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Political Studies In English(selected topics) by Dr. Kamal Al-Astal

 تاريخ النشر: 23/2/2011   وقت 9:45:14 صباحا   | طباعة |  ارسل لصديق

Political Studies In English

Selected Topics

 

Selected by: Dr Kamal Al-Astal

 

1- Political Science: An Introduction

Political science is a branch of social sciences that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior. Political science is often described as the study of politics defined as "who gets what, when and how". Political science has several subfields, including: international relations, political theory, public policy, public administration, national politics, and comparative politics.

There are two schools of defining the political science:

1-Traditional School: the Science of the state

2-Behavioural school: the Science of power.

 

2- The State

A state is a political association with effective sovereignty over a geographic area and representing a population. These may be nation states, sub-national states or multinational states. A state usually includes the set of institutions that claim the authority to make the rules that govern the exercise of coercive violence for the people of the society in that territory, though its status as a state often depends in part on being recognized by a number of other states as having internal and external sovereignty over it.

3-Government

A government is "the organization, that is the governing authority of a political unit," "the ruling power in a political society," and the apparatus through which a governing body functions and exercises authority.

 

4- Authoritarianism

 

Theodore M. Vestal of Oklahoma State University has written that authoritarianism is characterized by:

  • "Highly concentrated and centralized power structures," in which political power is generated and maintained by a "repressive system that excludes potential challengers" and uses political parties and mass organizations to "mobilize people around the goals of the government";

 

 

 

5- Political Culture

 Definitions

  • Kavanagh defines political culture as "A shorthand expression to denote the set of values within which the political system operates".
  • Pye describes it as "the sum of the fundamental values, sentiments and knowledge that give form and substance to political process".

 

6-Nationalism

The term nationalism can refer to an ideology, a sentiment, a form of culture, or a social movement that focuses on the nation. While there is significant debate over the historical origins of nations, nearly all specialists accept that nationalism, at least as an ideology and social movement, is a modern phenomenon originating in Europe.

 

7- Dictatorship

A dictatorship is usually defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by a dictator.

 

8- Oligarchy

Oligarchy (Greek Ὀλιγαρχία, Oligarkhía) is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family, military powers or occult spiritual hegemony. Oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history, being completely reliant on public servitude to exist.

 

9- Fascism

Fascism is a totalitarian nationalist and corporatist ideology. It is primarily concerned with notions of cultural and social decline or decadence, and which seeks to achieve a millenarian national rebirth by exalting the nation, as well as promoting cults of unity, strength and purity.

 

10- Capitalism

Capitalism is the economic system in which the means of production are owned by private persons, and operated for profit and where investments, distribution, income, production and pricing of goods and services are predominantly determined through the operation of a free market  rather than by central economic planning.

 

11- Communism

Communism is a socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless society based on common ownership of the means of production and property in general. The communist movement has attempted to produce a communist society by setting up political parties, which in some cases have become governments. These attempts have never produced a communist society, and have frequently led to totalitarian states.

 

12- Cold War

Cold War is the state of conflict, tension and competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR) and their respective allies from the mid-1940s to the early 1990s. Throughout this period, rivalry between the two superpowers was expressed through military coalitions, propaganda, espionage, weapons development, industrial advances, and competitive technological development, e.g., the space race. Both superpowers engaged in costly defence spending, a massive conventional and nuclear arms race, and numerous proxy wars.

 

13- Ideology

An ideology is a set of beliefs, aims and ideas, especially in politics. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things, or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society Implicitly every political tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought.

Political ideologies have two dimensions:

1.     Goals: How society should function or be organized.

2.     Methods: The most appropriate way to achieve this goal.

 

14- Constitution

A constitution is a system for government, often codified as a written document (or Unwritten) , that establishes the rules and principles of an autonomous political entity. In the case of countries, this term refers specifically to a national constitution defining the fundamental political principles, and establishing the structure, procedures, powers and duties, of a government. Most national constitutions also guarantee certain rights to the people. Historically, before the evolution of modern-style, codified national constitutions, the term constitution could be applied to any important law that governed the functioning of a government.

 

15-Elections

An election is a decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold formal office. This is the usual mechanism by which modern democracy fills offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and for regional and local government. This process is also used in many other private and business organizations, from clubs to voluntary associations and corporations.

Types of elections

 

16-Referendum

A referendum (plural referendums or referenda) is a democratic tool related to elections in which the electorate votes for or against a specific proposal, law or policy, rather than for a general policy or a particular candidate or party. Referendums may be added to an election ballot or held separately and may be either binding or consultative, usually depending on the constitution.

 

17- Mass Media

Mass media is a term used to denote a section of the media specifically envisioned and designed to reach a very large audience such as the population of a nation state. It was coined in the 1920s with the advent of nationwide radio networks, mass-circulation newspapers and magazines, although mass media (like books and manuscripts) were present centuries before the term became common. The term public media has a similar meaning: it is the sum of the public mass distributors of news and entertainment across media such as newspapers, television, radio, broadcasting, which may require union membership in some large markets such as Newspaper Guild and text publishers. The concept of mass media is complicated in some internet media as now individuals have a means of potential exposure on a scale comparable to what was previously restricted to select group of mass media producers. These internet media can include:

 

 

18- Public Opinion

 

Public opinion is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the adult population. The principle approaches to the study of public opinion may be divided into 4 categories: a) quantitative measurement of opinion distributions b) investigation of the internal relationships among the individual opinions that make up public opinion on an issue c) description or analysis of the public role of public opinion. d) study both of the communication media that disseminate the ideas on which opinions are based and of the uses that propagandists and other manipulators make of these media.

 

19- Pressure Groups

An interest group (also advocacy group, lobby group, pressure group or special interest group) is an organized collection of people who seek to influence political decisions.

 

20- Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy is the structure and set of regulations in place to control activity, usually in large organizations and government. As opposed to adhocracy, it is represented by standardized procedure (rule-following) that dictates the execution of most or all processes within the body, formal division of powers, hierarchy, and relationships. In practice the interpretation and execution of policy can lead to informal influence.

Definition

Bureaucracy is a concept in sociology and political science referring to the way that the administrative execution and enforcement of legal rules are socially organized. Four structural concepts are central to any definition of bureaucracy:

1.     a well-defined division of administrative labor among persons and offices,

2.     a personnel system with consistent patterns of recruitment and stable linear careers,

3.     a hierarchy among offices, such that the authority and status are differentially distributed among actors, and

formal and informal networks that connect organizational actors to one another through flows of information and patterns of cooperation.

 

21- Civil Liberties

Civil liberties are freedoms that protect the individual from the government. Civil liberties set limits for government so that it cannot abuse its power and interfere with the lives of its citizens.

Common civil liberties include freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, and additionally, the right to due process, to a fair trial, to own property, and to privacy.

The formal concept of civil liberties dates back to the Magna Carta of 1215 which in turn was based on pre-existing documents.

 

22- Negotiation

Negotiation is a dialogue intended to resolve disputes, to produce an agreement upon courses of action, to bargain for individual or collective advantage, or to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests. It is the primary method of alternative dispute resolution.

 

 

23- Arbitration

Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, wherein the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (the "arbitrators", "arbiters" or "arbitral tribunal"), by whose decision (the "award") they agree to be bound.

 

24- Mediation

Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or "appropriate dispute resolution", aims to assist two (or more) disputants in reaching an agreement.

 

25- Compromise

In arguments, compromise is a concept of finding agreement through communication, through a mutual acceptance of terms—often involving variations from an original goal or desire. Extremism is often considered as antonym to compromise, which, depending on context, may be associated with concepts of balance, tolerance. In the negative connotation, compromise may be referred to as capitulation, referring to a "surrender" of objectives, principles, or materiale, in the process of negotiating an agreement. In human relationships "compromise" is often said to be an agreement that no party is happy with. According  to cultural background and influences, the meaning and perception of the word "compromise" may be different: In the UK, Ireland and Commonwealth countries the word "compromise" has a positive meaning (as a consent, an agreement where both parties win something); in the USA it may rather have negative connotations (as both parties lose something).

 

26- Crisis management

A crisis is a major, unpredictable event that threatens to harm an organization and its stakeholders. Although crisis events are unpredictable, they are not unexpected (Coombs, 1999). Crises can affect all segments of society – businesses, churches, educational institutions, families, non-profits and the government and are caused by a wide range of reasons. Although the definitions can vary greatly, three elements are common to most definitions of crisis: (a) a threat to the organization, (b) the element of surprise, and (c) a short decision .

 

27- Political party

A political party is a political organization that seeks to attain and maintain political power within government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. Parties often espouse an expressed ideology or vision bolstered by a written platform with specific goals, but may also represent a coalition among disparate interests.

Traditionally, political scientists have focused on the role of political parties as instruments of promoting candidacies in elections to public office.

 

28- Democracy

Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system. It is derived from the Greek δημοκρατία (dimokratia] (help·info)), "popular government" which was coined from δήμος (dēmos), "people" and κράτος (kratos), "rule, strength" in the middle of the 5th-4th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states, notably Athens following a popular uprising in 508 BC.

 

Types of Democracy (Direct. Indirect, constitutional, social…..)

 

THE PILLARS OF DEMOCRACY

  • Sovereignty of the people.
  • Government based upon consent of the governed.
  • Majority rule.
  • Minority rights.
  • Guarantee of basic human rights.
  • Free and fair elections.
  • Equality before the law.
  • Due process of law.
  • Constitutional limits on government.
  • Social, economic, and political pluralism.
  • Values of tolerance, pragmatism, cooperation, and compromise

 

 

29- Globalization

Globalization (or globalisation) in its literal sense is the process of transformation of local or regional phenomena into global ones. It can be described as a process by which the people of the world are unified into a single society and function together. This process is a combination of economic, technological, sociocultural and political forces. Globalization is often used to refer to economic globalization, that is, integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, and the spread of technology.

 

30-Definitions of civil society

 

 

 

 

The definition of civil society


Review of many of the literature concerned with the definition of civil society can draw a number of the following elements:


1-Civil society is an intermediary organizations and independent that fills the social space between state and market and the family.
2- The civil society on the basis of voluntary association of individuals enter voluntarily.

3- requires civil society, legal system determines the range of rights that ensure the independence of this society and govern the relationship between him and the state.
4- the rule of a civic culture based on acceptance and adoption of other different pluralism within the society, and the ability to resolve conflicts in a peaceful and democratic

And civil society in this sense are the four basic elements:
- Voluntary act of free or voluntary
- Presence in the form of organizations.
- The acceptance of diversity and differences between the self and others
- Not to seek to gain power.
Components of civil society:
Falls within the institutions of civil society according to this definition, any entity, a community organizer based on the membership Regular depending on the purpose of the public or the profession or volunteer work, not based on the organic boiled factors, genetics and blood ties and loyalties primary such as family, clan, caste, tribe, and therefore, the most important components of civil society is :
- Trade unions
- Trade unions
- Social movements.
- Cooperative societies
- NGOs
- Clubs university faculty
- Sports clubs and social
- Centers for Youth and student unions
- Chambers of commerce, industry and business groups

- Non-governmental organizations and development centers defense of human rights and women's development and the environment.
- A free press and media and publishing
- Research and studies centers, and cultural associations.
There are those who add to these organizations, bodies such as roads traditional Sufi and Endowments, which served as the basis of civil society in Arab societies for hundreds of years before the advent of modern organizations.



Second: the relationship between state and civil society


The parent in the relationship between state and civil society It is a relationship of integration and interdependence and the distribution of roles, not one of contradiction or dispute, civil society is only a manifestation of the modern state that provides the condition through the rationing system of rights regulates the practices of all parties and groups within the community. The community depends on the state to perform its functions of basic economic, social and education by means of its organizations.
The state and civil society go hand in hand, not a state without society and society without a state, but civil society is the outcome of state power and to balance its power.

 

Third:Civil society organizations

Pattern of organization

A - private voluntary organizations

• Assemblies of social welfare
• scientific societies and cultural
• Community Development Associations
• Foundations
2 - Clubs
• Social
• Sports
• Youth Centers
3 - Cooperatives
• consumers
• Services
• producers
4 - unions
* Unions
• trade unions
• business associations
• Civil Companies
5 - Social movements

• Human rights
• Women and Gender
• Environment

• Other
6 - Independent Press
• Press the opposition parties  independent

7 - political parties
.





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