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Sovereignty, Authority, & Power

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  1. Sovereignty, Authority, & Power

  2. Presentation Outline • Nation • State • Regime • Government • Sovereignty • Legitimacy • Political Culture

  3. 1) The Nation • A nation is defined as a group with a common language, culture, history, and or religion, residing in a specific geographic territory • Don’t confuse nation with country or state! • Does every nation have its own country or state?

  4. Nations without states: The Kurds

  5. Nations without states: Tibet

  6. Nations without states: Palestine

  7. 2) The State • A state is defined as political body which has a monopoly of force over a territory • There are approximately 190 states in the world today. Many are nation-states such as Japan, South Korea, and Germany. Others, such as Canada, USA, Australia are NOT nation-states. • Not every nation has its own state. • States last longer than regimes or governments.

  8. Strong States • States which have full control over their territories • Strong states are able to provide a wide array of government services (welfare, infrastructure, courts, etc.) • Generally high income states • Examples: USA, Canada, Japan, France

  9. Weak States • States which have a limited capacity to provide social services to its citizens • Weak states may not be able to protect property rights • Generally low income states • Examples: Chad, Ethiopia, and a number of other African states

  10. Failed States • A state which is unable to maintain a monopoly of force over its entire territory cannot guarantee the security of its citizens. • Afghanistan and Somalia are two such examples

  11. 3) The Regime • A regime is defined as the practices, norms, institutions, and rules created to organize the state • Regimes create the rules of the game: elections, constitution, rights, freedoms, etc. • Regimes last longer than governments but a state may go through several regimes

  12. Regimes in Japanese History

  13. Regime Types Democracy • Rule by the People • Freedoms, civil liberties Examples Parliamentary: U.K., Canada, Japan Presidential: US, France, Mexico, Russia

  14. Absolute Monarchy • Rule by the King/Queen • Authoritarian • Limited freedoms Examples: Chinese Dynasties, France and England before their revolutions

  15. Totalitarian Dictatorships • Authoritarian • One Man/ One Party • Limited freedoms • Attempts to transform society Examples: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, China under Mao, the Soviet Union, North Korea

  16. Theocracy • Rule by religion • Authoritarian • Totalitarian Examples: Iran, Afghanistan under the Taliban

  17. 4) Government A government is defined as the elites (elected or unelected) who run and operate the regime • Governments come and go and are far less institutionalized than the regime or state

  18. 5) Sovereignty • Sovereignty is defined as the ability of a state to exercise decisions internally (domestic) and externally (foreign) For example: States in the midst of civil war have limited internal sovereignty

  19. Unitary or Federal systems • State sovereignty can either be concentrated at the national level in a unitary state or distributed regionally in a federal state • Unitary State: most states are unitary states the central or national government dominates decision making; provinces, or regions have limited power- examples: U.K., France, China, Japan • Federal State: provinces/ regions have constitutionally protected powers which the central government cannot take away- examples: Germany, Canada, USA, Nigeria, Mexico, Russia

  20. Map of the world’s unitary states

  21. Map of the world’s federal states

  22. Factors limiting state sovereignty • Membership in a supranational organization such as the European Union (EU) • Civil war • Military occupation by a foreign state • Trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) • Economic pressure particularly from larger states • Military alliances • United Nations actions (resolutions, sanctions, interventions)

  23. 6) Legitimacy • Legitimacy is defined as the people’s belief in the government’s right to rule

  24. Sources of legitimacy • Traditional: people follow the rules because it has always been that way Example: Chinese dynasties • Charismatic: people follow a leader because they have been mesmerized, persuaded- Example: Nazi Germany • Rational-legal: people follow laws, rules and a constitution because they believe this system to be just and fair Examples: Japan, South Korea, Canada, USA

  25. Factors which weaken legitimacy • Anytime the government/regime uses coercion (violence) to put down protest • Corruption • War • Economic misery/depression • Failure to reform

  26. What happens when a government’s or regime’s legitimacy is gone? • In democratic states, citizens normally choose another party • In authoritarian states, however, this normally leads to: rebellion, revolution, or coup d’etat

  27. 7) Political Culture • Political culture is defined as the prevailing attitudespeople in a state have toward government and authority • What rights and freedoms do citizens believe are important? • Who should or should not have power?

  28. Political culture tells us a lot American political culture: • Values freedom and individual liberties • Republican democracy • Capitalist • Christian traditions Chinese political culture: • Respects authority • Values the group/community • Communist one party system • Authoritarian history • Mixed economy

  29. Mapping political culture States with the highest self-expression values tend to be the most individualistic. What else do these states have in common? Source: Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel, "Changing Mass Priorities: The Link Between Modernization and Democracy." Perspectives on Politics June 2010 (vol 8, No. 2) page 554.

  30. Political culture and legitimacy • What is legitimate in one state might not be legitimate in another • Much of this (but NOT all) has to do with political culture • For example: in the U.K. there is support and respect for an unelected hereditary monarchy; there also tends to be more respect for unelected bureaucrats and government officials and a general belief that they will do what is best for the state • In the USA, on the other hand, nearly every government office is elected, and politicians tend to be mistrusted; the general belief is that their power must be restricted and checked by the people