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48 Cards in this Set

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asymmetrical federalism

A form of federalism in which some subnational units in the federal system have greater or lesser power than others.


A system of rule in which power depends not on popular legitimacy but on the coercive force of political authorities


A state dominated by the clergy, who rule on the grounds that they are the only interpreters of God's will and law.


A legislative body with two houses, such as the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of representatives.

Just as the U.S. constitution divides responsibilities between the branches of the federal government and between the federal and state governments, it divides the legislative responsibilities between the Senate ant the House.

cabinet government

a system of government in which most executive power is held by the cabinet, headed by a prime minister.

checks and balances

A governmental system of divided authority in which coequal branches can restrain each other's actions.

For example, the U.S. president must sign legislation passed by Congress for it to become law. If the president vetoes a bill, Congress can override that veto by two-thirds vote of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

civil society

all the organizations and spaces within a society which the government does not own. An association of people who come together for a reason.


an informal aspect of policy making in which a powerful patron offers resources such as land, contracts, protection, or jobs in return for the support and services (such as labor or votes) of lower-status and less powerful clients. more simply, the exchange of political support for goods and services.


the socio-political organization of a society by major interest groups or corporate groups (such as agricultural, business, ethnic, labour, military, or scientific affiliations) on the basis of common interests. a corporatist state is a state in which interest groups become an institutionalized part of the state structure.

constitutional monarchy

a system of government in which the head of state ascends by heredity but is limited in powers and constrained by the provisions of a constitution


policies that aim to transfer some decision-making power from higher to lower levels of government (decentralizing power from the capital)

democratic centralism

a system of political organization developed by V.I. Lenin and practiced, with modifications, by all communist party states. its principles include a hierarchical party structure. it purported to combine two opposing forms of party leadership: democracy, which allows for free and open discussion, and central control, which ensures party unity and discipline.

dependency theory

an alternate process of development where core nations (centers of economic capitol— these can be cities or smaller units than nations) distribute goods out to the world and sustain themselves by keeping relationships with developing and middle-...

an alternate process of development where core nations (centers of economic capitol— these can be cities or smaller units than nations) distribute goods out to the world and sustain themselves by keeping relationships with developing and middle-level economy states (periphery and semi-periphery) in order to import raw materials to create their products. The manufactured goods are then sold back to the developing and middle-level economy states. Therefore, people in developing countries cannot develop because they rely on core states for their imports and export income. This is a structural theory, mostly relating to South America, that states the world is derived of a hierarchy and the hierarchy gets replicated.

developmental state

mixing an approach of free market capitalism with heavy protectionism to save domestic industries from outside forces, while getting involved in a practice of creating things people want to buy. export-led growth with extensive but selective state intervention when managing the economy. Japan was the first of this model— copied by SK, Taiwan, Germany.

electoral college

a body of political insiders who are elected on election day and meet the following month to formally elect the president


a system of governance in which political authority is shared between the national government and regional or state governments

free market

a system in which government regulation of the economy is absent or limited

Rentier State

a country that obtains much of its revenue from the export of oil or other natural resources. When a country has something something like oil, they are taking the money without really doing anything to earn it-- hence the "rent" metaphor. Commonly refers to oil, but a rent may also be natural gas, tourism, political aid, etc.


the intensification of worldwide interconnectedness associated with increased speed and magnitude of cross-border flows of trade, investment and finance, and processes of migration, cultural diffusion, and communication.

iron triangles

informal policy-making networks of mutual support formed by the legislature, interest groups, and bureaucracy to reinforce each other in various policy areas. interest groups penetrate the bureaucracy and the legislature and make it very difficult for newer interests to gain support of garner sympathy.


a term taken from the French, which means, "to let do." In political economy, it refers to the pattern in which state management is limited to such matters as enforcing contracts and protecting property rights, while private market forces are free to operate with only minimal state regulation.


Gaining the support of popular sectors. When used in Latin American politics, this support is often achieved by manipulation and demagogic appeals. Populists also provide people things in exchange for political support, but not on an individual basis like patron-client relationships.


a state's ability to provide resources; a belief by powerful groups and the broad citizenry that a state exercises rightful authority. In the contemporary world, a state is said to possess legitimacy when it enjoys consent of the governed, which usually involves democratic procedures and the attempt to achieve a satisfactory level of development and equitable distribution of resources.

market reform

a strategy of economic transformation that involves reducing the role of the state in managing the economy and increasing the role of market forces. moving towards a free market economy


a small group of powerful, elite, wealthy individuals defining a narrowly based, undemocratic government. typically large business or land owners who control the government (Brazil)

patrimonial state

a system of governance in which the ruler treats the state as personal property (patrimony). uses clientelist relationship but injects patriarchal father-like imagery to rule

patron-client networks

exchange of money and services in exchange for political support

proportional representation (PR)

a system of political representation in which seats are allocated to parties within multimember constituencies, roughly in proportion to the votes each party receives. PR usually encourages the election to parliament of more political parties than single-member-district winner-takes-all systems. Basically, you vote for a party and not a person. If party A wins 30% and B wins 70%, then 30% of the people running in A are entered into the race and 70% of the people in B are entered into the race.


Islamic jurisprudence, saying the clerics are responsible for interpreting Shari’a law. the power is in the interpretation, not in the texts

shock therapy

a neoliberal term for when the IMF, World Bank, or other monetary IGOs intervene into failing or “sleeping” economies and shock them with forced reforms

social class

a group whose members share common world views and aspirations determined largely by occupation, income, and wealth. forms a way of identifying collective solidarities that group based upon socio-economic lines rather than strictly on ethnic, religious, or racial lines.


a regime where the state plays a leading role in organizing the economy, and most business firms are publicly owned

social democrats

a political party that mixes democracy and capitalist free market practices with socialism and state-interventionist practices.


career-minded bureaucrats who administer public policy according to a technical rather than a political rationale, as seen in Brazil. these non-political members of the bureaucracy are brought in due to their expertise in a particular area (especially common with economists)


a political system in which the state attempts to exercise total control over all aspects of public and private life, including the economy, culture, education, and social organizations, through an integrated system of ideological, economic, and political control. Relies on extensive coercion, including terror, as a means to exercise power. Harder than traditional authoritarianism, the major difference being that totalitarian governments try to mobilize quiescence and rally support while authoritarian regimes tend to encourage apathy.

unitary state

in contrast to a federal system, a system of government in which no powers are reserved for subnational units of government (such as states)

welfare state

a set of public policies designed to provide for citizens' needs through direct or indirect provision of pensions, health care, unemployment insurance, and assistance to the poor

Westminster Model

a form of democracy based on the supreme authority of Parliament and the accountability of its elected representatives; named after the Parliament building in London.

five aspects of consolidated democracy

1) Selection of the highest public offices on basis of fair and free election

2) Political parties are free to organize

3) Transparency and accountability

4) Citizens enjoy civil and political rights

5) Independent judiciary

comparative politics

the field within Political Science that focuses on domestic politics and analyzes patterns of similarity and difference

transitional democracy

countries that have moved from an authoritarian government to one that is semi-democratic. they create a facade of democratic institutions, but their informal practices as well as the interactions among instiutions do not meet the "five criteria" of democracy

consolidated democracy

democratic political systems that have been solidly and stably established for an ample period of time in which there is relatively consistent adherence to the core principles of democracy

characteristics of authoritarian regimes

1) power is highly concentrated in a single individual, a small group of people, a single political party, ethnic group, region, or institution

2) those with power claim an exclusive right to govern and use various means, including force, to impose their will and policies on all who live under their authority.

3) often claim to embody a form of democracy--may include certain democratic values and practices without altering the authoritarian character of the state

4) in "hybrid regimes" in which democratic forms of governance coexist with a persistence of authoritarian elements, government officials are more likely to engage in:

a) corruption

b) control of the media

c) intimidation and violence against opponents.

6 Critical Junctures of Brazil

1) The Brazilian Empire (1822–1889)

2) The Old Republic (1889–1930) “The Era of Big Coffee"

3) The 1930 Revolution

4) The Populist Republic (1945–1964)

5) Military Rule and Bureaucratic Authoritarianism (1964–1985)

6) Transition to Civilian Rule (1985—Present)

6 Critical Junctures of Japan

1) Tokugawa Shogunate-- a Feudal Autocracy (1603–1867) Governing from Tokyo

2) The Meiji Restoration) (1868-1912)

3) Taisho Era (1912-1926)

4) Military Turn (1927–1945)

5) Allied Occupation (1945–1952)

6) Contemporary Period (1952--Present)

Four Primary Critical Junctures of the United States

1) The Revolutionary Era (1773-1789)

2) The Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1876)

3) The New Deal Era (1933-1940)

4) Divided Government, Frequently Shifting Partisan Dominance, and Political Contestation on the Scope of Government (1968-Present)

6 U.K. Critical Junctures

1. Glorious Revolution (1640-1688)

2. Industrial Revolution (1750-1800)

3. WWI, Depression, WWII (1914-1945)

4. Collective Consensus (1945-1979)

5. Thatcherism (1979-1990)

6. New Labour (1997-Present)

6 Critical Junctures of Iran

1) Safavids (1501-1722)

2) Qajar Dynasty (1794–1925)

3) Constitutional Revolution (1906)

4) Pahlavis (1925–1979)

5) Revolution (1977–1979)

6) Islamic Republic (1979—present)