Print Email Download Reference This Send to Kindle Reddit This
submit to reddit

Some Different Forms Of Government Politics Essay

Government actions which affects the operations of a company or business. These actions may be on local, regional, national or international level. Business owners and managers pay close attention to the political environment to gauge how government actions will affect their company.

The legal/political aspect is very important in global marketing. "International law" can be defined as rules and principles that states and nations consider binding upon themselves. This raises two interesting characteristics of international law. The first is that "law" belongs to individual nations and international law only exists to the degree that individual nations are willing to relinquish their rights. The second is the lack of an adequate international judicial and administrative framework or a body of law which would form the basis of a truly comprehensive international legal system.

The international business is also subject to political decrees made by governments both in "home" and "host" countries. Home governments can apply pressure not to deal with disapproved parties. These measures may take the refusal to grant an export license, or withdrawal of export guarantee cover. The host government may take measures like taxation, ownership controls, operating restrictions or expropriation.

GOVERNMENT

Government is one of humanity's oldest and most important institutions. From earliest times, some kind of government has been a vital part of every society. This is because every society needs some people to make and enforce decisions that affect conduct within the group. This is because every society needs some people to make and enforce decisions that affect conduct within the group. The term government also refers to the process of exercising power in a group.

Any formal or informal group-a family, a church, a club, a business, a trade union-may be said to have government. But when we speak of government, we generally mean public government, such as that of a nation, a state, a province, a county, a city, or village. This article mainly discusses the nature and powers of public governments.

Government of some kind affects every human activity in important ways. For that reason, most political scientists (specialists in the study of government) believe that government should not study itself. They urge that when we study government we should also know something about anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, science, and sociology. Therefore, the World Book articles on these subjects should be read in connection with the Government article.

Government consists of the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and the system by which they are organized. Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy of the state. A form of government, or form of state governance, refers to the set of political institutions by which a government of a state is organized. Synonyms include "regime type" and "system of government".

States are served by a continuous succession of different governments. Each successive government is composed of a body of individuals who control and exercise control over political decision-making. Their function is to make and enforce laws and arbitrate conflicts. In some societies, this group is often a self-perpetuating or hereditary class. In other societies, such as democracies, the political roles remain, but there is frequent turnover of the people actually filling the positions.

In parliamentary systems, the word "government" is used to refer to what in presidential systems would be the executive branch and to the governing party. In parliamentary systems, the government is composed of the prime minister and the cabinet. In other cases, "government" refers to executive, legislative, judicial, bureaucratic, and possibly also devolved powers.

Public disapproval of a particular government (expressed, for example, by not re-electing an incumbent) does not necessarily represent disapproval of the state itself (i.e. of the particular framework of government). In fact, leaders often attempt to deliberately blur the lines between the two, in order to conflate their interests with those of the polity.

Some Different Forms of Government

Democracy

The word democracy comes from ancient Greek words meaning ‘people’ and ‘rule of government’. It is a system of government of a country whose leaders have been elected by the people. When the elected representatives meet in parliament to make laws, the form of government is a parliamentary democracy.  

Monarchy

A monarchy is a form of government led by an individual who holds the position for life, having inherited the position, and who passes it on to a relative, usually a son or daughter. In the past, all monarchs held great power and made the all decisions and laws of the country. This is known as absolute monarchy. Today most monarchs act as Head of State, filling a ceremonial role with little or no power regarding the actual governing of the country.

A constitutional monarchy is a country which has a written Constitution that sets out the rules for how the country will be governed and the rights and responsibilities of its people, and has a monarch as Head of State.

Totalitarianism

In a totalitarian society the government holds absolute control over all aspects of the lives of its people. A set of beliefs is imposed on the people, who have to conform or face unpleasant consequences. This form of government came into being in the 1920s and 1920s when the fascist governments of Italy and Nazi Germany came into power.

Fascism

Fascism is a form of government usually headed by a dictator. It involves total government control of political, economic, cultural, religious and social activities. Some industries may  be owned by individuals, but under government control. This form of government includes extreme patriotism, warlike policies and extreme discrimination against minority groups.

Dictatorship

In a dictatorship, one person, called a Dictator, has absolute power. This differs from totalitarianism in that it is less controlling and not marked by a rigid set of beliefs. Sometimes a country run by dictatorship may be called a republic. Such republics have only one political party and the Dictator makes most government policies and decisions.

Communism

Communism is an economic system in which there is little or no private ownership - property is held by the community rather than by individuals. All economic activity is controlled by the government, including things like what crops are grown, what goods are manufactured, and to whom they are sold and at what prices. The decisions made by communist governments are those that are normally made by private individuals in non-communist countries. Communist governments are usually a form of totalitarianism, and traditionally allow only approved candidates to stand for election and there is usually little or no choice of candidate at an election.

Oligarchy

An oligarchy is a form of government in which only a few wealthy people hold power. A republic may be an oligarchy if just a few people have the right to vote. An example of this was the time of apartheid in South Africa. In most oligarchies, the power of the leadership is supported by the wealthy and the military.

IDEOLOGY

Ideology and political parties are Victoria 2's main tools for conveying the various political views the shifting patterns of political thought and action throughout the Victorian and Progressive periods. The ideology of the player's ruling party and population plays a large role in his breadth of action, determining what kind of political and social reforms his nation can undertake, and which party issues are currently upheld.

Types of Ideologies

There are six political ideologies in Victoria 2, each of which is expressed in hundreds of individual parties unique to each playable country. These ideologies represent the core of a broader political movement, and as such the player can expect there to be no small degree of variation amongst parties of similar or even identical nominal ideological affiliation. As in reality, the specifics of each country's unique situation influence the stances taken by the parties. Nonetheless, a broad understanding of the ideological headwaters behind these parties is useful for a player to understand.

Conservative

A typical conservative party.

Conservatives value order as a social end. Conservatives are the old guard, the arbiters of the status quo, the defenders of tradition and enemies of change. Conservative parties in the Victorian era were markedly different from today's conception of conservative (at least the Anglo-American conception). Conservatives upheld tradition above all else, being reluctant to enact any reform that would threaten the old ways. This means different things for different societies. In an absolute monarchy, the conservatives are likely more "conservative", defending the crown and its values, likely leaning towards moralism, jingoism, residency, state capitalism, and protectionism. In a more liberal nation like Britain or America, conservatives may simply be defending the way things have always been, or perhaps defending the historic role of the state against new liberal ideas of freedom. Expect these parties to sometimes uphold more liberal principles such as free trade, limited citizenship, pluralism, and even laissez faire.

This is ideology most prevalent in the world at the start of the game. Most of the poor strata are conservative-oriented at first, though this usually changes with time. Aristocrats and officers are reliably conservative or reactionary, the more radical cousin of conservatives, detailed below. Other pops may be conservative depending upon their situations, but generally a pop is more conservative when its consciousness is kept low. Conservative is useful because its moderate statism allows a player to exercise some level of control over his country without most of the worst penalties.

Liberal

a typical liberal party.

Liberals favor liberty as the most valued social end. The liberal movement of the 19th century was an extremely important one. The liberals of America and Europe opened up these nations to trade, capitalism, and responsible government. Liberals were a diverse bunch, supporting a wide array of ideas and often conflicting with one another. Universal among them was some vague notion of expanding liberty, in a specific area or broadly. Liberals were often the forward-thinkers, the people who opposed the old state-dominated order and sought to unleash human potential by throwing off the chains the bound people down. Liberals were the cornerstones of the abolitionist movement, the Corn Law repeals in England, the end of the Second National Bank in America, and many more projects aimed at reducing government power over peoples' interactions with one another.

Liberals are often found among capitalists and clerks, and sometime clergy or artisans. Other pops can of course also be liberal, but this is circumstantial. Liberal parties can be difficult to play in Victoria 2, as they often severely limit player options in a variety of fields. This is counterbalanced by reductions in factory costs and a few other perks, but the advantages often seem to be outweighed by the disadvantages. Most players will probably avoid liberal parties because they basically remove economic management as a game component. This can be useful to new players though, or to experienced players who enjoy the idea of a liberal nation and want a bit of challenge.

Socialists

A typical socialist party.

Socialists believe equality is the paramount value a society must pursue. Socialists seek to use the machinery of the state to take from those that have and give to those that have not. Socialists are available mid-game, around 1860, but often a party will not be available for some time after this date.

Expect socialism to be most prevalent among poor-strata pops, particularly craftsmen and laborers. Socialism is a very powerful force late in the game, and will spread among all populations. Socialism can be a mixed bag for the player. Though it allows a broad degree of economic control, socialist parties often restrict player power over tariff and military policy. The most useful aspect of socialist parties to the player is likely their broad popularity late game, and their ability to implement useful social reforms.

Communist

A typical communist party.

Communists are the radicalized wing of the socialists. Communists do not seek peaceful reform of existing structures since they view those created under capitalism, such as representative democracies, as inherently flawed. Communists seek revolution (and will defend it, if need be, against counter-revolutionary violence) and the upheaval of the current, flawed social order. The state, as a powerful tool for the oppression of one class by another, is to be turned by the proletariat towards the total destruction of the decadent capitalist overlord class.

Communists are predominantly found in the same pops as socialists, among the industrial underclasses. The middle strata may also hold communist sympathies, but expect it to be rare among the rich. Communists become available mid-game, but are usually a small fringe and often lack parties until late game. Communism is more player-friendly than socialism, upholding more consistent ideals and providing one of the widest ranges of control available in any ideology. They also have some really awesome flags.

Fascist

Fascists are a strange breed. Born out of the discontent and civilization collapse of the aftermath of World War I, the fascists quickly gained a wide following. Fascists attracted followers from wide swaths of society though most of this support was found amongst the middle-class (particularly lower middle-class) and rural. Fascists supported the revitalization of the nation via a state-constructed national community. Fascist regimes were often very organized, brutal, and anti-intellectual. Their rise in Europe was a central feature of the interwar people and the single most important factor in the initiation of World War II.

Fascists can find wide support among almost any population. They are available only in the last leg of the game, they parties are often only available for the last decade or so of play. Fascism is one of the most versatile ideologies. It allows the broadest swath of action to the player of any ideology, particularly if a fascist party is in power. Fascism allows a player almost total economic control, but still allows capitalists to chip in. Their military and trade stances allow the player a great degree of control over policy, and they can implement a variety of reforms when in power. They also have some awesome flags.

OPPOSITION (PARLIAMENTARY)

Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based parliamentary system. Note that this article uses the term government as it is used in Parliamentary systems, i.e. meaning the administration or the cabinet rather than the state. The title of "Official Opposition" usually goes to the largest of the parties sitting in opposition with its leader being given the title "Leader of the Opposition".

In First Past the Post assemblies, where the tendency to gravitate into two major parties or party groupings operates strongly, government and opposition roles can go to the two main groupings serially in alternation. In this context, the opposition forms a recognised, even semi-official "government-in-waiting". Its "opposing" can degenerate into a charade pending the eventual exchange of roles and occupation, or reoccupation, of the Treasury benches.

The more proportional a representative system, the greater the likelihood of multiple political parties appearing in the parliamentary debating chamber. Such systems can foster multiple "opposition" parties which may have little in common and minimal desire to form a united bloc opposed to the government of the day.

ROLES

Some well-organised democracies, dominated long-term by a single faction, reduce their parliamentary opposition to tokenism. Singapore exemplifies a case of a numerically weak opposition; South Africa under the apartheid regime maintained a long-term imbalance in the parliament. In some cases tame "opposition" parties are created by the governing groups in order to create an impression of democratic debate.

Wherever the parliamentary system of government has been established, the importance of a healthy, effective, vigilant and wide awake Opposition has been fully realised.

The largest minority party constitutes the official Opposition in the British Parliament, with its own leader and its own council, popularly known as the "Shadow Cabinet". The leader of the Opposition in Britain (and in most parliamentary democracies around the world) is accorded official recognition and provided several facilities to enable him to function adequately. He is regarded as the future Prime Minister, since his party, especially in Britain, offers a viable alternative to the government of the day.

The common belief that a healthy Parliamentary opposition is essential for the sound working of democracy implies that unless there is a vigilant opposition, constantly on the alert and ever watchful of the government's policies and actions, the ruling party would tend to get complacent and tardy. But, when there are well-informed critics, ever ready to expose the wrongs committed by the government, and to bring to light its acts of omission and commission, the ruling party can hardly afford to be slack and negligent in the performance of its duty towards the country—namely, to provide an efficient and sound administration.

The parliamentary system of government works very smoothly where there are two principal political parties, more or less equally matched, the one out of power ever ready to take over the reins of the administration whenever the majority party is voted out of office, or resigns on a major issue, or is reduced to a minority as a result of defections or resignations of members.

A vigilant public also plays the role of the Opposition. Democracy, after all, is participation in the administration in a responsible manner. "The democratic problem", said the well-known commentator Lindsay "is the control of the organisation of power by the common man."

The citizens of a democratic country must be "thinking men and women", possessing independent opinions and capable of taking intelligent interest in public affairs. It has been rightly said that the success of a democracy depends upon the ability, character and, what is no less important, the power of discrimination which the people are expected to possess.

In fact, democracy is reduced to an empty show if the citizens begin to behave like sheep and dumb cattle and develop the crowd mentality of being driven whichever way the leaders dictate.

Active and intelligent participation of the people in public affairs can be assured if they are adequately educated. Without education there can be no intelligent discussion and participation in the processes of government.

Education produces rational human beings, and the power of thinking develops the power to discriminate between good and bad. A citizen of a democratic regime is not merely to obey; he has also to see if his obedience is rational and warranted.

A citizen is expected to develop the power of vigilance and the ability to distinguish between chalk and cheese. People who follow Bentham's maxim "While I will obey promptly, I will censure freely" are true citizens of a democratic State.

They possess the power to judge right and wrong and also the ability to criticise. It is this ability to judge and discriminate that leads to responsible criticism and to a healthy democracy.

Democracy provides an outlet and a safety valve for the people's anger and frustration, and this outlet is open criticism of the government, whenever and wherever it does something wrong, or fails to adopt the right course as demanded by the public interest.

Thus, the public shares the role of the Opposition whenever occasion demands it. The Press also has a vital role to play in a democracy. It is the popular forum of educating the public and also expressing the public viewpoint.

Actually, the Press not only reflects public opinion and is the people's voice in a democracy; it also helps to build up public opinion. The Press should really be a jealous guardian of the people's rights, privileges and liberties.

Granted that it is the function of the Opposition to oppose, but whether it is the Opposition in Parliament or the critics of the government in public, or the newspapers in the country, all criticism has to be made, and the Opposition voiced, in a responsible and healthy manner.

If the Opposition behaves irresponsibly, and indulges in unhealthy, destructive criticism, instead of constructive discussions, the entire democratic fabric is endangered. Both sides—the ruling party and the Opposition—have to observe the rules of the game. They must not play foul; for, one foul inevitably leads to another and yet another, and then the end of folly is nowhere in sight.

Democracy then becomes a mess. It is quite obvious that unless the people are vigilant and alert, all power would pass into the hands of clever professional politicians and demagogues who seldom hesitate to exploit the ignorant masses and pursue policies that help them to perpetuate their rule.

It is also the duty of the government to facilitate healthy functioning of the Opposition. If, however, it imposes restraints of various types and suppresses public opinion and the public voice, both inside and outside the legislature, it is guilty of undemocratic and authoritarian tendencies, which are as unhealthy as irresponsible conduct by the groups and Opposition newspapers.

BUREAUCRACY

A professional corps of officials organized in a pyramidal hierarchy and functioning under impersonal, uniform rules and procedures. In the social sciences, the term usually does not carry the pejorative associations of popular usage.

Weber's theories.

The characteristics of bureaucracy were first formulated in a systematic manner by the German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920), whose definition and theories set the foundations for all subsequent work on the subject. They refer to (1) the division of labour in the organization, (2) its authority structure, (3) the position and role of the individual member, and (4) the type of rules that regulate the relations between organizational members. A highly developed division of labour and specialization of tasks is one of the most fundamental features of bureaucracy. This is achieved by a precise and detailed definition of the duties and responsibilities of each position or office. The allocation of a limited number of tasks to each office operates according to the principle of fixed jurisdictional areas that are determined by administrative regulations. The bureaucratic organization is characterized by a "rational" and impersonal regulation of inferior-superior relationships. In traditional types of administration (feudal, patrimonial), the inferior-superior relationship is personal, and the legitimating of authority is based on a belief in the sacredness of tradition. In a bureaucracy, on the other hand, authority is legitimized by a belief in the correctness of the process by which administrative rules were enacted; and the loyalty of the bureaucrat is oriented to an impersonal order, to a superior position, not to the specific person who holds it. When one shifts the focus of attention from the organization as a whole to the role and status of the individual member, the following features characterize the bureaucrat's position.

The most important and pervasive characteristic of bureaucracy (one that to some extent explains all the others) is the existence of a system of control based on rational rules--that is, rules meant to design and regulate the whole organization on the basis of technical knowledge and with the aim of achieving maximum efficiency. According to Max Weber, "Bureaucratic administration means fundamentally the exercise of control on the basis of knowledge. These are briefly the major features of Weber's ideal type of bureaucracy. The type is "ideal" in the sense that the characteristics included in it are not to be found, in their extreme form, in all concrete bureaucracies. Real organizations can be more or less bureaucratic according to their degree of proximity to their ideal formulation.

appetite for expansion that gradually destroys free enterprise and undermines democratic institutions.

Bureaucratic collectivism.

Whereas Lenin and other Soviet writers could not admit that bureaucracy had a permanent and "organic" position in the Soviet system, other Marxists thought that it was at its centre and that it defined more than anything else the very nature of the regime. From their point of view, bureaucracy was not only a privileged oppressive group but a new exploiting class, a class characterized by a new type of oligarchic regime that was neither socialist nor capitalist and that was rapidly spreading both in the East and in the West. The first systematic elaboration of this position was attempted by the Italian Marxist Bruno Rizzi in The Bureaucratisation of the World (1939). For Rizzi the Soviet bureaucracy constituted a new ruling class that exploited the proletariat as much as the capitalists had in the past. It differed from capitalism only in that the new type of domination was based not on individual but on group ownership of the means of production. In fact, in the Soviet system the means of production represented not "socialism" but "stateism." They did not belong to the whole collectivity but to the state and to the bureaucrats who control it. In the last analysis, it was these bureaucrats--the technicians, directors, and specialists holding key positions in the party and state administration--who exploited the proletarians and stole the surplus value of work. According to Rizzi this new type of regime, which he called bureaucratic collectivism, was not limited to the Soviet Union. Similar tendencies could be discerned in fascist countries and even in the "welfare state" type of

capitalist democracies. The Yugoslav Communist Milovan Djilas in The New Class (1957), a later criticism of the Yugoslav Socialist regime, used arguments similar to Rizzi's.

The American philosopher and critic James Burnham proposed a theory of the "managerial revolution" that was more or less an elaboration of Rizzi's ideas. According to his theory, technological progress and the growth of large-scale economic as well as political bureaucracies deprived the old capitalist class of the control of the means of production. The effective control of the economy and of political power had passed to the managers--that is, to the production executives and to the administrators of the state bureaucracy. He predicted that at a later stage of development, private ownership would be abolished and the bureaucrats would appropriate collectively, through the state, the means of production. Thus, according to Burnham, both in the East and the West the managers would impose a new type of oligarchic order.

Dysfunctional aspects of bureaucracy.

The American Robert K. Merton was among the first sociologists to emphasize systematically the now-familiar side of the bureaucratic picture--its red tape and inefficiency. According to Merton, if, as Weber thought, the predominance of rational rules and their close control of all actions favours the reliability and predictability of the bureaucrat's behaviour, it also accounts for his lack of flexibility and his tendency to turn means into ends. Indeed, the emphasis on conformity and strict observance of the rules induces the individual to internalize them. Instead of simply means, procedural rules become ends in themselves. Thus a kind of "goal displacement" occurs. The instrumental and formalistic aspect of the bureaucratic role becomes more important than the substantive one, the achievement of the main organizational goals. According to Merton, when one leaves the sphere of the ideal and studies a real organization, one can see that a certain bureaucratic characteristic (such as strict control by rules) can both promote and hinder organizational efficiency; it can have both functional effects (predictability, precision) and dysfunctional effects (rigidity).

POLITICAL SYSTEM

There are several definitions of "political system":

A political system is a complete set of institutions, interest groups (such as political parties, trade unions, lobby groups), the relationships between those institutions and the political norms and rules that govern their functions (constitution, election law).

A political system is composed of the members of a social organization (group) who are in power.

A political system is a system that necessarily has two properties: a set of interdependent components and boundaries toward the environment with which it interacts.

A political system is a concept in which theoretically regarded as a way of the government makes a policy and also to make them more organized in their administration.

Anthropological forms of political systems

Anthropologists generally recognize four kinds of political systems, two of which are uncentralized and two of which are centralized.

Uncentralized systems

Band

Small kin group, no larger than an extended family or clan; it has been defined as consisting of no more than 30 to 50 individuals.

A band can cease to exist if only a small group walks out.

Tribe

Generally larger, consisting of many families. Tribes have more social institutions, such as a chief or elders.

More permanent than bands; a band can cease to exist if only a small group walks out. Many tribes are sub-divided into bands.

Centralized systems

Chiefdom

More complex than a tribe or a band society, and less complex than a state or a civilization

Characterized by pervasive inequality and centralization of authority.

A single lineage/family of the elite class becomes the ruling elite of the chiefdom

Complex chiefdoms have two or even three tiers of political hierarchy.

"An autonomous political unit comprising a number of villages or communities under the permanent control of a paramount chief"

State

A sovereign state is a state with a permanent population, a defined territory, a government and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states.

LEGAL SYSTEM

There are hundreds of legal systems in the world. At the global level, international law is of great importance, whether created by the practice of sovereign states or by agreement among them in the form of treaties and other accords. Some transnational entities such as the European Union have created their own legal structures. At the national level there are over 180 sovereign states in the United Nations Organization. Many of these are federal or confederal, and their constituent parts may well have their own law.

But, despite this great variety, it is important to begin by emphasizing one great division: that into religious and secular legal systems. Each side of this split holds quite different views as to law, in its source, scope, sanctions, and function. The source of religious law is the deity, legislating through the prophets. Secular law is made by human beings, and one of its most famous examples begins with the words 'We, the people'. It follows from this difference in their source that religious laws are perceived to be eternal and immutable, while secular rules can be changed by their makers. Religious law tells people what to believe as well as how to behave, whereas secular law deals with our external actions as they affect others. In a religious legal system disputes are usually adjudicated by an officer of that religion, so the same person is both judge and priest. In a secular system, by contrast, the office of judge is separate, and is often reinforced by guarantees of judicial independence. A further difference lies in the enforcement of the laws: in a secular system sanctions are imposed in this world, and its severest punishment (the death penalty) amounts to forcible removal from the jurisdiction. The sanctions and rewards of a religious system may also occur in this world, but are often to be felt most keenly in the next.

Print Email Download Reference This Send to Kindle Reddit This

Share This Essay

To share this essay on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ just click on the buttons below:

Request Removal

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Request the removal of this essay.


More from UK Essays