Electoral Systems Definitions

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Electoral Systems Definitions
2014-12-06 17:02:28
Electoral Systems nicole

Electoral systems
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  1. Democracy defintion
    A form of government where citizens participate equally in the proposal, development and establishment of the laws by which their society is run
  2. Representative Democracy definition and thinkers
    • Madison and Bentham
    • involves the election of governmental officials by the people being represented
  3. Liberal democracy definition
    • A representative democracy where elected representatives have decision making power which is subject to the rule of law
    • Moderated by a constitution or laws that protect the freedoms and rights of individuals
  4. Why is there democracy?
    • Barrington Moore 1966 (US France UK)
    • emphasizes economic development and the rise of the bourgeoisie which could rival the power of the landed nobility

    not possible to have a democracy without economic development and modernization as it it is difficult to establish political equality in an economically unequal society
  5. Types of Democracies (3)
    • Procedural and minimalistic - competitive struggle for people's votes
    • Substantive and maximalist - emphasizes fairness, equality and inclusion

    • But this can only be an ideal! Impossible for a society to reach full substantive democracy
    • Dahl - make procedural democracy more substantial, it should have a combination of rights and civil liberties

    Illiberal democracies (participation without civil rights) eg Russia which prevents freedom of people through control of the media
  6. Elite theory
    • Schumpter argues classical model is unrealistic as mass participation is not viable
    • suggests democracy is a utopian ideal
    • argues democratic as there is competition between elites
  7. Participatory Theory of Democracy
    • emphasises broad particpation of constituents
    • advocates more involved forms of citizen participation, greater political representation
    • argues political apathy is not inevitable with greater participation
    • argues participation is possible eg technology, referendums
  8. Is democracy in crisis?
    • Lower participation in electoral process
    • Paradox of market capitalism - income inequalities generate political inequalities
    • Lower efficacy of the vote -there is an imbalance between largely national political systems and more internationalised economic systems
  9. Held's view of democracy and globalisation
    • "democracy in nation states has not been accompanied by democratic relations among states"
    • he argues for a need to develop "cosmopolitan democracy"
    • (where citizens of a nation state are affected by forces beyond the boundaries of their own state thus an international global order must be established)