POLI 211 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Social Stratification, Liberal Democracy, Statism

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Lecture 4
Sept.17.12
Liberal democracies
- From communal self government to statism: continuity and ruptures in the
growth of representative government
- Representative institutions are now the trademark of governments in almost
all countries
- Present systems of government in England, France, Germany, and japan are
characteristics of forms of liberal democracy
- Similar and dissimilar at the same time: why?
- Representative government is the result of:
- long time horizon outcome
- long time horizon of causes
- both involve continuity and ruptures
- Britain is a good illustration of continuity, the other countries of ruptures of
different kinds
- How continuity and ruptures took place and what is representative
government
Early developers
- Who were the first early developers?
- Why Britain and France emerged as political models for other countries to
follow?
- Why do other countries draw towards British traditions (i.e. common laws)
- Where did Britain and France get their basic institutions and practice of
government
- What have been the end results of the growth of national monarchies and
larger political entities in the world
- Two basic models of political systems in the world:
- each model has different properties and logic of rule
1. Descending vs. ascending (authority from top down)
2. Monocentric vs. polycentric
Unitary:
France, Britain, Japan
Federal:
Germany and USA
Transitions: encapsulation of the local, with what results
- City republics were the first early developers
- The French and the british built on the cities
- The americans also did this but there is a contrast because it is a federal
system (chapter 5 democracy in the US)
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