Democracy and Political Participation

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  • Created by: claire
  • Created on: 16-03-14 20:04


A very general description of various political systems that are organised on the basis that government should serve the interests of the people. Liberal democracies: citizens should influence decisions or make decisions themselves. Government should be accountable, in various ways, to the people.

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Linked to democracy, the term refers to the characteristic of some institutions that gives them the right to exercise power. Institutions can usually claim legitimacy when they are accountable and/or elected.

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This term refers to the idea that members of the political community have certain rights with respect to political institutions. It also implies than an individual has the right to live within a particular state and thus enjoy all its rights and benefits. Citizenship implies a certain level of obligation, mainly to obey the law, to give military service in some circumstances, to pay taxes and, arguably, to vote and to engage in some kinds of service to the community.

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Opportunities for and tendencies of the people to become involved in the political process. At a minimum level this will involve voting, but may also involve active work in political parties or pressure groups. At the highest level it implies standing for public office. 

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A popular vote where the people are asked to determine an important poltical or constitutional issue directly.

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The political idea is that people elect or appoint reprsentatives to make decisions on their behalf rather than making those decisions themselves.
On a social level, it implies that political institutions should have a membership that is broadly a social cross-section of society in general. 

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Democratic Deficit

A term used to describe a feat that democracy is being undermined or weakened in a variety of ways.

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Democratic Renewal

A general term describing measures designed to deal with the democratic deficit.

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