks, such as defending territory, making and enforcing rules, collecting rules, collecting taxes, and managing the economy
Capitalism
A system of production based on private property and free markets
Central Bank
The state institution that controls how much money is flowing through the economy, as well as how much it costs to borrow money in that economy
Central Committee
The legislature-like body of a communist party
Central Planning
A communist economic system in which the state explicitly allocates resources by planning what should be produced and in what amounts, the final prices of good, and where they should be sold
Charismatic Legitimacy
1.Legitimacy built on the force of ideas embodied by an individual leader.

2. Legitimacy based on a state's identification with an important individual
Citizenship
An individual's relationship to the state, wherein citizens swear allegiance to that state and the state in return is obligated to provide rights to those citizens.
Civil Liberties
Individual rights regarding equality that are created by the constitution and the political regime
Civil Rights
Individual rights regarding equality that are created by the constitutions and the political regime
Civil Society
Organizations outside of the state that help people define and advance their own interests
Clientelism
A process whereby the state co-opts members of the public by providing specific benefits or favors to a single person or a small group in return for public or political support
Coercion
Compelling behavior by threatening harm
Colonialism
an imperialist system of physically occupying a foreign country using military force, business or settlers
Communism
1. A political-economic system in which all wealth and property are shared so as to eliminate exploitation, oppression, and ultimately, the need for political institutions such as the state;

2. An ideology that places the emphasis on creating economic equality instead of on individual political and economic freedoms

3. A political ideology that advocates such a system

4.One-party authoritarian regime in which a Communist party controls most aspects of a country's political and economic system
Comparative Advantage
The ability of one country to produce a particular good or service more efficiently relative to other countries' efficiency in producing the same good or service
Comparative Method
The means by which social scientists make comparisons across cases
Comparative Politics
the study and comparison of domestic politics across countries.
Concrete Review
Judicial review that allows the constitutional court to rule on the basis of actual legal disputes brought before it.
Conservatives
Those with a political attitude that is skeptical of change and supports the current order
Constituency
A geographic area that an elected official represents
Constitutional Court
The highest judicial body in a political system that decides whether laws and policies violate the Constitution; in most political systems they oversee the entire judicial structure
Co-Optation
The process by which individuals or members of the public are brought into a beneficial relationship with the state, making them dependent on the state for certain rewards
Corporatism
A method whereby authoritarian system create or sanction a limited number of organizations to represent the interests of the public and restrict those not set up of approved by the state; the mechanism by which citizens are forced to participate in state-sanctioned groups
Correlation
An apparent relationship between two or more variables
Country
Term used to refer to state, government, regime, and the people who live within that political system
Coup D'état
A move in which military forces take control of the government by force
Culture
Basic institutions that define a society
Deductive Reasoning
Research that works from a hypothesis that is then tested against data
Deflation
A period of falling prices and values for goods, services, investments, and wages
Democracy
A political system in which political power is exercised either directly or indirectly by the people; often protects basic rights and freedoms
Devolution
A process in which political power is "sent down" to lower levels of state and government
Direct Democracy
Democracy that allows the public to participate directly in government decision making
Economic Liberalization
Changes consistent with liberalism that aim to limit the power of the state and increase the power of the market and private property in an economy
Electoral System
A set of rules that decide how votes are cast, counted and translated into seats in a legislature
Empire
A single political authority that has under its sovereignty a large number of external regions or territories and different peoples
Equality
A shared material standard of individuals within a community, society, or country
Ethnic Conflict
A conflict in which different ethnic groups struggle to achieve certain political or economic goals at each other's expense
Ethnic Identity/ Ethnicity
Specific attributes and societal institutions that make one group of people culturally different from others
Executive
The branch of government that carries out the laws and policies of a state
Export Oriented Industrialization
A mercantilist strategy for economic growth in which a country seeks out technologies and develops industries focused specifically on the export market
Failed State
A state so weak, due to a loss of legitimacy and power, that its political structures collapse, leading to anarchy and violence
Facism
A political ideology that asserts the superiority and inferiority of different groups of people and stresses a low degree of both freedom and equality in order to achieve a powerful state
Federalism
A system in which significant state powers, such as taxation, lawmaking and security, are devolved to regional or local bodies (such as states, provinces, counties, and cities)
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 the vote wins the seat
Foreign Direct Investment
The purchase of assets in a country by a foreign firm
Formal Institutions
Institutions usually based on officially sanctioned rules that are relatively clear
Freedom
The ability of an individual to act independently, without fear of restriction or punishment by the state or other individuals or groups in society
Fundamentalism
A view of religion as absolute and inerrant that should be legally enforced by making faith the sovereign authority
Gini Index
A statistical formula that measure the amount of inequality in a society; its scale ranges from 0 to 100, where 0 corresponds to perfect equality and 100 to perfect inequality; the most commonly used measure of economic inequality
Glasnost
Literally, openness. The policy of political liberalization implemented in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s
Globalization
The process of expanding and intensifying linkages between states, societies, and ecnomics
Government
The leadership or elite in charge of running the state
Gross Domestic Products (GDP)
The total market value of all goods and services produced by a country over a period of one year
Guerrilla War
A conflict whereby non-state combatants who largely abide by the rules of war target the state
Head of Government
The executive role that deals with the everyday tasks of running the state, such as formulating and executing policy
Head of State
The executive role that symbolizes and represents the people both nationally and internationally
Human Development Index (HDI)
A statistical tool that attempts to evaluate the overall wealth, health, and knowledge of a country's people
Hyperinflation
Inflation of more than 50% a month for more than two months in a row
Illiberal Democracy
Rule by an elected leadership through procedures of questionable democratic legitimacy; does not protect basic civil liberties
Imperialsim
A system in which a state extends its power to directly control territories, resources, and people beyond its borders
Import Substition
A mercantalist strategy for economic growth in which a country restricts imports in order to spur demand for locally produced goods
Indirect Democracy
Democracy in which representatives of the public are responsible for government decision making
Inductive Reasoning
Research that works form case studies in order to generate hypothese
Inflation
An outstripping of supply by demand, resulting in an increase in the general price level of goods and services and the resulting loss of value in a country's economy
Informal Economy
A segment of the economy that is not regulated or taxed by the state
Informal Institutions
Institutions with unwritten and unofficial rules
Initiative
A national vote called by members of the public to address a specific proposal
Instituion
An organization or activity that is self-perpetuating and valued for its own sake
Integration
A process by which states pool their sovereignty, surrendering some individual powers in order to gain shared political, economic, or societal benefits
Intergovernmental Organizations (IGO)
Group created by states to serve certain policy ends
Intergovernmental System
A system in which two or more countries cooperate on issues
International Regime
The fundamental rules and norms that link states together and shape their relationships to one another, usually regarding some specific issues (such as greenhouse gasses or trade).
International Realtions
A field in political science which concentrates on relations between countries, such as foreign policy, war, trade and foreign aid
Judicial Review
The mechanism by which courts can review the actions of government and overturn those that violate the constitution
Laissez-Faire
The principle that the economy should be "allowed to do" what it wishes; a liberal system of minimal state interference in the ecnonomy
Legislature
The branch of government charged with making laws
Less Developed Country (LDC)
A country that lacks significant economic development or political institutionalization or both
Legitimacy
A value whereby an institution is accepted by the public as right and proper, thus giving it authority and power
Liberal Democracy
A political system that promotes participation, competition, and liberty and emphasizes individual freedom and civil rights
Liberalism
1. A political attitude that favors evolutionary transformation;
2. An ideology and political system that favors a limited state role in society and the economy, and places high priority of individual political economic freedoms
Market
The interaction between the forces of supply and demand that allocates resournces
Marketization
The creation of the market forces of supply and demand in a country
Mercantilism
A political-economic system in which national economic power is paramount and and the domestic economy is viewed as an instrument that exists primarily to serve the needs of the state
Micorcredit
A system in which small loans are channeled to the poor through borrowing groups whose members jointly take responsibility for repayment
Microfinance
A loan system covering a broad spectrum, including credit, savings, insurance, and financial transfers
Military Rule
Rule by one or more military officials, often brought to power through a coup d'etat; often authoritarian
Mixed Electoral System
An electoral system that uses a combination of single-member districts and proportional representation
Modern
Characterized as secular, rational, materialistic, technological, and bureaucratic, and placing a greater emphasis or individual freedom than in the past
Modernization Theory
A theory asserting that as societies developed, they would take on a set of common characteristics, including democracy and capitalism
Monopoly
A single producer that is able to dominate the market for a good or service without effective competition
Multicausality
When variables are interconnected and interact together to produce particular outcomes
Multimember District (MMD)
An electoral district with more than one seat
Multinational Corporation (MNC)
Firm that produces, distributes, and markets its goods or services in more than one country
Nation
A group that describes self-government through an independent state
National Conflict
A conflict in which one or more group within a country develop clear aspirations for political independence, clashing with others as a a result
National Identity
A sense of belonging to a nation and a belief that they have a unique political destiny; the common set of political aspirations that bind citizens of a country together
Nationalism
Pride in one's people and the belief that they have unique political destiny
Nation-State
A state encompassing one dominant nation that it claims to embody and represent
Neocolonialsim
An indirect form of imperialism in which powerful countries overly influence the economies of less-developed countries
Neocorporatism
A sytem of social democratic policy making in which a limited number of organizations representing business and labor work with the state to set economic policy
Newly Industrializing Country (NIC)
A historically less-developed country that has experienced significant economic growth and democratization
Nihilism
A belief that all institutions and values are essentially meaningless that the only redeeming value is violence
Nomenklatura
Politically sensitive or influential jobs in the state, society, or economy that were staffed by people chosen or approved by the Communist Party
Nondemocratic Regimes
A political regime that is controlled by a small group of individuals who exercise power over the state without being constitutionally responsible to the public
Nontariff regulatory barriers
policies and regulations used to limit imports through methods other than taxation
offshore outsourcing
a process by which firm moves some of its work to a secondary business outside the home country that can do the work more efficiently or cheaply
one-party rule
rule by one political party, with other parties banned or excluded from power; the party often is able to create a broad membership as a source of political control
parastatal
industry partially owned by the state
parliamentary system
a political system in which the roles of head of state and head of government are assigned to separate executive offices; features a head of government (often returned to as a prime minister) elected from within the legislature
Party-State
A political system in which power flows directly from the ruling political party (usually a communist party) to the sate, bypassing government structures
Patrimonialsim
an arrangement whereby a ruler depends on a collection of supporters with the sate who gain direct benefits in return for enforcing the ruler's will
Patriotism
Pride in one's state
Perestroika
Literally, restructuring; the policy of political and economic liberalization implemented in the Soviet Union the the late 1980s
Personality Cult
Promotion of the image of an authoritarian leaders not merely as a political figure but as someone who embodies the spirit of the nation and possess endowments of wisdom and strength far beyond those of the average individual and is thus portrayed in a quasi-religious manner; state sponsored exaltation of an authoritarian leader
Personal/ Monarachical Rule
Rule by a single, leader, with no clear regime or rules constraining that leadership
Politburo
The top policy-making and executive body of a communist party
Political Attitude
Description of one's views regarding the speed and methods with which political changes should take place in a given society; views regarding the status quo in any society, specifically the desired pace and methods of political change
Political Culture
the basic norms of political activity in a society
Political-Economic System
The relationship between political and economic institutions in a particular country and the policies and outcomes they create
Political Ecnomy
The study of the interaction between states and markets
Political Ideology
The basic values held by an individual about the fundamental goals of politics or the ideal balance of freedom and equality
Political Violence
Violence outside of state control that is politically motivated
Politics
The struggle in any group for power that will give one or ore persons the ability to make decisions for the larger group
Populism
A political view that does not have a consistent ideological foundation but that foundation, but that emphasizes hostility toward elites and established state and economic institutions and favors greater power in the hands of the people
Postindustrialism
The shift during the last half century from an economy based primarily on industry and manufacturing to one in which the majority of people are employed in the service sector, which produces the bulk of profits
Postmodern
Characterized by a set of values that center on "quality of life" considerations and give less attention to material gain
Power
The ability to influence others or impose one's will on them
Presidential System
A political system in which the roles of the head of state and head of government are combined in one executive office; usually directly elected by the people
Privatization
The transfer of state-owned property to private owndership
Proletariat
The working class
Property
Goods or services that are owned by an individual or group, privately or publicly
Proportional Representation (PR)
An electoral system in which political parties compete in multimember districts; voters choose between parties, and the seats in the district are awarded proportionally according to the results of the vote
Public Goods
Goods, provided or secured by the sate, available to society and which no private person or organization can own
Purchasing-Power Parity (PPP)
A statistical tool that attempts to estimate the buying power of income across different countries by suing prices in the United States as a benchmark
Qualitative Method
Study through an in-depth investigation of a limited number of cases
Quantitative Method
Study through statistical data from many cases
Quota
A nontariff barrier that limits the quantity of a good that may be imported into a country
Radicals
Those with a political attitude that favors dramatic, often revolutionary change
Rational Choice
Approach that assumes that individuals weight the costs and benefits and make choices to maximize their benefits
Rational-Legal Legitimacy
Legitimacy based on a system of laws and procedures that are highly institutional
Reactionary
Someone who seeks to restore the institutions of a real or imagined earlier order
Referendum
A national vote called by a government to address a specific proposal often a changed to the Constitution
Regime
The fundamental rules and norms of politics, embodying long-term goals regarding individual freedom and collective equality, where power should reside and the use of that power
Regulation
A rule of order that sets the boundaries of a given procedure
Relative Deprivation Model
Model that predicts revolution when public expectations outpace the rate of domestic change
Rent Seeking
A process in which political leaders essentially rent out parts of the state to their patrons, who as a result control public goods that would otherwise be distributed in a nonpolitical manner
Republicanism
Indirect democracy that emphasizes the separation of powers within a state and the representation of the public through elected officials
Revolution
Public seizure of the state in order to overturn the existing government and regime
Rule of Law
A system in which all individuals and groups, including those in government, are subject to the law, irrespective to their power or authority
Selection Bias
A focus on effects rather than causes, which can lead to inaccurate conclusions about correlation or causation
Semi-presidential System
An executive system that divides power between two strong executives, a president and a prime minister
Separation of Powers
The clear division of power between different branches of government and the provision that specific branches may check the power of other branches
Service Sector
Work that does not involve creating tangible goods
Shock Therapy
A process of rapid marketization
Single-Member District (SMD)
Districts in which only one representative for each constituency and the candidate with the larges number of votes- and not necessarily a majority- wins the state
Social Democracy (socialism)
1.A political-economic system in which freedom and equality are balanced through the state's management of the economy and the provision of social expenditures

2.A political ideology that advocates such a system
Social Expenditures
State provisions of public benefits, such as education, health care, and transportation
Society
Complex human organization, a collection of people bound by shared institutions that define how human relations should be conducted
Sovereignty
The ability of a state to carry out actions or policies within a territory independently from external actors or internal rivers
State
1. The organization that maintains a monopoly of force over a given territory;

2.A set of political institutions to generate and execute policy regarding freedom and equality
State Sponsored Terrorism
Terrorism supported directly by a state as an instrument of foreign policy
Strong State
A state that is able to fulfill bask tasks, such as defending territory, making and enforcing rules, collecting taxes, and managing the economy
Structural-Adjustment Program/ Washington Consensus
A policy of economic liberalization adopted in exchange for financial support from liberal international organizations; typically includes privatizing state-run firms, ending subsidies, reducing tariff barriers, shrinking the size of the state, and welcoming foreign investment
Superstructure
All economic institutions in a society (eg religion, culture, national identity); these idea and values derive from the base and serve to legitimize the current system of explotaiton
Supranational System
An intergovernmental system with its own sovereign powers over member states
Tariff
A tax of imported goods
Terrorism
The use of violence by non-state actors against civilians in order to achieve a political goal
Theocracy
A nondemocratic form of rule where religions is the foundation for the regime; An authoritarian regime that has leaders who claim to rule on behalf of God
Theory
An integrated set of hypotheses, assumptions, and facts
Totalitariansim
A nondemocratic regime that is highly centralized, possessing some form of strong ideology that seeks to transform and absorb fundamental aspects of state, society, and the economy, using a wide array of institutions and the application of force
Traditional Legitimacy
Legitimacy that accepts aspects of of politics because they have been institutionalized over a long period of time
Unicameral System
A political system in which the legislature comprises one house
Unitary State
A state in which most political power exits at the national level, with limited local authority
Vanguard of the Proletariat
Lenin's argument that an elite communist party would have to carry out revolution because as a result of false consciousness, historical conditions would not automatically lead to capitalism's demise
Vote of No Confidence
Vote taken by a legislature as to whether its members continue to support the current prime minister; depending on the country, a vote of no confidence can force the resignation of the prime minister and/or lead to new parliamentary elections
Weak State
A state that has difficulty fulfilling basic tasks, such as defending territory, making and enforcing rules, collecting taxes, and managing the economy
Abstract Review
The power of judicial review that allows courts to decide on questions that do not arise from actual legal cases; sometimes occurs even before legislation becomes law
Anarchism
An ideology believing that private property and capitalism lead to inequality, but, like liberals, anarchists place high value on individual political freedom
Authoritarian Regimes
Regimes that limit the role of the public in decisions making and often deny citizens basic rights and restrict their freedoms
Bicameral Legislatures
Legislatures with two chambers
Cabinet
The chief government ministers or officials in government, in charge of such policy areas as defense and agriculture
Judiciary
The branch of a country's central administration that is concerned with dispensing justice
Liberal Attitudes
Attitudes that promote evolutionary change within a system
Lower House
The legislative chamber that usually represents the population at large
Nationalists
Individuals who believe they have a common political destiny
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)
National or international groups, independent of any state, that pursue policy objective and foster public participation
Party Systems
Systems characterized by competition among political parties
Personal Dictatorship
An authoritarian regime that is based on the power of a single strong leader who usually relies on charismatic or traditional authority to maintain power
Upper House
The legislative house that often represents geographic sub-units
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