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Types of Government Autocracy: Autocracy: power to govern is concentrated in the hands of one individual. Oligarchy: Oligarchy: power is concentrated in.

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Presentation on theme: "Types of Government Autocracy: Autocracy: power to govern is concentrated in the hands of one individual. Oligarchy: Oligarchy: power is concentrated in."— Presentation transcript:

1 Types of Government Autocracy: Autocracy: power to govern is concentrated in the hands of one individual. Oligarchy: Oligarchy: power is concentrated in the hands of a few people. Democracy: 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 (4 th century BC) or the New England Town Meetings in colonial US (17 th century) -Indirect Democracy or Representative Democracy

3 Models of Representative Democracy majoritarian model of democracy majority of the people 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). pluralist model of democracy through competing interest groups 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 1950s. political elite model, 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 majority Government by the majority of the people… Elections, Recall, Referendum, Initiative are the tools used by the people Recall = 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 its support State and local governments only use recall, referendum and initiative. Not at national level!!! *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 reality US citizens are not well informed US voter turn out is low Refer to National Voter Turnout in Federal Elections 1960-2008 hand out

6 Pluralist Model of Democracy limited 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 organized groups competing for their own interests - 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 - 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 1950s on the issue of civil rights)

8 Hyperpluralist Theory -recent view of pluralism model (1980s) -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). gridlock - media, think tanks, interest groups all pulling the government in different directions and gridlock occurs on a positive note: - on a positive note: that means that no single group dominates the attention of government

9 Political Elite Theory asmall group of peopleora political elite (like an oligarchy) 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 believe Believe decisions are made in the interest of the financial, communications, industrial, and government institutions rather than in the interest of the populace as a whole Elitists believe that there is an identifiable and stable minority group with the power Elitists believe that there is an identifiable and stable minority group with the power Groups could be the wealthy, business leaders or government bureaucrats who make up the small group and influence policy It maintains that democracy is a sham since power is in the hands of a small number of individuals

10 Political Elite Theorists

11 Marxist Marxist View economic forces - 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 bureaucracies Governmental power is under the control of large bureaucracies (appointed officials) whose expertise and competence are essential to the day to day operations of society Politicians come and go but the bureaucrats remain in the administration year after year The bureaucrats do not merely implement public policies, they make policy in how they translate the laws in the operation of govt.

13 C. Wright Mills C. Wright Mills coalition of 3 groups- a coalition of 3 groups- top military officers, corporate leaders, and a handful of elected officials dominate politics and government triumvirate the triumvirate governs according to Mills and not the majority of people In USA today, some may add the media moguls and top labor unions officials to the group as well

14 comparison A comparison of the majoritarian and pluralist models of democracy reveals: Majoritarian model Majoritarian model: - Conclusive elections - Centralized structure of government - Cohesive political parties with well-defined programs Pluralist model Pluralist 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 ? national levelundesirable representative democracy 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 union Establish justice Insure domestic tranquility Provide for the common defense Promote the general welfare Secure the blessings of liberty

17 Key Principles of the U.S. Representative Democracy Republican Form of Government Limited Government Separation of Powers / Checks and Balances Federalism Individual Rights Popular 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 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 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 Conflict is the basis of politics!


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