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Classification of Political Systems, Lec 2.docx

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Political Science
PSCI 101
Anna Esselment

Classification of Political Systems & Liberal Democracies Plato & Aristotle • Who rules? • In whose interest do they rule? o Whether the rule was lawful/lawless LAWFUL (in the common LAWLESS (in private interest) good) One Monarchy Tyranny Few Aristocracy Oligarchy Many Polity (constitutional Democracy democracy) many people ruling, but according to some sort of rule of law Modern typology of Forms of Government Basic Forms Institutions Liberal democratic Parliamentary/Presidential/Hybrid forms Transitional democracies Unitary State/Devolution/Federalism/Confederation Autocratic (authoritarian, totalitarian) Autocracy • Means “self-rule” • Characteristics: o Rule is arbitrary and not bound by law; o Rule is exercised in the interest of the rulers and not in the common interest o Rule is based on coercion and fear o Exp. Of autocratic leaders (Stalin, Hitler) Authoritarian • May/may not have popular support, but this is never put to the test; • May allow the organization of some groups (business groups, for example), as long as they do not oppose the government; • Discourage (often with violence) any political mobilization (such as political parties) Totalitarian • Six main elements o An official ideology; o A single party typically led by one man; (exp. The Nazi party in Germany) o A terroristic police; o A communications monopoly; o A weapons monopoly; o A centrally-directed economy. Democracy • Is a way of making decisions that involves the will of the majority • Liberal democracy can be defined as a system of gov’t in which the people rule themselves, either directly or indirectly, but in either case are subject to constitutional restraints on the power of the majority What is a constitu
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