power authority legitimacy n.
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Power, Authority, Legitimacy. Power = ability to get people to do things they would not have chosen to do on their own (overt and concealed) Authority = form of power accepted as right and proper by those who submit/comply Why do citizens comply?

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power authority legitimacy
Power, Authority, Legitimacy
  • Power = ability to get people to do things they would not have chosen to do on their own (overt and concealed)
  • Authority = form of power accepted as right and proper by those who submit/comply
  • Why do citizens comply?
    • Socialization: socialized to accept state’s rules as right and proper; i.e., legitimate
      • Symbols, nationalism promote identification
    • States offer/withdraw resources
    • States punish rule breakers; monopoly on legitimate use of violence
state nation sovereignty government
State/Nation, Sovereignty, Government
  • State = public organizations whose rules are controlling in a given territory through command of means of violence
    • Territorially-bounded, sovereign entity
    • Legal construct
      • Contrast with nation, psychological construct
    • Multinational states; nation-states; stateless nations; nations across states
  • States sovereign, ultimate and final decision-maker (authority) within a territorially defined area
  • Government = group of leaders directing the state
states societies forms
States, Societies, Forms
  • Some states weak
    • Lack capacity to make rules effective
  • Some states strong
    • Capable, strong institutional capacity
  • Depends on relation between states and societies
    • Strong and weak states; strong and weak societies
  • Despotism to democracy
    • Authoritarianism: political power concentrated, highly centralized in hands of chief executive; rulers unaccountable to citizens (low accountability)
    • Democracy: political power dispersed; rulers accountable (high accountability)
      • Leaders selected through free, fair, frequent elections
      • Citizens enjoy extensive civil and political rights
unitary federal systems
Unitary, Federal systems
  • Constitutions: define rules of game; set limits on state power; define its distribution
  • Unitary systems: power concentrated at national level
    • Local levels little autonomous power (tax, spend, make policy)
      • Administrative arms of central government
    • Sovereignty resides in national government
    • More common than federal systems
  • Federal systems: power shared between national and sub-national levels
    • Authority divided between national and lower levels
    • Central and state governments power to tax, spend, and make policy
    • Local levels have significant autonomous power/sovereignty
    • Found primarily among larger countries and smaller countries with territorially based ethnic, religious, linguistic cleavages
  • Legislatures: assemblies where citizens’ views are represented to government
    • Authoritarian states – tolerated; powerless to influence policy (illusion of representation; participation without power)
    • Democracies -- represent public opinion; participate in policy-making; oversee executive/judicial branches (real checks and balances)
  • Unicameral (one chamber) the norm
    • Generally more efficient
  • Bicameralism (two chambers) atypical;
    • Different principles of representation (e.g., U.S.: state, Senate/population, House)
    • More common in federal systems
    • Broader basis of representation
  • Size and internal organization
    • Larger bodies unwieldy, less powerful
    • Strength of committee system good indicator of power
    • Most legislatures reactive to executives
    • Most exercise little influence over foreign affairs, economic policy
  • Theoretically, coordinate and implement (execute/administer) legislature’s decisions
  • Do much more -- set agenda, create priorities and propose bills, and execute laws
  • Power concentrated in chief executive (head of government)
    • Democracies -- president or prime minister (with cabinet, heads of departments, ministries)
    • Authoritarian regimes -- dictator or monarch
  • Executive branch grows in size and power as responsibilities of the state increase
  • Manages bureaucracy (agencies in executive branch)
    • Bureaucrats have own sources of power -- expertise, experience, contacts -- to defend interests
    • Greater number of political appointees (made by chief executive), more responsive bureaucracy is to administration in power
  • In theory, above politics; neutral, impartial; interpret law, don’t make it
  • In reality, interpret means settling disputes about its meaning and application; exercising power and determining winners and losers
  • Court jurisdiction, judicial selection, and judicial decisions are charged political issues
  • Authoritarian systems
    • power of courts limited; subordinated to executive; limited judicial independence
  • Democratic systems
    • greater judiciary autonomy/independence and power
  • Judicial review: power of judiciary to find laws/actions in violation of the constitution
    • Courts balance interests of majorities with minority rights; in so doing, influence policy
  • Independence depends on process of selection, tenure, removal process
  • Constitutions = “power maps”: describe internal distribution of power within state (between branches of government) and between state and citizens
    • Often important distinction/difference between formal constitutional arrangements and political realities
  • Important actors (political parties, media, interest groups, etc.) not included
  • Distribution of power among branches always contested and fluid
  • Ongoing contestation/competition between branches (especially in democracies, horizontal checks and balances)
    • In federalism systems, ongoing national-state contestation (vertical checks and balances)
  • Groups with interests at state seek to empower those parts of the state that give them the most advantage
authoritarianism and democracy
Authoritarianism and Democracy
  • Authoritarian systems
    • Legislative and judicial branches subordinate to executive
      • Legislative lacks power to make policy
      • Judiciary lacks independence and judicial review power
    • Power concentrated in executive, chief executive in particular
    • Little to no accountability between government and citizens
  • Democratic systems
    • Power is more dispersed
    • Checks and balances among branches, power sharing among parts of state
      • Legislatures influence policy process
      • Judiciary has greater independence, judicial review power
    • Subnational levels (states) have greater fiscal and legal authority
    • Citizens have more power to influence government and hold it accountable
  • Fascism: a form of authoritarianism with a popular basis
    • Mobilization of the masses in order to excite, engage, and manipulate it
    • Mass movement drawing support from all classes rooted in ultranationalism
    • Promise of integrated, organic nation
    • Power is concentrated in the state; rights of citizens emasculated
    • The state is all-powerful (indivisible) and led by an all-powerful leader (symbol of unity) of state/nation
military dictatorship
Military Dictatorship
  • Next wave of authoritarianism (following defeat of fascism in Europe and Japan; along with hopes for democratization with decolonization) took the form of military dictators
  • Took power promising national renewal, economic modernization/development
    • Pretext: economic development held back by corrupt civilian rule
    • Decisive, well-organized military would provide effective governance necessary for modernization/development
    • Some military regimes spurred economic growth (especially in Asia); others (especially in Africa) delivered little in exchange for the loss of political freedom
    • Military regimes typically conservative modernizers; modernize economy without modernizing society
party dictatorship
Party Dictatorship
  • Modern authoritarianism also took form of one-party state; party dictatorships
  • Party synonymous with the state (especially in Africa among Marxist-Leninist regimes)
  • Single-party rule without competition
  • Elections are rubber-stamp of party
  • One-party states motivated by ideological fervor
    • Communist countries (Marxism-Leninism), party vanguard of working class
    • Legitimated in terms of nation building ideology
    • Rally popular support to reaffirm image of party as best vehicle for further development
    • Mobilize masses to upset existing social arrangements
    • Party insinuates itself into all aspects of social life to extend reach into social organizations to serve ideological agenda
pathways to democracy
Pathways to Democracy
  • Roots of democracy and dictatorship
  • Barrington Moore, Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (classic formulation)
    • Key to democracy is independent, self-confident, vigorous commercial middle class; “No bourgeois, no democracy”
    • Size, independence, and vigor of middle class is key variable
      • Where middle class is weak, it exchanges right to rule for right to make money
      • Weak middle classes support authoritarianism in coalition with landlords, military, fascists, or royalists to promote interests
      • Where urban, moneyed middle class is strong, it does not need to support antidemocratic elites; instead, it allies itself with lower orders in favor of democracy, which it believes it will be able to control to advance interests
  • Curse of oil: all countries not democracies at time of riches through oil exports have taken path of authoritarianism
  • Democracy/demokratia: demos (people) and kratos (rule) – a state in which the people rule; authority rests on popular consent
    • In large, complex societies, democracy is through representatives
presidential and parliamentary systems
Presidential and Parliamentary systems
  • Presidential systems
    • Sovereignty is shared between the legislature and the president, creating checks and balances between them
    • Legislature and executive branches separate
    • Presidents are directly elected by the people
    • Presidents serve for a fixed term
    • Presidents do not owe their jobs to the legislature; do not require legislative majorities to continue it
    • Presidents often have legislative authority
  • Parliamentary systems
    • Legislature is directly elected by the people and is sovereign; delegates power to executive
    • Legislative and executive branches fused
    • Prime ministers (PM) selected by the legislature; government (PM and cabinet) is elected committee of legislature
    • PM does not serve a fixed term; PM can be removed when majority no longer supports them
    • Majority assures them legislative support for policies
political institutions and economic growth
Political Institutions and Economic Growth
  • Which is better at promoting economic growth – authoritarianism or democracy?
  • Theoretical claims
    • Authoritarianism
      • Can better invest limited resources
      • Permits government to ignore popular demands for spending on consumption and to direct savings to future investments
      • Creates consistency, order, stability favorable to investment and growth
    • Democracy
      • Rule of law creates predictability, which attracts investment
      • Debate, access to information, increased responsiveness allows democracies to better adapt to changing circumstances, policy mistakes
      • Freedom leads to creativity, innovation
  • Empirical record/evidence is mixed
    • Some authoritarian/democratic regimes have promoted growth, others haven’t
    • Per capita income rises faster under democracies
      • Population tends to grow slower under democracies; fertility rates are lower; women enjoy greater range of choices
    • Democracies have better record of steady economic performance
political institutions and citizens capability
Political Institutions and Citizens’ Capability
  • Which is better – authoritarianism or democracy – at promoting citizens’ capability?
  • Democracies enhance capability of citizens more than authoritarianism across every dimension
    • Physical well-being (health care, food, shelter) as indicated by life expectancy and infant mortality, democracies outperform authoritarian regimes at all income levels
    • Safety, as indicated by political violence, democracies better protect their citizens from harm than do authoritarian regimes, which are more likely to be involved in civil conflicts and instigate wars with other countries
    • Informed decision-making, as measured by literacy rates and secondary school enrollment, democracies do far better at all income levels
  • Democracies do a better job of increasing citizen capability than authoritarian regimes. Why might this be?
    • Policy makers are held accountable; rulers need to gain support of people and are therefore more likely to meet their needs
    • Dispersion of power more likely to prevent abuse, catastrophic policies
    • Openness of democracies contributes to better governance and adaptability