Unit 2: The state and political institutions (2016)

Apunte Inglés
Universidad Blanquerna (URL)
Grado Relaciones Internacionales - 1º curso
Asignatura Ciencia Política
Año del apunte 2016
Páginas 11
Fecha de subida 15/03/2016
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Second unit on the state and political institutions, degree in international relactions, 1st year, notes in english

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Notes by jmirma 2. THE STATE AND POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS The state, the different political regimes, democracy, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, constitutions, the three branches of Democratic Governance, electoral systems.
The Democracy 2.1 THE STATE AND THE DIFFERENT POLITICAL REGIMES: The modern idea of the state developed in Europe from the end of medical Europe (1500).
In the Middle Ages, European governance had been dominated y the Roman Catholic 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.
With the Reformation and the confrontation of religions Europe experienced a long war known as “The thirty years war”. The war ended with “The peace of Westfalia” /1648).
Was the victory of the reformation against the idea to have an empire who was catholic.
- The central idea was sovereignty, a new understanding.
- Jean Bodin, a new centralizing ideology.
- Hobbes, the contract between rational individuals seeking protection.
- Locke, citizens possess natural rights to life, property, and these rights must be protected by rules governed by through law.
- The state has two powes; some state swill be the guarantee of freedom.Ex; UK after the two civil wars, it turned into the oldest democracy there has been.
- Basic ideas after the American and French revolutions: - Contract *The constitution of Fildelphia was somethig new, something revolutionary in teh moment when it was made.
*The French Revolution happened during a very radical times. It was a rapture betwwen the old and new times built. Tjis was a new startpoint for the state. Themai ideas that affected a lot the state; the moden state is bassed on the contract of the people (the bassics of the state); it's not because God gave the ruler the power he has but because there is a contract between people to establish their own Notes by jmirma government; the serf-governanment.
- This agreement was possible thorugh a process of referendum and through approving the Constitution. This was unthinkable in then 18th century, but it was when the people finally realised that it was in their hands to choose their own government.
- Sovereignty *The power of a nation is in trhn hands of the people. the staete at that time was sovereign and free in relation to the other states.
- Consent *Without the consent,, there is no legitimation of teh state. The people decide their own selfgovernment through an agreement which becomes a judicial and political contract.
- The rule of law.
*The law is first in the agreement between the people ("el imperio de la ley"). the first and supreme law is the Constitution. this is why the changing or reeform of teh Constitution is a very complicated process (through votings of teh people). Always with the consent of the people.
Notes by jmirma --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TED TALKS: GLOBAL POWER SHIFTS: JOSEPH NYE: - Power transition - change of power among the state, moving from west to east.
- Power difusion - with teconology, and comunication, people are more empowered and that affects the international relations. The state is crouded because it's not only the central piece of power, thanks to tecnology and comunication. The center of the power is moving from the states towards asia.
- Power is the affect among other to get the outcome you want. Ability to make the others want what you want; soft power - underestimated.
Notes by jmirma - Power transition between states; the enemy is not always already a state, and that changes the terms of IR.
- Fearing fear itself is ddangerous for it's what causes war.
- The central power sbefore the 2nd WW was in Europe; they were controlling the main nets of the world and thereforee were the center of sthe world.
- But after the two WWs, the power started to shift to the east.
- The only power is not the state anymore.
- Pivate powers; google, apple, windows,... Mxultidimensional perspective of power.
- Today, power has different phases.
- There was beforee, the centralization of power; THE STATE; noow, the state is corwded with all the improovements in tech and comunication.
- Need for a soft power to resolve the main problems of the world - diplomacy. A chaos would be caused if military power were to be used (nuclear weapons everywhere).
- New actors; the state is not the power who centralises the power anymore. This is a multipolar world.
- Before, the world was a bipolr world, but in 1990, when the URSS fell, teh power was given all to the US. From 1990 to now, other countriess were able to develop and construct new and beter state structurees, therefore, the today's world is a multinational power since all countriess are important powers; all decisions affect everyone USA is not anymore the center. therefore the use of diplomacy is highly needed.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2.2 TYPES OF AUTHORITY: - The traditional dimension of power justified that the power was in the monarchy. it's a derivation of the traditional power who makes an agreement with the people Ex: England.
- Legal rational : agreement between the people and the rule of law.
- Charismatic authority that organises a society.
The Western State Notes by jmirma - Centralization: The penetration of central power over a specified territory.
- Standariartion: EX; common language. Greater uniformity within the society. Ex; in Italy, they created a way of living, all spoke one only language,... in 1980. Increased support for multicultural soieties.
- Force: Strengthening monopoly of legitimate force. Emergeance of the national police and military power.
- Mobilization: Increased capacity to extract ressources from society. If a state is not able to do this, they will not be able to promote hospitals, schools, provide aid for the non-employed, to pay the army,... This started in Spain with the end of the conscription of the army (la mili).
- Differentiation: State institutions and employeers become increasingly distinct from society.
- Functions: Growth in the state's tasks and its intervention in society.
- Size: Expansion of the state's budget and personnel.
2.3. DEMOCRACY: - The world itself 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 (adult)nparticipate in collective decisions in an enviroment of equality and become one.
between 461-322 BC, Athens was the leading polis ( city-community) in ancient Greece.
- In this Democracy of Athens, there was the differentiation of 3 corpses in the Greek system: *Assembly: It was able to join all the citizens ina direct way. the democracy Athens was not representative but direect.
*Council: The 500 members of the council were elected by lottery in groups of 10, in which groups would they take care of different aspects of the state and the controlling of the citizens.
*Courts: This was also elected by lotery but in addition, some bassic attituds were needed in order to be elected. only a few full citizens had the right to vote.
- But with some limitations: in Notes by jmirma 1. Most adults, including women, slaves and foreign residents were excludedd.
2. The practise was not ass extensive as the Athenians kiked to claim.
3. A lack of permanent bureaucracy became a problem.
- For much of its history, democracy has been regarded in a negative light. The Greek philosoohers- Plato, Aristotle, for instance - were against it. It was synonymous of a 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. they took again the idea of the cratos or power of the people and they started the recuperation of the self-government. The two modern revolutions, American and French, were the startpoint to recuperate the democratic government.
FORMS OF DEMOCRACY: * REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: Citizens elect the parliament and, some times, the Chief Executive. The Republic (thing of the people).
* DIRECT DEMOCRACY: The citizens themselves in Assembly reach all type of decisions.
This will be again possible with more participation of the people, which might be achieved through the internet.
BASIC PRINCIPLES: 1. Popular accountability of Government: Leaders are accountable to citizens. (ways of the citizens to promote the evaluation of teh government; press, voting and a judiciary system) 2. Political Competition: Voters must have a choice, either of candidates of parties. (If in a political regyme a party has no competition it is not a democracy).
3. Alternation in Power: The reins of power must occasionally change hands. A system in which the rulin party stays in power many decades cannot really be democratic. (Too many years in power tends to make the party in power corrupt, this is why the alternation of power is of such importance, it's a kkey factor).
- In italy the Christian Democratic Party stayed in power for 35 years and it grew to build a corrupt power. It ended up falling. After, the power was occupied by Berrusconni, and it was a change for the better in the country - alternation.
4. Uncertain Electoral Outcomes: Elections must have an element of uncertainity, fluidity and individual vote switching.
Notes by jmirma 5. Popular Representation: In representative democracies, the voters elect representatives to act as legislators and, as such, to vote and protect their general interest.
- One of the problems of nowadays in Spain is that teh pwople don't feel represented by the diputates, and this is partly due to the electoral system. The spanish culture is not to have the diputates trully as their reepresentatives, they are not used to it and won't stablish contact with the diputate because of this habit, most probably. In Spain, the NPs have no contact with the people, not like in the US, the spanish are not accountable to the citizens, it is not a strong democracy.
6. Majority Decision with respect with the minority view: The majority should decide but with respect for minority rights. To try and avoid the "tirany of majority". A propper politician in power must know that he ows to the whole community of citizens, and this is his compromize but he also has to incorporate the opinion of the oposition or the minories. This has happened in Spain, when having the absolute majority, the party tends to govern in a kind of tiranic ways and tend to not listen to the said minorities.
7. Political Equality: In democracy, all adults are equally able to participate in politics: "one person, one vote". All people have the same rights (poor and rigts, equally, no matter the propeties they have,... All have the same political rights). In the 20s this criteria took place, especially with the permission of wimen to vote.
8. Popular consultation: The government must know what teh prople want and must be responsible for their needs and demands.
9. Free Press and freedom of expression: A dictatorship cannot tolerate free and critical mass media and press. The Fourth power. This does not exist in Russia, for instance, the freedom of press and freedom of expression, this is why it is moving towards a totalitaran regime. the importance of the communication in the democratic process is of great importance the media system is a key element in it, strong relation between media and democraccy ( if not we move towards a totalitarian regime, like in China, where there is a very strong censorship - the government tries to control media always, although the public media is always the media of citizens. They try to buy media with subsidiaries).
10. Checks and balances: This was presented in the Filadelfia Constitution of the United States. It doesen't have one sole power that controles the rest but the diferenciation of the powers control eachother but are as individual and autoregulated as well. In Spain the judiciary power controls in some sense the executive power; when there is not a majority in a party, the judiciary power has more power to control teh situation and the deccisions of said party.
Notes by jmirma DEMOCRACY IN PRACTICE: ELITISM, PLURALISM, POLYARCHY, CONSOCIATIONAL: - An elitism is where the elite groups ttake the power and teh powers represent mostly these interest groups which work for their interest and ideas and forget about the key factor of compomise and public interest that there is in politics.
- Polarchy: Robert Dahl; he defined as: when the rule of the leaders of several groups who have reached several understanding with eachother. Clinton represents a model of poliarchy and Sanders tries to destroy this model in order to stablish a popular democracy.
- Consociational democracy: Arend Liphart called it. The elites of each important group strike a bargain to pay by the rules of a constitutional game and to restrain their followers form violence.
His idea came from his experience in Holand. He said that the different groups of a country reach an agreement in order to live together in the said country. In Bosnia this will be the only way to find a propper government that actually works due to the plurality in teh counrty; an agreement between the leaders of said groups in order to stablish a stong democracy shich respects their Notes by jmirma rights and beliefs and that can be built in a multireligious state.
2.4. AUTHORITARIAN AND TOTALITARIAN REGIMES: 1. TOTALITARIAN REGIMES: - Totalitarism is differet from autocracies: they could not closely control their subjects. In contrast, totalitarian states attempted to remold and reform every aspect of human life.
- Totalitarism began with Lennin's 1917 seizure of power in Russia, Mussolini in 1922, Hitler in 1933. One party holds total power and attempts to restructure society in accordance with party values of vision. Freedoms disappear. the totalitarian state insists on mass-enthusiasm and mobilization.
- In Lennin's case, hbe threadtened to kill all those who had different ideass form his, when he was in power.
Six main features (Z. Brzezinski): An All-encompassing ideology: totalitarians push an official of history.
A single party: Only one party exists, led by one man who established a cult of personality.
Organized Terror: (Gestapo, The Soviet, NKVD,... Soviet Union, Communist china, 35 million, Natzi Germany,...).
Monopoly and communications: The smass media totalitarian state sells the official ideology.
Monopoly of weapons: governments of totalitarian nations have a complete monopoly on weapons.
Controlled Econmy: They control the economy, it makes the state private economy.
powerful and there isn't a 2. AUTHORITARIAN REGIMES: - Authoritarian regimes is varied in the political characteristics they display. The common thread among all regimes are: - The denial of political freedoms to citizens.
- The political participation of competing groups is not permitted.
Notes by jmirma 3. COMPARING STRONG, WEAK AND FAILED STATES - Not all states are equally in their capacity to penetrate, regulate, and coordinate society.
Strong states are those that have: 1. Popular legitimacy, administrative efficiency and effectiveness.
2. The capacity to mobilize and extract resources (such as taxes) from the population.
3. The ability to establish and preserve law and order.
The World Bank’s study of governance indicators: 1. Voice and accountability 2. Political stability and absence of violence 3. Government effectiveness 4. Rule of Law Notes by jmirma 5. The control of corruption Some reasons why Democracy Fails: 1. Poverty 2. Major inequality 3. No middle class 4. Low education levels 5. Oil 6. Tribalism 7. Little civil society 8. No earlier democratic experience 9. No democratic countries nearby ...