Tema 2 - Structures and political institutions [2.1-2.4] (2016)

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Universidad Blanquerna (URL)
Grado Relaciones Internacionales - 1º curso
Asignatura Political Science
Año del apunte 2016
Páginas 12
Fecha de subida 31/03/2016
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Mar López Barreiro 1r Relaciones Internacionales 2015-2016 T.2 - STRUCTURES AND POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS 2.1 The State and the different political regimes  The modern idea of the state developed in Europe from the end of medieval Europe (1500)  The concept of the state is parallel of the emergence of the Renaissance around the 15th Century  In the Middle Age, European governance had been dominated by the Roman Catholic Church and feudal lords  The process was difficult. “The war made the state, and the state made war” (Tilly)  Between 1500 and 1800, the number of independent political units in Europe fell from 500 to just 25  Example:    Italy → united in 1871  Kingdom of Naples  Lombardia  Venice  Vatican City Great Britain  4 kingdoms together  1 state and 4 nations With the Reformation and the confrontation of religions, Europe experienced a long war known as “The Thirty year’s war”. The war ended with “The Peace of Westphalia” (1648)  Catholics (Spanish Empire and Catholic city) against the Luther transformation (Northern Europe, mostly Germans)  It ended with the Peace of Westphalia → victory of reformation against the idea of having a Catholic Empire and in favor of a secular state in a concrete nation  Germany → 1 single language but a strong diversification among the state   France The central idea was sovereignty, a new understanding  Joan Bodin: a new centralizing ideology  Hobbes: the contract between rational individuals seeking protection 1 Mar López Barreiro 1r Relaciones Internacionales 2015-2016  The state must recognize this war between individuals and must protect them through the resignation of liberty (loss of rights)  Locke: citizens possess natural rights to life, property, and these rights must be protected by rules governed through law → The state means a social contract in a concrete territory to ensure the rights, freedom, and property of the individuals   He’s the father of individualism → creation of the State Basic ideas after the American and French revolutions:  Contract (“el contractualismo”):  Agreement between people to establish their self-governance  Possible through a process of referendum in order to approve the Constitution   Sovereignty:  In the hands of the people  The power of a nation is in its hands Consent:  Agreement in order to have a law, rules and develop the basic  Temporary states who don’t have agreement, don’t have consent  The rule of law:  The law is first (“el imperio de la ley”)  In a liberal democracy, the first supreme law is the Constitution  It can be changed (through referendum → then, through consent)  Weber’s key concept on state and authority:  Mar Weber:  German sociologist and social theorist  He delivered a three-fold classification of authority:  Traditional authority:  Authority delivered from traditional customs and values  Charismatic authority:  Normally imposed with a leader that organizes a concrete community  Legal-rational authority:  The basic in the construction of a liberal state 2 Mar López Barreiro 1r Relaciones Internacionales 2015-2016  Agreement between people and the rule of law  The Western State 2.2 Democracy  The word comes from the Greek demokratia, meaning rule (kratos) by the people (demos)  The model of democracy is a form of self-government in which all citizens (adults) participate in collective decisions in an environment of equality and open deliberation   In some way, in a direct democracy, the state and its society become one Between 461-322 BC, Athens was the leading polis (city-community) in ancient Greece  To vote, there were some limitations: 3 Mar López Barreiro 1r Relaciones Internacionales 2015-2016 1. Most adults, including women, slaves, and foreign residents were excluded 2. The practice wasn’t as extensive as the Athenians liked to claim 3. A lack of permanent bureaucracy became a problem  The Council:  Elected by lottery in groups of ten in order to take care of Government’s issues in order to avoid permanent elites to control the citizens  The Court    Also by lottery but you had to have some experience/knowledge For much of its history, democracy has been regarded in a negative light  The Greek philosophers - Plato, Aristotle, for instance - were against it  It was synonymous of perverted form of government The American and French revolutions proclaimed democracy as one of their goals and both were influenced by the writings of JJ Rousseau, T. Pain, and the Enlightenment  Forms of democracy:  Representative democracy:  Citizens elect parliament and, sometimes, the Chief Executive → the Republic  The idea of “Republic” was established in Rome as the idea of representing the citizens → “la cosa pública” 4 Mar López Barreiro 1r Relaciones Internacionales 2015-2016  Direct Democracy:  The citizens themselves in Assembly reach all type of decisions  Very difficult to find because of the size of states/cities   Maybe with the Internet it’ll be easier to participate Basic Principles: 1. Popular accountability of Government: leaders are accountable to citizens  Principle: Through voting procedures  Also, free press 2. Political Competition: voters must have a choice, either of candidates and of parties 3. Alternation in Power: the reins of power must occasionally change hands. A system in which the ruling party stays in power many decades cannot really be democratic 4. Uncertain Electoral Outcomes: elections must have an element of uncertainty, fluidity, and individual vote switching 5. Popular Representation: in representatives democracies, the voters elect representatives to act as legislators and, as such, to voice and protect their general interest 6. Majority Decision with respect with the minority view: the majority should decide, but with respect for minority rights, to try to avoid “the tyranny of majority” 7. Political Equality: in democracy, all adults are equally able to participate in politics: “one person, one vote” 8. Popular consultation: the government must know what people want and must be responsive to their needs and demands  Elections every determined amount of time 9. Free Press and freedom of expression: a dictatorship cannot tolerate free and critical mass media and press.
 The fourth power 10. Checks and balances  Democracy in practice: Elitism, Pluralism, Polyarchy, Consociational 5 Mar López Barreiro 1r Relaciones Internacionales 2015-2016  Elitism: Democracy controlled always by the same elites  Pluralism: Parties are representing better groups with some interest than the rest  Polyarchy:  Robert Dahl: “Democracy is an agreement that is reached by different elites that represent several groups” → formation of a polyarchy  Bernie Sanders is trying to destroy this kind of democracy that Clinton promotes  Consociational:  Arend Liphart: The different groups within a country reach an agreement in order to settle the living together in this country 6 Mar López Barreiro 1r Relaciones Internacionales 2015-2016 2.4 Authoritarian and Totalitarian Regimes a) Totalitarian Regimes a. Totalitarism is different from past autocracies → they couldn’t closely control their subjects b. In contrast, totalitarian states attempt to remold and transform every aspect of human life c. It began with Lenin’s 1917 seizure of power in Russia, Mussolini in 1922, and Hitler in 1933 d. One party holds total power and attempts to restructure society in accordance with the party’s values or visions → freedom disappears → the totalitarian state insists on mass enthusiasm and mobilization e. Nowadays → An example would be North Korea i. Maybe Saudi Arabia because of its fundamentalism f.
Six main features/criteria (According to Z. Brzezinski): 1. An All-Encompassing Ideology a. Totalitarians push official theory of history 2. A single party a. Only one party exists, led by one man who establishes a cult of personality b. Communist Party → URSS and North Korea c. Nazi Party → Germany d. Fascism Party → Italy 3. Organized Terror a. Secret police → key role of terror persecuting people against the regime b. Gestapo → Hitler c. The Soviet NKVD → Soviet Union Communist 4. Monopoly of Communications a. The mass media sells the official ideology of the totalitarian state b. North Korea won’t let its population have access to Internet 7 Mar López Barreiro 1r Relaciones Internacionales 2015-2016 5. Monopoly of Weapons a. Governments have a complete monopoly on weapons 6. Controlled Economy a. It makes the state powerful and there’s no private economy b) Authoritarian Regimes a. They’re varied in the political characteristics they display b. The common thread among all regimes are: 1) The denial of political freedoms to citizens 2) The political participation of competing groups isn’t permitted c) Comparing Strong, Weak, and Failed States a. Not all states are equally in their capacity to penetrate, regulate, and coordinate society b. Strong states are those that have: i. Popular legitimacy, administrative, efficiency, and effectiveness ii. The capacity to mobilize and extract resources (such as taxes) from the population 8 Mar López Barreiro 1r Relaciones Internacionales 2015-2016 iii. The ability to establish and preserve law and order c. The World Bank’s study of governance indicators: i. Voice and accountability ii. Political stability and absence of violence iii. Government effectiveness iv. Rule of Law v. The control of corruption d. Some reasons why Democracy fails: i. Poverty ii. Major inequality iii. No middle class iv. Low education levels v. Oil vi. Tribalism vii. Little civil society viii. No early democratic experience ix. No democratic countries nearby 2.5 Constitutions and law  Constitutionalism can mean 2 things:  A normative outlook on the political values embodied in a particular country’s constitution   The most fundamental principle of political life For the Austrian philosopher Friedrich Hayek (1899-1892), a constitution was “nothing but a device for limiting the power of governments, whether unelected or elected”  Carl Friedrich (1901-1984) defined constitution as “a system of effective, regularized restraints upon government action” 9 Mar López Barreiro 1r Relaciones Internacionales 2015-2016 10 Mar López Barreiro 1r Relaciones Internacionales 2015-2016   Constitutions have 3 functions:  “The fundamental principles” of a country  The provision of a frame of government  To define the relationship between the state and the citizen Article I of the Chinese constitution (1982): 11 Mar López Barreiro 1r Relaciones Internacionales 2015-2016  List of requirements for the rules of law:  A limit of concrete constitution: the judicial review and the constitutional courts  The function of judicial review can be in 2 ways:  The first and more traditional method is for the highest or supreme court in the ordinary judicial system to take on the task of constitutional protection → Main role is appellate  The second is to create a special constitutional court, standing apart from the ordinary judicial system  The original Constitution of Virginia. Also, The Virginian Declaration of Rights:  The original Virginia Constitution of 1776 was enacted in conjunction with the Declaration of Independence by the first state to adopt its own constitution, and the document was widely influential both in the US and abroad 12 ...