PSC 1001; Democratic Institutions
PSC 1001; Democratic Institutions PSC 1001
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Eleanor Parry on Friday February 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 1001 at George Washington University taught by Dr. Christopher Mitchell in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Intro to Comparative Politics in Political Science at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 02/12/16
Why Varieties of Democracy? • Different conditions ◦ Ethnic and regional Divisions ◦ Political Culture and History ◦ Size • Different Goals ◦ Efficiency vs Checks on Power ◦ Representatives vs Moderation ◦ Majority Rule vs Minority Rights Institutions and Politics • Balancing effectiveness and constraints ◦ Efficient government gets things done ‣ But may slide into authoritarianism ◦ Check and balances defend liberty ‣ But can create gridlock and dissatisfaction • Institutions shape party system ◦ Number of parties ◦ Strength of Parties ◦ Ideological space of parties Consensual vs Majoritarian • Consensual Systems ◦ Checks and Balances ◦ Requires supermajorities and consensus ◦ Rapid change difficult • Majoritarian Systems ◦ Few checks on victors ◦ Simple majority sufficient ◦ Rapid Change possible Institutional Arrangements • Electoral Systems ◦ Single Majority District ◦ Proportional Representation • Executive-Legislative ◦ Presidential ◦ Parliamentary • Other Elements ◦ Central vs Federal Systems ◦ Bicameral Parties Across States • Operate differently in different states ◦ Party system can tame or exacerbate divisions • Vary on two dimensions ◦ Number of parties ◦ Internal Strength of parties • Party orientation shaped by ◦ History culture and social divisions ◦ Institutions Electoral Systems • Single member districts ◦ One winner per district ◦ Plurality system ◦ Runoff System ◦ Effects: ‣ Two party systems ‣ Wasted Voted ‣ Gerrymandering • Proportional Representation ◦ Multiple Winners per district ◦ Effects: ‣ Many parties ‣ Wider range of views represented ‣ Few major changes • Mixed Presidential System • Separation of Executive and Legislative ◦ Elected independently • Neither subordinate to the other • All have fixed terms • Functions of President: ◦ Unifying national leader ◦ Sets national agenda ◦ Executes policy • Pros and Cons: ◦ Checks and Balances ‣ Gridlock ‣ Consensual system ◦ President a national unifying figure ‣ Independent legitimacy Parliamentary System • Fusion of Executive and Legislative • Legislative directly elected • Legislature elects PM • No fixed terms • Role of PM: ◦ Selected as head of party or coalition ◦ PM selects ministers who together form government ◦ PM and government serve until Parliament remove • Role of Parliament ◦ Most of power with PM and Ministers ◦ Can remove PM ◦ Can call new elections Coalition Government • If no single party majority must form a coalition • Traditional Partners Collapse of Government • IF a party leaves coalition and coalition loses majority ◦ Government collapses ◦ small parties gain leverage • Options ◦ Form new coalition ◦ Call new elections ◦ Govern in minority
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