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Sovereignty, Authority & Power What is a ‘state’? States, Nations & Regimes Democracies, Authoritarian Regimes & Military Regimes.

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Presentation on theme: "Sovereignty, Authority & Power What is a ‘state’? States, Nations & Regimes Democracies, Authoritarian Regimes & Military Regimes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sovereignty, Authority & Power What is a ‘state’? States, Nations & Regimes Democracies, Authoritarian Regimes & Military Regimes

2 Introduction Power is territorially organized into states Max Weber (German scholar) defined state as: ◦The organization that maintains a monopoly of violence over a territory ◦The state determines who can and cannot use weapons of force, and it set rules to how violence is used ◦States sponsor armies, navies, and/or air forces  But citizens are often limited in their use of force Institutions: ◦Stable, long-lasting organizations that help turn political ideas into policy ◦Common institutions: bureaucracies, legislatures, judicial systems & political parties ◦Institutions help keep a state long-lasting; leaders change, but institutions don’t States exercise sovereignty: ability to carry out actions or policies w/in their borders independently from interference from inside or outside forces ◦A state unable to exercise sovereignty lacks autonomy ◦States with less autonomy are sometimes exploited by larger, stronger, more stable states ◦The states referred to are typically industrializing countries and exist in the southern hemisphere

3 States, Nations, Regimes

4 Democracies Democracy is type of regime that bases its authority on the will of the people Indirect ◦Elected officials representing the people Direct ◦Individuals have immediate say over many decisions that the gov’t makes Most democracies are indirect (due to large populations) Three major branches (typically) ◦Executive, legislative, judicial ◦Some are Parliamentary:  Citizens vote for legislative representatives; representatives vote for select leaders of the executive branch ◦Some are Presidential:  Citizens vote for legislative AND executive branch leaders  Two branches function w/ separation of powers Democracies vary in the degree to which they regulate economy, but businesses, corporations and/or companies generally operate independently from gov’t

5 Democratic Types ParliamentaryPresidential Parliamentary sovereignty governs decision-making In theory: legislature makes the laws, controls finances, appoints and dismisses prime minister and debates public issues Reality: strong party discipline, cabinet initiates policy (Tony Blair criticism) Majority party in legislature typically votes for bills proposed by leadership No separation of powers exist (Prime Minister and Cabinet are members of the same majority party) Separation in the executive branch: Head of Gov’t and Head of state ◦Queen is head of state (symoblizes power) ◦Prime Minister is head of gov’t (every day task of running gov’t Roles of head of state and head of gov’t are given to same person- President President is directly elected by the people and serves as Chief executive Checks & balances between legislative, executive & judicial As a result: ◦Power is diffused ◦Policy-making is slowed down Each branch MUST have an independent base of authority recognized and respected by politicians & the public ◦Nigeria and Mexico have presidential system, but branches are not truly independent of one another

6 Presidential:Parliamentary:

7 Authoritarian Regimes Decisions made by political elites w/out much input from citizens ◦These regimes may be ruled by single dictator, monarch, small group of aristocrats, or single political party ◦Economy is tightly controlled by ruling elite Regime Types: ◦Communism as altered by V. Lenin ◦Corporatism  Gov’t officials interact w/ business & labor leaders before policy is set ◦Patron-client systems  Reciprocal favors and services provided to supporters

8 Totalitarianism & Military Regimes TotalitarianismMilitary Regimes If people accept authority of authoritative leaders, then gov’t is legitimate Totalitarianism has negative connotations- used to describe often detested and/or corrupt regimes Totalitarian gov’t seek to control all facets of peoples’ lives- economy, politics and social Totalitarian gov’ts use force/violence as a techniqe for destroying any obstacles to their governance Prevalent in Latin America, Africa & parts of Asia States w/ instability are ripe for military intervention Rule usually begins w/ a coup d’ etat (forced takeover) Coup may or may not have widespread support Military leaders often restrict civil rights, liberties and keep political parties from forming A specific ideology is usually lacking ◦Leaders often lack charisma and lack traditional source of authority

9 Lecture Highlights/Key Points Power is territorially organized into states States exercise sovereignty Institutions help keep a state stable and functionary Democracy is based on will of the people Most democracies are indirect Two types of prevailing democracies: Parliament & Presidential Authoritarian and Totalitarian regimes are not one in the same Totalitarian regimes use force to compensate for lack of legitimacy Military regimes lack legitimacy and found in states with instability and/or internal violence

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