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Voting Reform Today
Since the complications counting ballots for the 2001 presidential election, both voters and the media have shown increased interest in the issue of exactly how we elect our presidents. Three areas have received close scrutiny either since that election. Two issues received serious scrutiny before the election: the Electoral College system and campaign finance. Since November of 2001, the actual method of casting one's vote has been closely looked at as well.
Two senators, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mien Spector, announced that they would sponsor legislation designed to eliminate the Electoral College, where the president is actually voted in by representatives from each state, to a direct popular vote, where all the votes from all voters are tallied into one number, and the victor becomes President. While all voters easily understand the second approach, the Electoral College system gives more ability to influence the outcome of the…
Drinkard, Jim. "Updating voting machines could take a decade." USA TODAY, February 13, 2001. Accessed via the Internet 2/20/02.
Ellperin, Juliet and Dewar, Helen. "Campaign Bill Heads For a Vote In House." Washington Post, January 25, 2002, p. A01.
Glassman, James. "Reform the Electoral College, Don't Toss It." American Enterprise, February/March, 2001. Accessed via the Internet 2/20/02.
democracy in detail. It discusses different forms of democracy. The difference between liberal democracy and democracy has also been analyzed in this paper. It puts light on the seven institutional guarantees of liberal democracy and examines each of the institutional guarantees in detail.
Most of the people around the globe are familiar to the word democracy but its meaning is often misunderstood by many at occasions when marshal law administrators, single-party governments and military groups acquire the support of millions of people by claiming that they are a democratic government. The word democracy has been derived from the Greek word 'demos' which means people. Democracy can be defined as a form of government in which the supreme power belongs to the people of the nation. In some forms of democracy, this power is exercised, directly, by the people of the nation. In other forms, however, this power is being exercised…
Carcasson, M., & Sprain, L. Colorado State University, Center for Public Deliberation. (2010). Key aspects of the deliberative democracy movement. Retrieved from Colorado State University website: http://www.cpd.colostate.edu/keyaspects.pdf
Cincotta, H.U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Information Programs. (2006).Democracy in brief. Retrieved from U.S. Department of State website: http://photos.state.gov/libraries/korea/49271/dwoa_122709/Democracy-in-Brief.pdf
Howard, H. (2011). The challenge of third world development. (6th ed., pp. 28-40). London: Longman.
Macmillan Publishers Limited, (n.d.). Democracy. Retrieved from Macmillan Publishers Limited website: http://www.palgrave.com/politics/hague/site/docs/samplechapter.pdf
In author Jacques Ranciere's book On the Shores of Politics, he discusses what he believes are the important concepts in understanding democracy and how it is used by people. Most importantly in the chapter "The Uses of Democracy" is his belief that true democracy has yet to be envisioned. In the United States and other countries, as time progresses the nations which are built upon democratic systems of government move further away from the principles of that government's founding. After the fall of Communist regimes, the supremacy of the democratic viewpoint seems to have been strengthened but in reality the situation is only becoming more divisive, at least according to Ranciere's perspective. The differences between democracy as ideal and democracy in practice is growing with the advent of "liberal democracy" which itself demands a reorganization and reprioritizing of democratic ideals based on growing concern for individuals.
The word democracy…
Ranciere, Jacques. "The Uses of Democracy." On the Shores of Politics. Verso, 2007. 39-61.
Democracy in U.S. And Scotland
Democracy in the United States
Different countries with widely disparate forms of government all lay claim to being a democracy. Many European parliamentary-style governments, for example, call themselves democracies. In contrast, more centralized, presidential governments claim to be democracies as well.
hat these forms of government have in common, however, are key basic ideals. Democracy is a form of government that is based on aggregative concepts of a "common good." This concept has its roots in philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau's "social contract theory," which states that a general will of the people gives rise to an unstated social contract. In a democratic form of government, decisions are made based on a "rationally identified common good" (Shapiro 2003: 3).
The United States has three main structures of government. The judiciary is tasked with interpreting and upholding the country's laws. The legislature, composed of the Lower House…
Brinkley, Alan. 2000. The Unfinished Nation. New York: McGraw-Hill Company.
Kagan, Robert. 2003. Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order. New York: Knopf
Lace, William. 2001. Scotland. San Diego: Lucent Books.
Public Information Service. 2003. Factsheet on the Scottish Parliament. available at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk
Democracy and Clientelism:
Political clientelism is basically considered as the distribution of discriminatory benefits to people or groups in exchange for political support. Clientelism is a form of personal exchange that is always characterized by uneven balance of power between those involved and a sense of compulsion. Throughout history, this term has continued to create confusion and controversy due to the broad and varied range of political exchanges that it contains. Since it's a way with which the uneven and hierarchical exchanges of a feudal society are described, clientelism is also a means of describing the relationships between patrons and clients. The theory of democracy explains that voters have the right of making their choices freely, particularly during political elections. This concept has created new platforms for representation and political accountability as well as the benefits for sustaining and cultivating clientelistic bonds (Szwarcberg, 2009). In places with weak democracies, clients…
De Sousa Luis. "Clientelism and the Quality(ies) of Democracy Public and Policy Aspects."
Central European University, 2008. http://pdc.ceu.hu/archive/00004462/01/discwp-2008-02.pdf (accessed April 12, 2011).
Gallego, Jorge Andres & Raciborski, Rafal. "Clientelism, Income Inequality, and Social
Preferences: and Evolutionary Approach to Poverty Traps." Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, 2008. http://www.javeriana.edu.co/fcea/area_economia/inv/documents/clientelismIncomeInequalityandSocialPreferences_000.pdf (accessed April 12, 2011).
Surrounding Islamic countries might foster unrest if nothing else to demoralize the West and decrease this influence. Since most of these countries are kingdoms or ruled by despots, these nations have a hidden agenda to create unrest and present the U.S.-led invasion and its aftermath as a failure.
Having been identified a failure in the eyes of the world would prevent any possible invasion of the other Islamic kingdoms or fiefdoms.
Another cause of a possible long-term failure of U.S. attempts at bringing democracy to Iraq would be because of the Islamic mindset. There are two primary sects within Islam (among others): Sunni and Shiite. Mr. Hussein was a Sunni. Sunnis in the country were preferentially treated. The Sunnis would therefore not want the removal of Saddam Hussein because of the fear of transfer (or sharing) of power with the Shiites. Many have averred that centuries of generations of having…
Copson, Raymond W. "Iraq War: Background and Issues Overview." Report for Congress, 2003.
Toland, John. But Not in Shame; the Six Months after Pearl Harbor. New York,: Random House, 1961.
Autocracy and Democracy
There are different forms of government throughout the world. Each nation decides how it will govern its people and in whom the power will be vested. It is expected that when the nation is established, either the citizens or those who led the efforts to create the new nation will find a system of governance that works for all considered. There are many different forms of government, perhaps as many different forms as there are governments to adopt them. Some nations have kings and queen who rule their monarchy, others are theocracies where the rulers are the clergy, and still others are meritocracies where those who are put in positions of power have been granted the honor based on their value to the rest of the society. Two nearly diametrically opposed systems of government are democracies and autocracies. In the former government type, the people are the…
Danziger, J. (2013). Understanding the Political World. 11th edition. Pearson.
Robert A. Dahl's On Democracy believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change.
Dan Quayle (1947 -), 5/22/89
The term, democracy, means many things in popular discourse. One has only to turn on the television to hear presidential speeches, public discussion, or news commentators espousing its virtues -- "goodness," "virtue," and "liberty," almost as if the term has become synonymous with freedom itself. In fact this trend is becoming so prevalent, that I find myself checking with each new release of Microsoft Word, if ther term "democracy" might yield "freedom" in its thesaurus.
Although today's average rabid patriot (a species won't to exclaim statements like, "Our boys are over there in eye-rak fighting for our freedom!") may see nothing amiss with this notion, there remains the issue of the tremendous disservice that results from the simplistic coupling of the two terms,…
Dahl, Robert. On Democracy. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.
Democracy in America
Democracy is a term whose origin can be traced to Ancient Greece where it was used to refer to power or rule from people. Actually, the two Greek words which were used to create the term democracy combine to refer to rule by the people or individuals. Since its emergence, democracy has developed to become a multifaceted complex that focuses on guaranteeing the freedom of every individual or citizen in a country. Given its ever increasing role in governance systems across the globe, political theorists have developed several models that explain societal ideals in order to provide context and understanding of democracy. The different models or theories of democracy explain individual involvement in the political process, the basis for governmental involvement, and the link between government involvement and societal needs.
America's system of governance is characterized by a complex and multifaceted political process as well…
Chase, Harold. "Constitution of the United States, Part I: Its Genesis and Framework."
Scholastic. Scholastic Inc., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2015. .
Hacker, Kenneth L., and Jan Van Dijk. "MODELS OF DEMOCRACY AND CONCEPTS OF COMMUNICATION." Digital Democracy: Issues of Theory and Practice. London: SAGE, 2000. 1-20. Print.
Tocqueville, Alexis De., Henry Reeve, and John C. Spencer. Democracy in America: Volume 1.
The Executive Branch (President and Cabinet) executes spending and Congressional instructions, makes appointments to certain governmental posts, and is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The Judicial Branch (Supreme Court) exercises judicial review over the constitutionality and interpretation of laws; determines how Congress meant the law to apply, and has a panel that serves for life (Constitutional Topic: Separation of Powers).
There are a number of criticisms focused on the actual level of democracy or even democratic representation in the United States of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. First, many governmental officials (Supreme Court justices, etc.) are appointed, not elected, and therefore may operate outside the will of the populace. Second, in order to be elected to a state or national office now requires a huge amount of funding; putting elected office outside the purview of most people. Thus, it is not necessarily the "best" people…
Cassier, E. The Philosophy of the Enlightenment. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968.
"Constitutional Topic: Separation of Powers." March 2009. U.S. Constitution.net. December 2010 .
Dahl, Shapiro and Cheibub. The Democracy Sourcebook. Boston: MIT Press, 2003.
"Democracy vs. Republic." June 2004. Albatrus.org. December 2010 .
If the context, nation, or order centers on a group of people who have either lost interest in political ideology, or desire to share in the common decision process, then they are not truly represented. This could result in the lack of an appeal of voting, to be involved in litigation, or the lack of proper representation. "In societies where some form of elitism is institutionalized, there democracy cannot breathe easily," (Lane & Ersson 10). This can be common in industrialized societies where a family, a system, or socioeconomic presence of a class is evidenced. Democracy can create a depressed economy, environment, or nation, if the common members feel as though the elitist individuals are using the form of government to benefit those within certain classes or families in society. This was seen historically when the stock market crashed in 1929. Nash states, "The search was to dominate Americans throughout…
Dahl, Professor Robert A. On Democracy. New Haven. CT: Yale University Press. 1998.
Diamond, Larry. The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies. New York,
NY: Henry Holt & Co. 2008.
Ersson, Svante & Lane, Jan-Erik. Democracy: A Comparative Approach. New York, NY:
Democracy in the United States [...] what type of democracy is the U.S. What are the most democratic and least democratic features of American national government? Do you believe that the U.S. presently embodies the core values of a democracy or do you believe that the U.S. has yet to attain the essence of democratic ideals? Democracy is one of the most sought after forms of government, and some form of democracy reaches far back into history, as far back as early Greece. American democracy is a model for the world.
First, to discuss democracy it is better to define democracy. "Democracy" comes from the Greek work "demos" which means "the common people," and "kratia" which means, "power" (O'Neil 149). Thus, democracy means the power actually lives in the people. However, this is too simply a definition of the word. Author O'Neil maintains the word means "political power exercised either…
Mueller, Dennis C. Constitutional Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
O'Neil, Patrick. Essentials of Comparative Politics. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004.
Putnam, Robert D. "Democracy in America at the End of the Twentieth Century." Participation and Democracy, East and West: Comparisons and Interpretations. Eds. Rueschemeyer, Dietrich, Marilyn Rueschemeyer, and Bjorn Wittrock. Armonk, NY M.E. Sharpe, 1998. 233-259.
democracy and representative government central inspirations for European feminists in the 19th and early 20th centuries? Were there other issues that inspired the feminists?
urning in the heart of each person is the desire to be free and to be recognized as a valuable part of society while at the same time receiving recognition as an individual. This desire is not trained into us by our society, because regardless of the social organization, or culture, all men and women feel this burning desire equally. The desire to be free, independent and recognized as valuable is a part of what separated men and women from animals. We are important, and our contribution to the social order is an important process by which we make carve out our own identify, and self-worth.
However, this desire for identity and recognition should not be confused with, nor forcibly molded into a desire for sameness…
Sources of the Western Tradition: From the Renaissance to the Present, 5th edition, Volume 2 - written by Marvin Perry, Joseph R. Peden & Theodore H. Von Laue - 2003
History of World Societies: Since 1500, 6th Edition, Volume 2 - Written by John P. McKay, Bennett D. Hill, John Buckler, Patricia Buckley Ebrey - 2004
In these very conservative Islamic countries, and even those less conservative like Jordan and Egypt, we see symbols of capitalism. This gives rise to the question of whether or not these countries can in fact be a part of a world economy without surrendering their theocratic rule to more liberal forms of democratic rule; or whether they reject - as Iran has done - Westernization completely.
At this point the outcome is unknown, but this does help explain the conditions in the Middle East today, and why the situation in Iraq has become so violent. The question becomes one of whether or not the fundamental principles of Islam can survive against the fundamental principles of democracy; the answer is predictably no. This is what has given rise to Islamic fundamentalism in the region; those Muslims who - and perhaps rightfully so - under stand the threat of over exposure to…
representative system of government has motivated a vital chain of discussions in the literature about police workers administration and representation of women and racial minorities. The serious questions in this study are: (a.) Does the under oath police force rationally mirror a cross section of the groups being monitored? And (b.) hat aspects are measured in representation of women and minority police officers in law-enforcement agencies? Black and Hispanic depictions on police forces are strongly associated with its incidence in community populations. Regions differ in the quantity of female and minority illustrations, blacks being better characterized in southern police forces than in another place; women are better characterized in the northwest. Nevertheless, findings disclose that men, more often than not whites, maintain to hold unreasonably more sworn positions in the largest part of law-enforcement agencies. The data sets of female and minority representation also demonstrate the extent of female and…
Ayres, Ian, and Steven Levitt. Measuring Positive Externalities from Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis of Lojack. Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 2008, 43-77.
Bahrke, Mike, and Bob Hoffman. Identifying the Fitness Needs of Law Enforcement Officers. Working Paper, Fit Force, 2007.
Coate, Stephen, and Glenn Loury. Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes? American Economic Review, 2003, 1220-40.
Donohue, John J, and Steven D. Levitt. The Impact of Race on Policing, Arrest Patterns, and Crime. Working Paper, Stanford University Law School, August 2009.
Democracy and Public Administration
This report is a theoretical essay on the inevitable conflicts that consistently occur between public agencies that are managed by unelected civil servants and the political environment in which these individuals and organizations operate in. Public agencies in the healthcare environment are prime examples of successful interdepartmental cooperation in most cases, but, there are also examples where they can demonstrate both internal and external in-fighting. "The health sector workforce, which usually comprises a significant element within the total public sector workforce, may be either directly employed by the public sector health system, or work in public-funded agencies or organizations (e.g., social insurance funded). In many countries healthcare will also be delivered by organizations in the private sector and by voluntary organizations." (World Bank Group) As concerns like the nation's aging population, a rapidly depleting Medicare Trust or the many potential pandemics such as SAs, Swine…
Antos, Joseph. (2008). "Medicare's Bad News: Is Anyone Listening?" American Institute for Public Policy Research. April, No. 3.
American Public Health Association (2009). Retrieved on November 2, 2009, from American Public Health Association Web Site: http://www.apha.org aphanet. (2001). Senators' Introduce Bill to Prepare For Possibility of Biological Warfare. Retrieved on November 2, 2009, from http://www.aphanet.org
CDC. (2009). H1N1. Retrieved on November 3, 2009, from Center For Disease Control web site at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/sick.htm .
Center for Disease Control. (2009). State and Local Infrastructure. Retrieved on November 3, 2009, from Center for Disease Control Web Site: http://www.cdc.gov/programs
Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People" focuses on the meaning of truth from the perspective of the majority ruled by its democratically elected leadership versus the individual's rights. Dr. Thomas Stockman plays the role of the individual who intends to use his democratic right of freely expressing his opinion, especially when this opinion is based on scientific facts and concerns the health of his fellow humans. ovstad, the editor at the newspaper "The People's erald," "freethinker" inside and a radical at heart, who has the instruments to support the free expression of such opinions, political vocation and enough shrewdness to be able to manipulate and adapt to people and situations like a chameleon.
ovstad is as representative for the discussion involving democracy and its flaws now as it was a century ago. Ibsen may have played with philosophical principals and ideas when he wrote the play, but the dilemmas he…
Hovstad has the power and the means democracy and the editorship of the newspaper is giving him to do the right thing and prevent people from getting ill. Instead, he decides to do the exact opposite. His political aspirations, as noble as they may appear to him, are his weakness. He will be easily convinced that the right thing to do was to prevent the truth from being outspoken. He will thus agree to treat the interests of those closer and more important for his political future, the townspeople, as primary compared to the interests of those who might get soaked in the polluted soup. He is the perfect political animal, who will accept any compromise for the so called greater good. Because he has the power to do the right thing and not risk anything he doesn't already have, he sounds as the most despicable of them all.
The theme of the people's right to speak up is relevant to the idea of democracy because it touches two essential features of democracy: the individual's freedom to sepak and the people's right to know the truth. First and foremost, democracy means the ruling by the people, for the people. The local, democratically elected government, theoretically represents people's will and trust. It has the power and the means to express it and see that it is respected. There are moral and philosophical questions that the characters are discussing, questions that have not found a definitive answer yet. It sounds pretty straightforward on paper: the health of even one human is more important that the economic means of a community. On the other hand, it is much more complicated in reality. With today's hindsight, one is more inclined to agree that people like Hovstad have more chances to succeed than those like Dr. Stockmann have. The developed world lives better now, but at the global scale, things are far from being balanced. Corrupted leaders and civil wars aside, Ibsen was right to assume that the welfare of the community will count as more important that that of a few individuals, therefore, inconvenient truths will easily find well-intended politicians or aspiring politicians who will use their power to hide them. Dr. Stockman, the eternal Don Quixote, the beholder of the truth, is fighting the windmills. He is destined to loose his battle because people are more inclined to listen and approve of those they proudly put in office, instead of making the effort and try to see the bigger and complete picture. As a matter of convenience, of shortsightedness, of laziness or even worse, of stupidity, the majority can be wrong. On the other side, Ibsen showed that superiority in spirit that lacks the support of humbleness, reasoning and patience will not succeed in supporting a community either.
Ibsen, H. McFarlane, J. An Enemy of the People; The Wild Duck; Rosmersholm. Oxford University Press, 1999
Democracy: Ancient Athens and Today
The democratic process of ancient Athens as compared to today was much different. The most obvious difference is simply the scale of the process. Ancient Athens was a relatively small city-state compared to the enormous country that is the United States. There are many millions more people in today's U.S. than there were in ancient Athens. Today's elections are also much less direct than they were in Athens. The U.S. uses an electoral and representative system of democracy -- but Athens practiced direct democracy: every participating citizen was able to vote directly for or against a law or policy. In today's world, citizens are very far removed from the process for the most part and must rely on their elected representatives to represent them fairly. Given the sheer number of people in the U.S. and the many differences of our people, fair representation…
Dahl's Theory Of Democracy
The two articles have defined Dahl as the role model in democracy research and the most eminent figure in the field of modern science. The articles reveal that Dahl has adequate knowledge in democratic issues specializing in empirical and normative aspects. He has pioneered in arguments regarding democracy concerns. Aspects of the democratic theory induced by Dahl are based on an analytical approach comprising of three elements. The first component includes values that constitute the objectives of a democratic government. The second component comprises of individual premises while the third is the required institutions for the implementation of democratic values. Besides knowing that democracy goes line in line with individuals, most leaders tend to ignore the individuals they are leading and their reactions. From the articles, the author argues that we cannot analyze how to produce democracy by ignoring to observe individuals making up democratic governments.…
Dahl, Robert A. What is Democracy? In Dahl, Robert A. On Democracy. 1998. Newhaven: Yale University Press, 35-43
Dahl, Robert A. Where and How did Democracy Develop. In Dahl, Robert A. On Democracy. 1998. Newhaven: Yale University Press, 7-25
Pateman, Carole. Participation and Democratic Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011. Print.
This is designed to help support individuals who are dealing with financial challenges. The problem is that select amounts of recipients will use as a way to live off of the government. (Wolf, 2005)
How might a socialist and a capitalist government differ in its treatment of the problem of unemployment?
Socialists want to see massive amounts of government spending to create new jobs, training programs and provide unemployment benefits. A capitalist is opposed to these kinds of programs and believes that charities / private enterprises can address these issues.
In your opinion, should the government have the responsibility of providing health care for every citizen? Why or why not?
Yes, the government should provide health care. The reason why is because prices are increasing exponentially and the number of uninsured is rising. These factors are a sign that there is very little competition inside the sector. To address these…
2012 Puerto Rico Statehood Amendment. (2012). Boards. Retrieved from: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=77582334
Commerce Clause. (2012). Britannica. Retrieved from: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/127865/commerce-clause
Principles of Constitutional Construction. (2010). Constitution.org. Retrieved from: http://constitution.org/cons/prin_cons.htm
Sin Taxes. (2005). Six Taxes. Connecticut Voices for Children. Retrieved from: http://www.ctkidslink.org/publications/bud05sintax02.pdf
This rationale may prove correct to some degree, but only in those areas where the villagers have no means of communication between villages and thus no way of exchanging opinions and finding out about irregularities and breaking of the law. Kolhammer is pointing out that the declared official role of the organic law of Village Committees is only going to be put in practice after the villagers will be aware of the right they have according to it and act accordingly.
There is no possibility that one can draw the conclusion that peasants in most villages in China are not aware of their rights in terms of electing their village leader and Village Committee. The degree of knowledge in this sense may vary, but a country that has experienced huge economic changes after the death of Mao could not have remained immobile to significant social and political changes. The political…
Works Cited www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=113359016
Ding, Yijiang. Chinese Democracy after Tiananmen. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. Questia. 18 Aug. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=113359114 .
Kelliher, Daniel. The Chinese Debate over Village Self-Government.The China Journal, No 37(January 1997): 63-86
Kennedy, John James. The Face of "Grassroots Democracy" in Rural China. Asian Survey, Vol. 42, No. 3, (May - Jun., 2002),: 456-482
Kolhammar, Jens. Democracy outmanoeuvred: Village self-governance in China: A case study. China Elections and Governance. Posted June 7, 2008. Retrieved: Aug 20, 2008. http://en.chinaelections.org/NewsInfo.asp?NewsID=18373
Political Philosophy II: Theories of Freedom
To answer the questions of why De Tocqueville and Mill think that democracy is a threat to the liberty of the individual and whether they are right, this paper will show that both De Tocqueville and Mill viewed democracy as a mechanism that could easily become tyrannical and thus overwhelm one's individual liberty. Considering that democracy in its various forms (direct, representative, constitutional) is capable of being corrupted (voters and/or representatives may be bribed, coerced, misinformed, misled, subjugated, harassed, mobbed, and so on), it is not difficult to see that both Tocqueville and Mill are correct in their arguments: democracy can be a threat to the liberty of the individual -- precisely because it is not necessarily predicated on truth, rightness, or goodness. Is there any system of government that does not represent a potential threat to the liberty of the individual when it…
Different forms of government have been tried in just about every country on Earth since the beginning of modern history, with varying successes. Out of all these processes, the "lesser" of all evils has been democracy, according to Winston Churchill. However, democracy is not perfect at all, though it seems to be a better-suited government for humankind, especially because it provides us with many freedoms. Minimal democracy is defined as the 20th century democratic political system which means that its most powerful decision-makers are selected through "fair, honest and periodic elections in which candidates clearly compete for votes and in which virtually all the adult population is eligible to vote," according to Samuel Huntington. This definition is an adequate definition for electoral democracy because it provides one with all the elements that should make up an electoral democratic process. This essay will thus provide the reader with the…
Another strength of this definition is its mention that representatives are elected through fair and competitive elections in which most of the adult population can vote. This is vital for a democracy to prosper. The adult population must be all inclusive and must definitely have the right to vote, for only this can make it equal. Furthermore, the representatives to government must compete for votes by participating in town hall meetings or debates. A third point this definition makes, which further strengthens it is that the elections must be fair. Indeed, without fair elections one does not have a true democracy. [3: Kallen, H. (1997). Culture and Democracy in the United States. Berrue Circle: Transaction Publishers.]
The only weakness that I can see in this definition is that it does not present the central "freedom" facets to democracy. According to the U.S. Constitution we have many freedoms, including that of press, religion, and speech. This is a central facet to United States democracy. Freedom of Speech for example could contribute to rousing people to go vote, and go vote for a specific candidate. However, for an electoral democracy definition, this is implied in the "fairness" clause, and thus does not necessarily need to be included in the definition, but should be included in a more specific description of such a definition.
This paper has presented a minimal definition of electoral democracy and has stated that this definition is all-inclusive as far as the aspects of electoral democracy are concerned. It has also discussed why these elements are important in democracy, and how they help our society be a better, more free society.
Salvaging Democracy consent of the governed) then one is not in a democracy, though democratic elements may exist. America, for example, was founded as a republic and not as a democracy (though with time it has shifted towards being more ogliarchical in some aspects and more democratic in others). The more traditional definition of democracy needs to be understood if one is to approach the philosophy of the classical Greek philosophers. Ancient Greece, one must understand, is one of the few places in the world or in history where democracy has actually been practiced in a state setting. The polises of Greece such as Athens were frequently democratic, and all citizens had a right to vote on issues ranging from laws to criminal trials. True Democracy has only thrived in classical Greece, yet the greatest Greek philosophers condemned it in favor of a more Republican or even Aristocratic regime that…
Aristotle. Politics. Trans. Benjamin Jowett. New York: Dover Publications, 2000.
Plato. The Republic. Trans. G.M. Grube. New York: Hackett Publishing Company, 1992.
Thucydides. The History of the Peloponnesian War (excerpt). Trans. Richard Crawley. Archived at http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_thucydides_funeral.htm
21st Century American 'Democracy': The Best Government that Money Can Buy
ithin polarized, interest group-dominated 21st century United States life, most Americans still cling to the idea, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, that we live in a democracy. In today's America, however, that idea is more quaint than accurate. Instead, as the article suggests, America is more a pseudo-democracy than a real one, in which special interest groups (and, as their representatives, high-priced lobbyists they can afford to hire) shape national political, social, economic, health, environmental, and most, if not all, other national agendas for us (although definitely not on our behalf). Meanwhile, a destructive combination of voter apathy (especially among, but not limited to, working-class individuals and minority group members, who feel especially detached) gives us, instead of democracy, the best government money can buy.
ebster's New American Dictionary defines "democracy" as: "1: government by the people; esp:…
"Democracy." Webster's New American Dictionary. New York: Merriam-
Webster, 1995, p. 138.
Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America. New York: Signet, September
Terrorism and Democracy
Terrorism is by its very nature is anti-democratic as it seeks to achieve political ends by violence. It has no interest in any of the bedrocks of democracy such as building consensus, stimulating debate or protecting the rights and interests of minorities. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the TC twin towers, the 'clear and present' danger to democracy, freedom and liberties has become even more pronounced. There is consensus among all those who cherish democracy that urgent steps are necessary to counter the threat of terrorism. The key question is: how to accomplish this? In this essay we shall examine how terrorism undermines democracy and whether setting up an international committee can help to fight terrorism. e shall also look at short definitions of democracy and terrorism.
Definition of Democracy
Democracy (Greek demos, "the people"; kratein, "to rule") is a political system in which…
Amnesty International's concerns regarding post September 11 detentions in the U.S.A." AI Web-site. April 6, 2003. http://web2.amnesty.org/library/Index/engAMR510442002?OpenDocument&of=COUNTRIESUSA?OpenDocument&of=COUNTRIESUSA
Carothers, Thomas. "Promoting Democracy and Fighting Terror." Source: Foreign Affairs v. 82 no1 (Jan./Feb. 2003) p. 84-97
Hoffmann, Bruce. "Terrorism." Article in Encyclopedia Encarta, CD-ROM Version, 2003
Pious, Richard M. "Democracy." Article in Encyclopedia Encarta, CD-ROM Version, 2003
Yet its democracy has passed the test of time.
The main reason for this is the rise of a pluralist nationalism in the country. In reaction to the colonialism of the time, the anti-colonial Indian National Congress was founded as representative of all cultures in the country unified against colonialism. This paradigm remained as an essential cornerstone of the compromises that had to be made to legitimize the pluralist paradigm of democracy in India. This is a significant concept in both emerging and existing democracies. As the world is becoming more integrated, the ideal of pluralist nationalism is becoming increasingly viable.
merging democracies can then learn from India in terms of creating a pluralist democracy, where no single group takes precedent or power over any other. Instead, it is a collective national effort towards the success of the truly democratic principle.
Kesavan, Mukul. India's Model Democracy. BBC News, 15…
Emerging democracies can then learn from India in terms of creating a pluralist democracy, where no single group takes precedent or power over any other. Instead, it is a collective national effort towards the success of the truly democratic principle.
Kesavan, Mukul. India's Model Democracy. BBC News, 15 Aug. 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6943598.stm
Fabianism and Social Democracy
Fabianism and social justice
Fabianism was an early form of socialism that was espoused by many 19th century intellectuals, including George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. The 19th century was an era of tremendous social injustice. Capitalism was virtually unregulated, and it was not unusual for men and women to work ten hour days or more. Child labor was widespread. It was accepted that there would be a chasm between the haves and have-nots, in terms of income, rights, and quality of life. One response to this state of injustice was Marxism or a vision of a classless society after a violent overthrow of the ruling classes. In contrast, the Fabian brand of socialism was a gradualist vision, which viewed reform from within as the best method of realizing social justice. Fabians believed that by agitating for the rights of the working classes, women, and oppressed…
Role of Democracy in the Middle East
There has recently been a wave of democratic uprisings sweeping across the Middle East. Starting in Tunisia, the call for democratic reforms spread through Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Iran and many other nations. Many have likened these uprisings to the social unrest of 1848, which gave rise to the Communist Revolution of 1917, but they do so wrongly. hile the popular uprisings that continue to inflame the Middle East may have some of the same causes as in 1848, rising food prices and high unemployment, the current unrest lacks the ideological component. The protestors do not want to destroy their government, they want to reform it. In this way the uprisings of 2011 are more akin toward the establishment of a Rousseau-inspired representative republic in that the people were demanding, not a complete social restructuring, but a representative form of government that…
Cullen, Daniel. "On Rousseau's democratic realism.(French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau)." Perspectives on Political Science 36.4 (2007): 207+. Academic OneFile. Web. 23 Apr. 2011.
"Egypt News - Revolution and Aftermath" New York Times. 18 Apr. 2011. Web 23 Apr. 2011. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories / egypt/index.html
Goldstone, Jack. "Understanding the Revolutions of 2011 | Foreign Affairs." Home | foreign Affairs. Web. 23 Apr. 2011.
Civic Values in the U.S.
estoring democracy and civic virtue in the United States will require major reforms that reduce the power of corporations, elites and special interests in the whole political process. ight now, there is a radical disconnect between the political and economic elites and the needs and interests of the ordinary voters. Most people today realize that the country is in its worse crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, but government and the political system seem dysfunctional and incapable of dealing with it. emoving the power and control of big money from the political process forever would be the most important step in revitalizing American democracy and making the system more representative and accountable. So would eliminating the Electoral College and electing the president and vice president by a majority of the popular vote. Despite the protests of small states, only this type of reform…
Ackerman, B. (2002). Bush v. Gore: The Question of Legitimacy. Yale University Press.
Edwards, G.C., M.P. Wattenberg, and R.L. Lineberry. Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy, Brief Ninth Edition. Pearson Education, Inc., 2008.
Grofman, B. Legacies of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. University of Virginia Press, 2000.
Hasen, R.L. "Citizens United and the Illusion of Coherence." Michigan Law Review, Vol. 109.581, February 2011: 581-624.
Democracy and Bureaucracy
There is a natural tendency for bureaucracy to grow larger in a democracy if left unchecked. Much of this arises because of similar growth tendencies that can be found in other organizations. However, in the democratic form of government, there are challenges present in governmental bureaucracy that are unique to this sector. For example, in private companies there are typically chains of authority that are responsible for the decision making and are required to be transparent and accountable to all the organization's stakeholders. Furthermore, the operations in a private organization typically have economic restraints that are constantly monitored. By contrast, in the democratic form, typically elected officials are responsible for overseeing the bureaucratic institutions that govern society and they are less rigorous in maintaining performance metrics. This analysis will consider the balance between democracy and its bureaucratic institutions and the dynamics that mediate these relationships. It was…
Christiano, T. (2005). Democracy and Bureaucracy. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 211-217.
Dahlberg, S., & Holmberg, S. (2013). Democracy and Bureaucracy: . How their Quality Matters for Popular Satisfaction, 37-41.
Kumar, A. (2012). Corruption, democracy and bureaucracy . Theoretical and Applied Economics, 411-447.
Libman, A. (2012). Democracy, size of bureaucracy, and economic growth: evidence from Russian Regions. Empire Economics, 1321-1352.
Athens vs. United States
The word democracy is built from two Greek words: "demos," meaning "people, and "kratein," or " to rule." So the word means a government ruled by its people. The Athenians of ancient Greece placed the power to rule in the hands of those citizens willing to participate. Citizens were males over the age of 18 who were not slaves.
In many ways, Athens was a direct democracy, because anyone eligible to vote could go to the meetings and vote. However, they also had an Assembly with 500 representatives elected by the citizens of the ten separate districts. The Assembly actually did preliminary work for any issues to be presented to all the citizens and in that way served somewhat like United States House and Senate committees. They were elected by those they represented but only for one year at a time, and could serve only twice…
Rempel, Gerhard. DATE. "How Democratic was Athens?" Accessed via the Internet 3/15/04. http://mars.acnet.wnec.edu/~grempel/courses/wc1/lectures/07democracy.html
The new products are highly priced and, through competition, are reduced quickly. This rising of new and falling of old prices is the closest thing to stable average prices possible in an ever-expanding market such as exists now. Democratic politics have always balked at manipulation of the economy through controls over it, but it appears to be necessary in order to keep the value of the dollar even. However, it has never been attempted to allow the dollar free rein to inflate and deflate on its own. hen this occurred in the early part of the twentieth century, it came to a crashing halt. It is this fear that makes the democratic voter tremble and step aside as the President appoints a Federal Chief who, with his Board Member cohorts would be able to control and decide the future of the American economy (the Economist, M).
To summarize, the government…
Harris, S.E., editor, the New Economics: Keynes's influence on theory and public policy. 1950 edition, New York: Knopf. 1950.
The Economist, "Search Tools: Inflation" (Adapted from Essential Economics, published by Profile Books). 2007. http://www.economist.com/research/Economics/ .
Judicial review allows lawmakers to reflect changing morals and ideals when enacting legislation, but prevents them from allowing the hot-button topics of the moment to determine the laws of a nation. In fact, to really understand the success of judicial review, one need only look to the election in the Ukraine, where the Ukrainian Supreme Court may be the only body far-enough removed from party politics to ensure that Ukrainian voters have their say. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Justice Marshall should be very flattered.
The Gathering Storm." John Marshall: Definer of a Nation. 2003. DuPage County Bar
Association. 9 Dec. 2004 http:dcba.org/brief/sepissue/1997/art20997.htm.
Hugo Lafayette Black." Arlington National Cemetery ebsite. 2004. Arlington National
Cemetery ebsite. 9 Dec. 2004 http:www.arlingtoncemetery.net/hlblack.htm.
Judicial review/Marbury v. Madison." National Legal Center for the Public Interest. 2002.
National Legal Center for the Public Interest 9 Dec. 2004 http://www.nlcpi.org/pdf/JudicialReviewMarburyvMadison.pdf#search='judicial%20review%20marbury'.
Linder, Doug. "Judicial…
The Gathering Storm." John Marshall: Definer of a Nation. 2003. DuPage County Bar
Association. 9 Dec. 2004 http:dcba.org/brief/sepissue/1997/art20997.htm.
Hugo Lafayette Black." Arlington National Cemetery Website. 2004. Arlington National
Cemetery Website. 9 Dec. 2004 http:www.arlingtoncemetery.net/hlblack.htm.
Many important revolutions and transitions in power have occurred in non-democratic countries in the past several months, sparking a great deal of debate regarding the role of social media and contemporary technology in empowering populations to demand change. The matter of the critical mass with regards to public opinion and its impact upon international attention and intervention is central to the discussion of digital resources and communications supplanting rights and privileges of democratic freedoms. It has been widely promulgated in democratic nations, such as the United States, where digital media are protected by free speech laws, that the internet has the ability to enhance communication freedom in places where governments have made efforts to restrict social and civil liberties.
In an article for Foreign Policy Magazine, Evgeny Morozov termed the belief of democratic nations in the internet's ability to catalyze democratic revolution the Internet Freedom Agenda. Key to…
Edge. Org. (2010). "Edge: Digital Democracy and Its Discontents" Retrieved from: http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/morozov_shirky10/morozov_shirky10_index.html
Morozov, Evgeny. (2011). "Freedom.gov." Foreign Policy Magazine.
Shirky, Clay. (2008). Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations. Penguin Books: New York.
The subject culture implies the relationship of the individual with the political authorities he is aware of. However, despite their existence, the subject may or may not agree to their legitimacy.
The participant political culture is the "one in which the members of the society tend to be explicitly oriented to the system as a whole and to both the political and administrative structures and processes." (Almond and Verba,1989, 18)
Overall, the classification proposed by the authors does not necessarily exclude one another, but rather complement each other. In this sense, although participant politics is advisable for current democracies, elements from a parochial and a subject political culture are also present and influence the polity.
The U.S. is a symbol of the democratic system. The political culture may be seen as participant because the citizen is, despite a serious fall in the voting turnout percentages, involved in their relation with…
Almond, Gabriel a., and Sidney Verba. The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations. Newbury Park: Sage Publications, 1989.
Heywood, Andrew. Key Concepts in Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000.
Healing the Heart of Democracy is a good one because it highlights the central ideas of Palmer's work, namely the need, in his eyes, for true bipartisanship and compassion towards one another. While this of course is idealistic and positive, the reality of democracy in America is much more sordid, as representatives are bought and sold by Big Money and are essentially unaccountable to the citizens they are supposed to represent. If enough Big Money backs them, they are bound to win elections as the mass of people in America are either indifferent to the corrupt politics of our time or else controlled by the media, which is also backed by the same Big Money that controls our politicians. Bipartisanship is not even a word that matters in reality; in idealistic heads, it is a great thing to strive towards; but in the real world it is just a talking…
The book "The Principles of epresentative Government" is one of the best recent attempts made by any author study political theory that guides governmental structure and influences the changes that has occurred in the form of government since ancient times. Bernard Manin presents his arguments in a lucid manner however the book does suffer from its fair share of weaknesses that we shall discuss later in the paper. For now, it is important to understand that Manin's book revolves around the thesis that democracy is not exactly established with the help of representative government. The latter was meant to control the deficiencies of democracy and not to give it excessive powers. He writes: "Contemporary democratic governments have evolved from a political system that was conceived by its founders as opposed to democracy.... What today we call representative democracy has its origins in a system of institutions... that was…
Bernard Manin. 1997. The principles of representative government. Cambridge:
Today's world does not have many examples of absolutist monarchies left in the world (Bhutan and Nepal were good example, but recent political changes in these countries no longer qualify them for inclusion), but historically France is probably the best example to fit as an absolutist monarchy.
Representative democracy is a political system in which the people elect individuals to represent their interests in the decision making process at a state level. In a pure democracy, usually going back to ancient Athens, was a form of consultative democracy in which every member of the society participated in the political meetings and decision making process. With the growth of population that sort of democracy was obviously no longer functional, turning it into a representative democracy.
In the United States, the electing constituencies and districts are formed by a small number of individuals who reside in a certain area and have specific…
As a result, the trustee representation in American has not served the nation's interests since representatives have continued to work for their personal interests. Actually, these representatives continue to strictly support the best interests of their political party and corporate sponsors ("ho is the Boss?" par, 6).
The main reason attributed to the tendency by politicians to serve the interests of their political party and corporate sponsors at the expense of the nation's interests is the huge amounts of money in today's politics in the United States. The perversion of the trustee model of representation by politicians is evident in the tendency by these elected officials to vote against issues that majority of voters support.
In light of these facts, the delegate model of representation may not be the most suitable means for the American population. Even with this kind of model, elected officials are likely to continue supporting the…
Fox, Justin, and Kenneth W. Shotts. "Delegates or Trustees? A Theory of Political Accountability." Yale University. Yale University, 23 June 2007. Web. 16 May 2013. .
REHFELD, ANDREW. "Representation Rethought: On Trustees, Delegates, and Gyroscopes in the Study of Political Representation and Democracy." American Political Science Review 103.2 (2009): 214-30. Brown University. Brown University, May 2009. Web. 16 May 2013. .
Rosenfeld, Zachary. "Are Republicans Fielding a Delegate When America Wants a Trustee?" The Citizen: The Official Student Newpaper at Harvard Kennedy School. The Citizen, 24 Feb. 2012. Web. 16 May 2013. .
RUSSELL, MATTHEW. "TRUSTEE or DELEGATE: A LEGITIMATE QUESTION FACING POLITICAL REPRESENTATION." STUDENT RESEARCH BRIEFING SERIES 2.2 (2012): 1-26. DEPARTMENT of POLITICAL SCIENCE ~ TUFTS UNIVERSITY. TUFTS UNIVERSITY, 2012. Web. 16 May 2013. .
Voting to Violence, Jack Snyder starkly poses some of the most vexing questions for foreign policy analysts during the 1990's. Why was this decade, despite the collapse of the totalitarian system of communism and an overall greater global potential for democratic involvement, marked by a worldwide increase in ethnic conflict and hatred in Europe and across the larger world?
Why did this "the process of democratization" become seemingly "one of its own worst enemies," because of its populist nature of the democratic politics that seemed to point towards peace and freedom, rather than conflict. Why has the promise of democracy leading to a more stable worldwide peace seemingly inevitably become "clouded with the danger of war?" (Snyder 2000: 21)
In another section of Snyder's book, the author states that "the transition to democratic politics is meanwhile [still] creating fertile conditions for nationalism and ethnic conflict, which not only raises the…
However, this valuation of the individual must be for all individuals for this world democratic peace to ensue. In other words, new democracies must be rights-based rather than purely populist and ethnically based, otherwise an 'us vs. them' ethnic ideology will lead to warfare. In an ethnic democracy, the security of one's ethnic state becomes based in the stamping out of all ethnic groups, groups who were historically, previously opposed to one's own ethnic identity. What is called upon is not a naive liberal faith in the value of a democracy, but an intelligent understanding of the complications of democracy, a belief in a rights-based system with a questioning eye upon simple ethnic majority populism. (Snyder 2000: 16-17)
Snyder and Dahl's analysis is so cogent because their words explain why democracy does not automatically produce a "democratic peace," only a rights-based "civic democracy" as distinguished from an "ethnic democracy" can do so. (Snyder 2000: 353) In contrast, ethnic democracies undermine a democratic peace because they "deactivate the mechanisms that keep relations between democracies peaceful," in other words for ethnically-based democratic movements and states, the individual's rights is only valued if that individual is part of a specific ethnic frame of reference. Rather than civic or rights-based and individualistic liberal democracies, when democracies evolve in an ethnic-based conflict, they are not more likely to be at peace with one another. Instead, contending rival ethnic democracies are more likely to be at war with one another, reviving ancient hatreds. They are additionally more likely to have a perceived stake in the ethnic conflicts of wars outside their borders.
Synder and Dahl's analysis should not be read as a simply validation of the United States liberal political system, after all the U.S. is hardly free of inter-ethnic conflicts of its own. Instead, their books are intended as warnings to makers of United States policy who may have been too quick in the past to support movements simply because they are democratic, without looking into the specific ethnic tensions of various regions and regional movements. Only through a specific understanding of different country's ancient histories, histories that often stretch far back beyond that of the United State's own conception, can a truly democratic and peaceful world be orchestrated by the stable democracies of the current world order.
Monkey Wrench Gang," by Edward Abbey [...] issue, where does Monkey Wrenching (the type of political activity in the Monkey Wrench Gang) fit into protest politics as a bridge to mass movement politics? Is Monkey Wrenching a part of the fabric of participatory democracy? Monkey Wrenching is clearly extraordinary politics, but does it have a place in our participatory representative democracy?
THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG
Participation in America may seem like a dying art, but every day, thousands of Americans participate in their communities, take care of others, and spout their political beliefs for the betterment of all. From grandmothers who read to children in their local library, to college student protesting the war in Iraq, citizens in America have the right to change the world, one person at a time. Edward Abbey's "The Monkey Wrench Gang" is a novel of participation at its best. The motley gang of four…
Abbey, Edward. The Monkey Wrench Gang. New York: Perennial Classics, 2000.
A democracy is a system of government wherein the governed have a voice. In the simplest terms, it is a government by and for the people. In the present, the United States government is based upon the idea of representational democracy. Every citizen has a voice which is expressed through election of representatives who then vote on items and legislation. This is not how things have always been. In the time of the colonization of the New orld, each colony would be responsible for creating their individual, workable governing systems. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was led by one John inthrop, a Puritan lawyer. More than anyone at the time, John inthrop set the tone for the style of government which would dominate the colony. Although some form of representation in legislation did exist in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, inthrop's community cannot be considered a true democracy. The man's…
Morgan, Edmund S. The Puritan Dilemma: the Story of John Winthrop. New York: Pearson
Longman, 2006. Print.
European Union a state, or what else distinguishes it from other International Organizations
The primary question concerning global organizations as a medium of global governance relates towards the quantity and excellence of this governance within an era where we now have an overdeveloped global economy as well as an under-developed global polity (Ougaard and Higgott, 2002). There's a powerful disconnect amid governance, being an efficient and effective collective solution-seeking process within a given problem-area, and governance being the democratic legitimacy of policy formation. It has made possible the debate regarding 'legitimacy shortfalls' in main global organizations. Furthermore, governance has turned into a hosting analogy determining non-traditional performers (non-condition performers for example NGOs and their local and international associations) that participate as portable agents extending and expanding policy understanding, which is far more advanced and sophisticated than the traditional, elitist, government activities. The interest in global (as well as the regional)…
Andersen, S., Eliassen, K. ( 1996) Introduction: dilemmas, contradictions and the future of European democracy, in: Andersen, S., Eliassen, K. (eds.) The European Union: how democratic is it?, London: Sage, 1-11.
Aziz, M (2006) 'Chinese whispers: the citizen, the law and the constitution', Chapter 10 in D. Castiglione et al.: The Convention Moment: An Experiment in European Constitutional Politics, Basingstoke: Palgrave-MacMillan, forthcoming.
Aziz, M. (2004) 'Mainstreaming the Duty of clarity and Transparency as part of Good Administrative Practice in the EU', European Law Journal, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 282-95.
Bacchus, James (2005). A Few Thoughts on Legitimacy, Democracy, and the WTO: in Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann (ed.), Reforming the World Trading System. Legitimacy, Efficiency, and Democratic Governance (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 429-436.
United States operates as an indirect or representative democracy meaning that a select group is elected by the whole to serve as representatives while attending to public matters. This is in contrast to a direct democracy which holds that all eligible members of a society can personally direct public affairs. This distinction is often overlooked by most Americans who believe that the term democracy has no qualifications.
In order to fully grasp American government, it is essential to understand the Framers of the Constitution referred to it as republic in form. Their intention was to have representatives direct government operations. In other words, voters select representatives who in turn carry out government business. The reasons for this procedure are manifold. Most notably, the Framers foresaw the electorate making poor decisions based on transitory emotions thereby leading the country in an unwise direction. Given such predispositions, the Framers felt that minority…
Wilson, James Q. & Dilulio, John J. (1998). American Government. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
The participation of the citizens to the political life of the country is limited to the election of their representatives. Here some might wonder according to which criteria these representatives take their decisions.
The actions were believed to be dictated either by the final results or by the ethic code which they might respect. Regardless of the approach, the fact stands that if the citizens wish to have a better control upon the manner in which resources are used and society is managed, they must get involved at a deeper level. The latest tendencies demonstrate that more and more people are drawn by the possibility they have to impact the political decisions. This happens through the organization of the civil society (in the lack of organization there could be no actual decision making).
It has also been argued that in order to be able to speak about real democracy, the…
The definition of democracy intensifies the ideals of the individual, as it regards the individual as a very important cog in the wheel of representation. In fact as the work points out the collective idea of social unrest lies not in individualism but in the fact that the individual ideal was to strong for third world political institutions to bear up under. (30) Yet, the individualistic ideals of today's society, are incongruent with true representation. We as members of "democratic" nation are taught to celebrate our differences and yet the human ability to celebrate any differences but our own is inherently flawed as individuals cannot recognize value in an "other" without much exposure and ideological challenge to themselves as a valuable individual defined by their differences. The self is, by its very nature associated with the ideal of better than, simply by the virtue of its separateness.
The stanch democratic…
Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau
Locke defends toleration as a political good, arguing for a widespread general acceptance of different religious beliefs. His view of toleration does have some limits, and he states that an individual is in the state of nature by comparing that individual's state of nature to the state of nature of other people. According to Locke, two people can be said to equal when they are not governed by nor have a higher power to report to. He states this in LETTER, and expands by saying that people are in the state of nature when they do not have a common superior on earth to settle their disputes. According to Locke, the judge is not to be one of the parties to the dispute, since he cannot be his own superior. On earth, God is everyone's superior, but he does not adjudicate and enforce his decisions in…
Popple, W. "A Letter Concerning Toleration." Constitution.org. 2005.
Constitution.org Website. 26 Oct. 2005
Wootton, D. Modern Political Thought: Readings from Machiavelli to Nietzche.
Other factors include those as follows:
1) Differences in social background characteristics - this accounted for half of the turnout gap between the youngest two cohorts in the study of lais, Gidengil, Nadeau, & Nevittet (2002) which is attributed to a "weaker sense of voting duty."
2) The voters conceived there was little or no actual competition in the political race. (lais, Gidengil, Nadeau, & Nevittet, 2002)
3) Low level of interest and information of those born after 1970. (lais, Gidengil, Nadeau, & Nevittet, 2002)
The authors, lais, Gidengil, Nadeau, & Nevittet (2002) conclude their work by stating that: "The decline in turnout since the 1988 election does not bode well for the country's democratic health." (Ibid) The work of Dietlind Stolle and Marc Hooghe (nd) hold that each civic generation which is replaced by cohorts of a younger age causes the social capital stock of American communities to slowly…
Catt, Dr. Helena (2005) Now or Never -Children as Young People as Citizens; Participation, Provision and Protection. 6th Child and Family Policy Conference. Paper presented at the symposium 'Citizenship: Learning by Doing." Online available at http://www.elections.org.nz/now-or-never-lit-review.html
Stolle, D. And Hooghe, M. (nd) Inaccurate, Exceptional, One-Sided or Irrelevant? The Debate about the Alleged Decline of Social Capital and Civic Engagement in Western Societies. Online available at: Cambridge Journals Online.
Keller, Douglas (nd) Habermas, the Public Sphere, and Democracy: A Critical Intervention Douglas Kellner
As the costs were considerably less, the profit margins were greater and they were adaptable to host of different weather conditions. ("A rief History of Slavery")
How did the ritish and American ways of viewing representative government differ? How did these differences lead to problems between ritain and America?
The ritish believed that Parliament should address the different issues affecting the colonies. However, the colonists were not given any kind of representation or a way of discussing their grievances. This is different from the American views, where people felt that everyone should be allowed to speak directly with their representatives, about a host of issues.
Over the course of time, this would lead to problems between ritain and America. As the colonists felt that Parliament was not willing to listen to their concerns or to discuss them, by ensuring that they had some form of representation. This is was problematic,…
Brewer, Lawanda. "Religion in Colonial America." UNCP, 2001. Web. 11 Feb. 2011
"A Brief History of Slavery." Religious Tolerance, 2006. Web. 11 Feb. 2011
Geise, Robert. American History to 1877. Hauppauge, NY: Baron's Educational Services, 1992. Print.
MLA Format. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
high degree of misinformation I had received from traditional teachings about the church and the beginning of Christianity. Moreover, I was struck by the notion that most other people in the Western world receive this same degree of intentional misinformation, so much so that I have even heard people defend the idea that knowledge of the historical church is irrelevant to modern Christianity. Reading through the class material, I was struck by how critical this historical information was to the understanding of the actual church. One critical piece of information is the idea of Jesus as the head of the church, despite him not establishing Christianity as a separate religion. Another critical idea was that prophets could play a continuing role in Christianity, when my traditional understanding had suggested that after Jesus there would be no more Jewish prophets. I also found myself wondering about the very obvious and significant…
Likewise, the Institute of Agriculture required a quorum of two-thirds of its members for voting purposes and for the balancing of votes according to the size of the budgetary contributions (owett, 1970). While this analysis of these early forms of public international unions is not complete, it does suggest that they were beginning to identify the wide range of interests involved in modern international commerce and what was required to mediate disputes rather than war over them. According to owett (1970), despite the growing body of research into the history and purpose of international public unions, the authorities have not reached a consensus on their classification; however, the constitutional developments and innovations made by the public unions are important considerations for policymakers today because they presaged those made by contemporary inter-governmental organizations (owett, 1970).
In the first instance, the trend towards permanence of association was distinct, no matter whether…
Armstrong, D., L. Lloyd and J. Redmond. 2005. International Organization in World Politics, 3rd ed. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
Avruch, Kevin, Peter W. Black and Joseph A. Scimecca. Conflict Resolution: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Bar-Siman-Tov, Yaacov. 2004. From Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bell, Lynda S., Andrew J. Nathan and Ilan Peleg. 2001. Negotiating Culture and Human Rights. New York: Columbia University Press.
Democratization, Culture and Underdeveloped Nations
This paper looks at the issue of culture and democratization in underdeveloped countries. The paper is based on research conducted through a systematic review of the current literature on the subject, from policy documents published by bodies such as the IMF and the World ank, to academic papers written by workers in this field, to online discussion forums (which can be an extremely valuable source for assessing 'grass roots' opinions regarding issues such as this).
The paper begins with a basic introduction to some key topics, through a discussion of questions such as 'What is democracy?', 'What is culture?', 'What is an underdeveloped country', and 'What does democracy mean at the present time for people in the United States, and the rest of the developed world, and for people in underdeveloped countries'?
What do we mean, as a citizen of the United States, when we…
Abizedah, A. (2002). Does Liberal Democracy Presuppose a Cultural Nation? Four Arguments. American Political Science Review 96(3).
Adams, D. And Goldbard, A. (1995). Cultural Democracy: A Brief Introduction. Available at http://www.wwcd.org/cd.html . Accessed 13th January 2003.
Elshtain, JB (1993). Democracy on Trial. Concrod, Ontario: Anansi.
Kasfir (2000) Democracy in Translation: Understanding Politics in an Unfamiliar Culture (Book Review). American Political Science Review September 2000.
Democracy and Economic Inequality in America
The fundamental aim of democracy in political governance is to ensure elected officials represent the interests of their constituents in the legislature. This means that the votes taken by members of Congress should reflect the policy preferences of their constituents. In reality, however, there is often disconnect between what legislators vote for and what their constituents prefer. In his book Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age, Bartels argues that the increasing economic inequality in the US is evidence that legislators do not in reality represent the interests of their interests -- they represent the interests of more powerful groups or entities as opposed to the average citizen. With reference to matters of economic inequality, this paper discuses the discrepancy between the choices of legislators and the policy preferences of their constituents.
Who actually governs in the American political system remains…
Non-voting public advocate groups that will advise the City Council on: how different policies will affect neighborhoods. Their main responsibility is to represent the interests of the general public. (erg, 2007)
What form of city or county government does your local municipal or county jurisdiction have?
Representative democracy. (erg, 2007)
What kinds of elections do your local city, county, and school board employ?
Direct elections every four years.
Direct elections every four years.
Direct elections every four years.
Appointed by orough Presidents. (erg, 2007)
Community oards. (2011). NYC. Retrieved from: http://www.nyc.gov/html/cau/html/cb/directory.shtml
Mayor loomberg. (2011). NYC. Retrieved from: http://www.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/?front_door=true
The New York City Council. (2011). NYC. Retrieved from: http://council.nyc.gov/html/home/home.shtml
New York City Courts. (2011). New York Unified Court System. Retrieved from: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/nyc/index.shtml
Community Boards. (2011). NYC. Retrieved from: http://www.nyc.gov/html/cau/html/cb/directory.shtml
Mayor Bloomberg. (2011). NYC. Retrieved from: http://www.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/?front_door=true
The New York City Council. (2011). NYC. Retrieved from: http://council.nyc.gov/html/home/home.shtml
New York City Courts. (2011). New York Unified Court System. Retrieved from: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/nyc/index.shtml
Constitutional Models and Political Parties
Constitutionalism and noble representative government are concepts and practices that have existed longer than the American epublic. The existence of these concepts provided the foundation for the formation of the American Democratic Experiment through acting as ingredients towards this process. Since the foundation of American epublic, there are various constitutional models that have been established. These different models have been established in attempts to respond to several governance issues that emerge from time to time. Actually, these different models have provided the foundation for governance models and practices for better governance of the society. Some examples of constitutional models include the 18th Century Madisonian and Hamiltonian constitutional models and Barker's normative democratic theory, which differ with regards to their major components.
Madisonian and Hamiltonian Models v. Normative Democratic Theory
The 18th Century constitutional models basically relied on principles introduced by Madison and Hamilton. Madisonian constitutional…
APSA Committee on Political Parties (1950). Towards a More Responsible Two-Party System.
Barker, E. (1942). Reflections on Government.
Garrison, A.H. (2008). Hamiltonian and Madisonian Democracy, The Rule of Law and Why the Courts Have a Role in the War on Terrorism. In Papers from the February 2008 conference: terrorism & justice -- The balance of civil liberties. Retrieved from https://www.ucmo.edu/cjinst/Issue8.pdf
Hamilton, A. (n.d.). The Presidency. The Federalist No.70.
Madison's Relevance Today: Modern Echoes of Federalist No.
The Federalist Papers penned by James Madison, John Jay, and others in defense of the Constitution during the hotly contested period of its ratification remain some of the most significant documents in American political history to this date. Detailing the arguments of some of the men who helped to frame and influence the composition of the foundational body of laws and structure of government of what is now the most powerful nation on Earth, reading the Federalist Papers is akin to reading the minds of those that have helped to shape global politics and political ideals. At the same time, the fact that so many of the arguments made in these documents are now foregone conclusions, and that the rights and reasons invoked (not to mention the language in which they are invoked) seem so antiquated can make the Federalist…
Holdorf, William. The Fruad of Seat Belt Laws. Accessed 7 May 2012. http://www.thefreemanonline.org/features/the-fraud-of-seat-belt-laws/
Madison, James. Federalist No. 10. 1787. Accessed 7 May 2012. http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm
McCormack, John. PPP Poll: 33% of Voters Say Gay Marriage Should be Legal, 57% Say It Should Be Illegal. Accessed 7 May 2012. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ppp-poll-33-voters-say-gay-marriage-should-be-legal-57-say-it-should-be-illegal
NARLA. (2012). Politicization: A New Era for Women's Bodies. 2012. Accessed 7 May 2012. http://prochoicenc.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/politicization-a-new-era-for-womens-bodies/
America was not founded as a Democracy or as a Monarchy, for the educated and landed founding fathers felt assured that neither would provide the nation with rights for all and privilege for the few. America was founded as a Republic, and one might add as an ogliarchic republic at that. Those with the right gender, race, and wealth were represented through their while others were represented through the votes of their betters. Today, nearly-universal sufferage (age and past misbehavior are both barriers) assures that these factors do not determine whether a person can vote -- but an argument can still be made that the majority of the political process is determined by wealth. "The creators of America's constitution and government were among the wealthy aristocrats of their day. When they created their new government, the founders excluded democracy to the extent politically possible at the time. ..The great…
Bernstein, A. (1998) "Republican and Democratic -- The Identical Party? The Two Major Parties Are Becoming Dangerously Alike -- in Their Opposition to Individual Rights." Capitalism Magazine, Nov. 6. http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=2020
Gitlin, T. (2000) "The Renaissance of anti-intellectualism." The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 8. Archived at: http://chronicle.com/free/v47/i15/15b00701.htm
Grinning Planet. (2004) "INJECTING A SHOT OF REBEL YELL INTO OLD GLORY" http://www.grinningplanet.com/2004/11-11/direct-democracy-plutocracy-article.htm
Morgan, D. (2000) "Mercenaries For Big Business: Corporate Funding of Think Tanks Raises Question of Credibility" San Francisco Chronicle, Feb 16. Archived at: http://www.commondreams.org/views/021600-102.htm
The ideas of Thomas Hobbes, the influential English philosopher who lived in the late 1500s to middle 1600s, are still considered important today. Hobbes is best remembered for his ideas on political philosophy. While Hobbes throughout his life championed the idea of absolutism for the sovereign he also is responsible for many of the fundamentals of Western political thought such as equality of men, individual rights, and the idea that all justifiable political power must be representative of the people (Edwards, 2002).
Hobbes also believed that human nature was such that people acted out of selfish-interests and if left to their own devices would do anything to get what they wanted or to acquire more power at the expense of others. Governments are then formed to shield people from their own selfishness; however he understood that even a King left unchecked would also act in a selfish manner…
Action in America. (2012). Drug war cost clock updated 2011. Retrieved on February 10, 2010
from http://actionamerica.org/drugs/wodclock.shtml .
Appel, D. (2004). Why can immorality be legislated more easily than morality in America
Free Leadership Thoughts. Retrieved February 5, 2012, from http://authenticleadershipinc.com/free.html
Constructionist Policy Design Approach
Policy design approach can be described as mechanisms or measures that are utilized to develop and implement policies in light of specific goals. These goals provide the specific issues that need to be addressed by the policy during implementation. According to Schneider & Ingram (1997), some of the most essential components of public policy include problem definition, goal articulation, probable benefits, target population, policy directives or rules, and tools to be utilized in implementing the policy directives. In most cases, policies are developed and established to help address some aspects of social behavior in order to enhance the quality of life and experiences of people. There are different policy design approaches that are utilized in the development and enactment of policies including the constructionist policy design approach. This approach suggests that policies are developed and implemented based on the social realities of citizens. This approach can…
Burnier, D. (1994). Constructing Political Reality: Language, Symbols, and Meaning in Politics. Political Research Quarterly, 47, 239-253.
Schneider, A.L. & Ingram, H.M. (1997). Policy design for democracy. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.
Soss, J. (1999). Lessons of Welfare: Policy Design, Political Learning, and Political Action. American Political Science Review, 93, 363-380.
Soss, J. (2005). Making Clients and Citizens: Welfare Policy as a Source of Status, Belief, and Action. In Deserving and entitled: social constructions and public policy. (Albany: State University of New York Press, pp.291-328).