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What is a State? Differentiating Terms Differentiating Terms –State Max Weber defines it as the organization that maintains a monopoly of violence over.

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Presentation on theme: "What is a State? Differentiating Terms Differentiating Terms –State Max Weber defines it as the organization that maintains a monopoly of violence over."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is a State? Differentiating Terms Differentiating Terms –State Max Weber defines it as the organization that maintains a monopoly of violence over a territory Max Weber defines it as the organization that maintains a monopoly of violence over a territory –Must have sovereignty – the ability to carry out actions or policies within a territory independently from external actors or internal riots Sovereignty requires power, physical and otherwise, to defend against these other actors Sovereignty requires power, physical and otherwise, to defend against these other actors Institutions are what we call actors which carry out the states responsibilities (i.e., executive branch, bureaucracy, military, courts, etc.) Institutions are what we call actors which carry out the states responsibilities (i.e., executive branch, bureaucracy, military, courts, etc.)

2 What is a State? Differentiating Terms Differentiating Terms –Nation People group that is bound together through shared political aspirations (i.e., self government) People group that is bound together through shared political aspirations (i.e., self government) –Regime fundamental rules and norms of politics fundamental rules and norms of politics Can change gradually or through rapid trauma or revolution Can change gradually or through rapid trauma or revolution –Government The leadership presently entrusted with running the state The leadership presently entrusted with running the state Can change through elections, or transitions of power Can change through elections, or transitions of power

3 Comparing State Power Strong States Strong States Weak States Weak States Failed States Failed States –These are simplistic ways to express the power of a state

4 Comparing State Power Capacity – the ability of a state to wield power in order to carry out the basic tasks of providing security and reconciling freedom and equality Capacity – the ability of a state to wield power in order to carry out the basic tasks of providing security and reconciling freedom and equality –High Capacity – well organized, legitimate, able to enforce its own laws Autonomy – the ability of a state to wield its power independent of public approval Autonomy – the ability of a state to wield its power independent of public approval –High Autonomy – state acts on behalf of the public with no regard to public opinion –Low Autonomy – state acts at the behest of private individuals and groups

5 Centralization vs. Decentralization –Unitary – one national government, local/regional units have little or no say in policy Examples : Great Britain, China, Iran Examples : Great Britain, China, Iran

6 Different Forms of Government –Federal – local units share power with the central national government Examples : U.S., Mexico, Nigeria, *Russia* Examples : U.S., Mexico, Nigeria, *Russia*

7 Different Forms of Government –Confederal – smaller regional governments hold the most power, united by a weak central government Examples : European Union, other IGOs Examples : European Union, other IGOs


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