PSC 1001 Exam 1 General Concepts

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  1. What are the three principles that make a nation democratic?
    • Accountability
    • Participation
    • Contestation
  2. What are three key requirements that explain how to judge whether a country is a democracy or not?
    • Elected government (representative and responsible government)
    • Civil liberties (freedoms and individual/group rights)
    • Fair elections (fallacy of electoralism)
  3. What NGO was established in 1941 to determine the quality of democracies around the world?
    Freedom House
  4. What is "Madison's Dilemma"?
    Creating a system of checks and balances that ensure that no person becomes too powerful, creating a government that controls the people and can control itself
  5. What are four key constitutional rules that work to concentrate or disperse political power?
    • Unitarism versus federalism 
    • Separation or fusion of powers
    • Judicial review versus parliamentary supremacy
    • A majoritarian or proportional electoral system
  6. Why would larger countries be more likely to be federalist than unitarian?
    • Because it helps maintain control over large territories, especially ones farther away from the central government
    • Allows for the protection of wide variety of ethnic, linguistic or religious minorities 
    • Allows for "limited government"
  7. What are the three ways that nearly every country shapes their distribution of power between the executive and legislative branches?
    • Presidential
    • Parliamentary
    • Semi-presidential hybrid
  8. What are the two ways to distinguish between the three executive-legislative branches (presidential, parliamentary, or semi-presidential hybrid)?
    • Considering whether they exhibit what we call "separation of origin" and "separation of survival" 
    • By discussing the degree to which each system concentrates or disperses political power
  9. Who was the dictator of Egypt before Arab Spring? How many years was he in power? When did the first protests of the Arab Spring begin?
    • Hosni Mubarack
    • 30 years in power
    • Protest started in Jan. 2011
  10. What is the US ratio of elected officials? __ out of __. Give an example of a government official that is not elected
    1 out of 40

    police officers, mail carriers
  11. What are three freedoms that governments must give their people to be considered a democracy?
    • Freedom of speech (the right to criticize the government)
    • Freedom of assembly (right to protest peacefully)
    • Freedom of the press
  12. What three characteristics distinguish totalitarianism from authoritarianism?
    • use of ideology (set of political beliefs or ideas that structures and gives meaning to political interests and that motivates people to act politically in particular ways)
    • the extent of coercive mobilization
    • the degree of social and political pluralism is permitted
  13. What 5 distinctions can be made between totalitarian ideologies and authoritarian ideologies?
    • Totalitarian ideologies are overt: national leaders write them down and broadcast them publicly
    • Totalitarian ideologies are systematic: governments discuss and update a highly detailed set of integrated ideological principles
    • Totalitarian ideologies are institutionalized: leaders empower bureaucrats to serve as official ideologues, whose job it is to constantly articulate and update the regimes ideology and spread government propaganda 
    • Totalitarian ideologies are dogmatic: regimes create and impose their own official political views on every citizen and brook no dissent. Anyone who suggests the government's view is wrong or who proposes an alternative interpretation of the regime's ideology is repressed
    • Totalitarian ideologies are totalizing: they provide individuals with behavioral guidance for all aspects of their lives and even seek to reshape individual's interests and identities in the regime's image (example:  ideology in Russia under the USSR (1922 to 1991) extolled the virtues of the "New Soviet Man" one who enthusiastically supported the regime and its ideological goals and repudiated all personal ambitions and desires
  14. What is the use of coercive mobilization in democratic, authoritarian, and totalitarian governments?
    • Democracy: only use coercive mobilization in times of emergency or war (making people move or draft young people)
    • Authoritarian: don't typically use C.M. usually interested in demobilizing society and discouraging people from becoming politically engaged
    • Totalitarian: engage in extensive coercive mobilization (force people into labor for the government or military -- give strong incentives [like employment opportunities] for participating in government programs)
  15. Do democracies, authoritarians, and totalitarians allow for political pluralism?
    • Democracy: extensive
    • Authoritarian: limited
    • Totalitarian: none
  16. What two tools to totalitarian governments use to implement monopolies of control?
    • Official regime party: infiltrate aspects of life such as news, media, government, economy, private enterprises
    • Threat of violence: use violence to control politics and social pluralism (use special police forces), encourage civilian informers, use of jail or violent crushing of opponents
  17. What is the difference between communism and fascism?
    • Communism: believes that capitalist systems exploit the poor -- believes in redistribution of wealth
    • Fascism: based on racist principles (social Darwinism) that glorifies militarism, violence, nationalism, and the state over individual interests and identities and that exalts a charismatic individual political leader
  18. What are the 3 principles that united fascist ideologies?
    • 1. racism stemming from Social Darwinism 
    • 2. emphasis of extreme nationalism (glorification of nation's mythical warlike history ie Roman Empire and German Teutonic Knights of Middle Ages)
    • 3. glorifies charismatic, personalistic leaders who supposedly embody "national will"
    • 4. justifies use of violence to achieve the nation's goals (reflecting racist/nationalist roots) -- glorifies conquest through warfare
  19. What groups of people supported fascism, who supported communism?
    • Fascism: people who felt left behind by advances in modern technology and by the growth of large-scale industrial capitalism (small farmers, craftsmen, shopkeepers, even traditional landowning conservative elites)
    • Communism: industrial workers who sought political change to protect their rights as workers and to provide greater social welfare protections
  20. What four characteristics do we analyze to see the differences of non-democratic systems?
    • Size of the selectorate
    • Criteria for admission to the selectorate
    • Rules for selection of leaders
    • Rules governing the use of power -- that is, whether the relationship between the selectorate and the leader(s) is based on formal rules and procedures, including lines of succession, party rules, and military chain of command, or whether this relationship is based on informal personal connections or networks including friends and family members
  21. What are the six types of non-democratic systems?
    • monarchy: (absolute & constitutional)
    • single-party regimes: (accountability to the selectorate) (ie China, Cuba, N. Korea)
    • military regimes: (government run by high ranking military or "junta"..."civilian politicians are selfish, militaries are selfless")
    • oligarchy: (ruled by few, a small social, political, or economic elite...electoral institutions are less formal)
    • theocracy: leaders claim divine guidance [elements of totalitarianism] (difficult because each faith is internally divided and no faith handles relationship with human society the same way) - Vatican City
    • personalistic regimes: glorification and empowerment of a single individual (significant corruption) -- [Jean-Bedel Bokassa in Central African Republic]
  22. Do absolute monarchies still exist in the world today? If so, where?
    • Yes,
    • in Brunei,Kuwait, Lesotho, Morocco, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland, Tonga, and the United Arab Emerites
  23. What two distinct advantages do military leaders have when overthrowing a civilian government?
    • overwhelming firepower
    • highly institutionalized structure of command and control
  24. What three factors contribute to why military powers will overtake the government in some situations?
    • politicization of the officer corp/military [has unintended consequences]
    • Self interest in defending their organizational interests (resisting civilian interference especially in making purchasing decisions, awarding promotions, and designing and implementing training programs) --> Military interests may revolve around resisting threats or perceived threats to their control over the means of coercion (concerns over civilian created special police forces)
    • Military seeing the civilian government as illegitimate
  25. What three elements of totalitarianism does a theocracy exude?
    • religion is analogs to a totalitarian ideology (trying to reshape society in it's own image)
    • religious authorities seek to mobilize the people to share their faith openly
    • Uneasy relationship with religious and political minorities
Card Set:
PSC 1001 Exam 1 General Concepts
2017-10-16 21:30:46
PSC 1001 Exam,Comparative Politics
General Concepts/Things to remember
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