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accountability
the concept that government officials are responsible to and serve at the pleasure of constituents or elected officials (and that they may be removed from office by those electors or officials)
adjudicate
to resolve a matter in dispute; when backed up by the authority of government the decision can be enforced
agricultural sector
that part of country’s economy that is involved in the production of farm products
autarchy
complete self-sufficiency
authoritarianism
a system of governance based on coercion rather than political legitimacy
authority
the legal right to exercise power on behalf of the society and/or government
autocracy
a system of governance in which a small group has absolute power
autonomy
the degree to which a state can implement policies independent of the populace or the amount of sovereignty a nation-state can exercise in the global environment
balance of trade
comparison between the value of exports and the value of imports for a nation-state; usually figured by subtracting the value of imports form the value of exports (a positive balance of trade means that exports were worth more than imports; a negative balance of trade means the value of imports exceeded the value of exports)
bicameral
describing a legislative body with two houses
budgetary deficit
the result of government spending in any one fiscal year exceeding the government revenue in that year (national debt is the total of yearly deficits)
bureaucracy
a hierarchically structured organization charged with carrying out the policies determined by those with political authority
cabinet
in a parliamentary system, the group of ministers who direct administrative bureaucracies (ministries) and make up the government, which is responsible to the parliament; in a presidential system, the administrative directors are responsible to the president
capacity
the degree to which a state or government is able to implement its policy
capitalism
an economic system that emphasizes private property rights and market mechanisms
catch-all party
a political party whose aim is to gather support from a broad range of citizens through a de-emphasis of ideology and an emphasis on pragmatism, charismatic leadership, and marketing
causation
a correlation in which a change in one variable results in change in others
checks and balances
a system of governance in which divisions of government can restrain the political authority of other divisions
citizen
a member of a state who is leally entitled to full civil right and is legally obliged to perform defined public duties
civic culture
a political in which citizens widely share a belief in the legitimacy of their regime and a trust in the government; therefore the citizens demonstrate restraint in the their demands on the government
civil servants
employees of the government who administer (not make) policy; expected to serve any and all governments
civil service
a system of carefully describing the tasks involved in performing government jobs, evaluating applicants for those jobs (civil service examinations), and hiring people from among those applicants based on skills and experience rather than political factors; civil service also protects incumbents in civil service positions from politically based retribution
civil society
all those organizations outside of the government and (according to some authorities) commercial arenas, which provide avenues of public participation in society
class
the divisions of society into groups according to economic roles and status attributes (also called social class)
cleavage
factors that separate groups within a society; may be cultural, historic, geographic, economic, ethnic, racial, etc.; the wider and deeper the cleavages the less unified the society; cleavages which coincide with one another can reinforce each other; cleavages that don’t coincide can weaken the divisions between groups
clientelism
an exchange system in which clients offer support and loyalty to patrons who offer material and intangible benefits
clientelism
an exchange in which clients offer support and loyalty to patrons who offer material and tangible benefits
coerced participation
political action organized by ruling authorities rather than by interest groups or civil society groups
collective responsibility
in a parliamentary system, the concept that all cabinet members agree on policy decisions and that all will be responsible for the results
command economy
an economic/political system in which government decisions rather than markets determine resources use and output
compromise
a decision-making (policy-making, law-making) process in which all parties concede some of their goals in order to reach other of their goals through agreements with other political actors
conflict
a situation in which values, goals, or policies are contradictory or incompatible with each other
consensus
a decision-making (policy-making, law-making) process that emphasizes win-win outcomes while seeking to avoid zero-sum or win-lose situations by seeking unanimous agreement
constant
any of those things in comparative case analysis that are essentially identical in studied examples
constitution
a supreme law that defines the structure of a nation-state’s regime and the legal processes governments must follow
co-opt
win support by granting special favors to an individual or a group (clientelism or corporatism); there is often an implication that those receiving benefits abandon important goals when offered less-important benefits
corporatism
a system of governance in which the government is dominated by representatives of groups within society; may or may not be democratic to some degree
correlation
an apparent association between variables
coup d’état
the forceful replacement of a regime or a government by a small elite group or groups
currency markets
markets in which traders by and sell currencies; the values of currencies set in these markets have a powerful influence on foreign exchange rates
decolonization
the process by which colonial powers (mostly European) divested themselves of empires (not always voluntarily)
demand
pressure from people and interest groups on the government and state for change
democratization
the spread of representative government to more countries and the process of making governments more representative
dependent variable
a result of political decision-making, which is determined by the inputs, institutions, and processes (independent variables)
developed countries
nation-states that have industrial and post-industrial economies
developing countries
nation-sates that are industrializing
devolution
a process in a unitary system of delegating some decision making to local public bodies
distributive policies
government policies that allocate valuable resources
economic liberalization
policy designed to remove political controls over economic activity
empirical analysis
consideration of agreed-upon facts gathered by observation or experiment
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