Presentation on theme: "Types of Government Autocracy: power to govern is concentrated in the hands of one individual. Oligarchy: power is concentrated in the hands of a few people."— Presentation transcript:
1 Types of GovernmentAutocracy: power to govern is concentrated in the hands of one individual.Oligarchy: power is concentrated in the hands of a few people.Democracy: in theory, the people rule, either directly or indirectly.
2 Types of Democracy -Direct Democracy or Participatory Democracy as described by Aristotle in Greece (4th century BC) or the New England Town Meetings in colonial US (17th century)-Indirect Democracy or Representative Democracy
3 Models of Representative Democracy 1) The majoritarian model of democracy is the classical theory of democracy in which government by the people is interpreted as government by the majority of the people. Assumes that people are knowledgeable and want to participate in government (go to the polls and vote).2) The pluralist model of democracy is an interpretation of democracy in which government by the people is taken to mean government by people operating through competing interest groups. Emerged during the 1950’s.3) The political elite model, where a small group of people actually makes most of the important government decisions and not the many groups as pluralists believe (anti-democratic theory).
4 Majoritarian Model of Democracy Government by the majority of the people…Elections, Recall, Referendum, Initiative are the tools used by the peopleRecall = the process of removing an elected official from office by a special election (Gov. Gray Davis-CA 2003)Referendum = citizens vote on a policy issue (vote a law into effect)Initiative = voters can propose (initiate) an issue to be decided by the legislature or by referendum; requires a petition to be submitted for it’s support*State and local governments only use recall, referendum and initiative. Not at national level!!!
5 Majoritarian Model of Democracy Critics argue that this model does not correspond to American political realityUS citizens are not well informedUS voter turn out is lowRefer to National Voter Turnout in Federal Elections hand out
6 Pluralist Model of Democracy The pluralist model of democracy was developed to explain how a democracy could still continue to function, given the realities of limited mass political interest or participation.Based on the idea of pluralism, which assumes that people in modern society often form groupings along economic, religious, ethnic, or cultural lines. Policy is then created by an identifiable interest group that press their claims on multiple centers of governmental power (Congress, State Legislatures, Government Bureaucracies, i.e., EPA, FDA, FEMA, etc.)
7 Pluralist Model- shifts democracy from mass electorate to organized groups competing for their own interests- for this to work the government structure needs to be decentralized so the groups can be heard- in the USA with 3 branches of government it can work; it is easy to approach the different branches whether it be through a lobby effort or through a court case (NAACP in the 1950’s on the issue of civil rights)
8 Hyperpluralist Theory -recent view of pluralism model (1980’s)-an explosion of groups resulting in almost nothing getting done and the government ends up moving at a very slow pace-Hyperpluralism is "pluralism gone sour." The existence of too many influential groups actually makes it impossible for government to act. When politicians try to placate every group, the result is confusing, contradictory, and muddled policy (or no policy at all).- media, think tanks, interest groups all pulling the government in different directions and gridlock occurs- on a positive note: that means that no single group dominates the attention of governmentGridlock
9 Political Elite Theory a small group of people, or a political elite, actually makes most of the important government decisions (like an oligarchy) and not the many groups as pluralists believeBelieve decisions are made in the interest of the financial, communications, industrial, and government institutions rather than in the interest of the populace as a wholeElitists believe that there is an identifiable and stable minority group with the powerGroups could be the wealthy, business leaders or government bureaucrats who make up the small group and influence policyIt maintains that democracy is a sham since power is in the hands of a small number of individuals
11 Marxist View- the govt is merely a reflection of underlying economic forces- Karl Marx (1848) saw a 2 class society (bourgeoisie and the proletariat) who compete for power. The wealthy capitalists control all factors of production for their own benefit of profit.- in the US, Marxists maintain that big business and multi-national corporations dominate the economy and the government for their own best interests and not for the whole of the nation
12 Max Weber and Bureaucracy Governmental power is under the control of large bureaucracies (appointed officials) whose expertise and competence are essential to the day to day operations of societyPoliticians come and go but the bureaucrats remain in the administration year after yearThe bureaucrats do not merely implement public policies, they “make” policy in how they translate the laws in the operation of govt.
13 C. Wright Millsa coalition of 3 groups- top military officers, corporate leaders, and a handful of elected officials dominate politics and governmentthe triumvirate governs according to Mills and not the majority of peopleIn USA today, some may add the media moguls and top labor unions officials to the group as well
14 A comparison of the majoritarian and pluralist models of democracy reveals: Majoritarian model:- Conclusive elections- Centralized structure of government- Cohesive political parties with well-defined programsPluralist model:-Does not demand much knowledge from citizens in general but requires specialized knowledge by groups of citizens-Limits majority action; allows minor viewpoints to be heard and to impact law
15 What about the design of the US government? The framers of the Constitution were convinced that participatory democracy on the national level was undesirable and instead instituted representative democracy, a system of government where citizens elect public officials to govern on their behalf.
16 The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution In order to form a more perfect unionEstablish justiceInsure domestic tranquilityProvide for the common defensePromote the general welfareSecure the blessings of liberty
17 Key Principles of the U.S. Representative Democracy Republican Form of GovernmentLimited GovernmentSeparation of Powers / Checks and BalancesFederalismIndividual RightsPopular Sovereignty
18 “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” Madison Federalist No. 51
19 Politics- The conflict and battle over the distribution of wealth, control of public policy, and the making of decisions based on a set of morals.Conflict is the basis of politics!