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Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

8. Governments and bureaucracies  

Wolfgang C. Müller

This chapter examines the decision-making modes of governments and their capacities to govern, with particular emphasis on bureaucracies that support governments in their tasks of ruling and administrating the country. It first presents the relevant definitions before discussing different modes of government that reflect the internal balance of power: presidential government, cabinet government, prime ministerial government, and ministerial government. It then considers the autonomy of government, especially from political parties and the permanent bureaucracy, along with the political capacity of governments, the relevance of unified versus divided government, majority versus minority government, and single-party versus coalition government. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the technocratic capacities of government, focusing on issues such as classic bureaucracy, the politicization of bureaucracies, and New Public Management systems.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

8. Governments and Bureaucracies  

Wolfgang C. Müller

This chapter examines the decision-making modes of governments and their capacities to govern, with particular emphasis on bureaucracies that support governments in their tasks of ruling and administrating the country. It first presents the relevant definitions before discussing different modes of government that reflect the internal balance of power: presidential government, cabinet government, prime ministerial government, and ministerial government. It then considers the autonomy of government, especially from political parties and the permanent bureaucracy, along with the political capacity of governments, the relevance of unified versus divided government, majority versus minority government, and single-party versus coalition government. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the bureaucratic capacities of government, focusing on issues such as classic bureaucracy, the politicization of bureaucracies, and New Public Management systems.

Chapter

Cover European Integration Theory

3. Neofunctionalism  

Arne Niemann, Zoe Lefkofridi, and Philippe C. Schmitter

This chapter focuses on neofunctionalism, one of the earlier theories of regional integration. Neofunctionalist theory was first formulated in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but began to receive increasing criticism from the mid1960s, particularly because of several adverse empirical developments, the culmination of which was the Empty Chair crisis of 1965–66 when French President Charles de Gaulle effectively paralysed the European Community. With the resurgence of the European integration process in the mid1980s, neofunctionalism made a substantial comeback. After providing an overview of neofunctionalism’s intellectual roots, the chapter examines early neofunctionalism’s core assumptions and hypotheses, including its central notion of ‘spillover’. It then considers the criticisms that have been levelled against it before turning to later revisions of the theory. Finally, this chapter applies the theory critically to explain the nature and probable outcome of the sovereign debt crisis.

Chapter

Cover Comparative European Politics

11. Levels of Government  

Michael Keating

This chapter examines the division of power between different levels of government in European countries. Some states are unitary, while others are federal with a constitutional division of power between the centre and the federal regions. Even within unitary states there are local and regional levels of government. The major debates about centralization versus decentralization are reviewed, including arguments about economic efficiency, democratic quality, and equity. The chapter also examines nationalist movements within states and the way they have sought greater autonomy or even secession. Finally, it considers issues of rescaling—that is, the shift of power and tasks across different levels—especially in the context of European integration.

Chapter

Cover Exploring Parliament

8. Parliamentary Scrutiny and Influence on Government Bills  

Meg Russell and Daniel Gover

This chapter examines the political dynamics of legislative scrutiny, with an emphasis on how parliamentary policy influence works. A central function of legislatures is legislating. In the case of the UK Parliament, the treatment of legislation is one of the most time-consuming activities, with both Houses spending the great majority of that time scrutinizing government bills. The chapter first introduces the reader to common assumptions, including the idea that government dominates the process, with Parliament acting as little more than a ‘rubber stamp’, before questioning these various assumptions. It shows that non-government amendments may ‘fail’ but can nonetheless be influential, that government amendments do not necessarily imply government dominance, that the two Chambers often operate in cooperation rather than competition, and that parliamentary influence occurs throughout the policy process. Furthermore, the chapter suggests that the legislative process is less separate from other processes than it might appear.

Chapter

Cover British Politics

9. Governing from Below  

This chapter studies a key aspect of delegation in British politics: decentralization and local/national self-government. It deals with local government in England, and government in the devolved territories/nations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Decentralization in British politics has formed into a complex pattern, where there are different dynamics in the various territories: relative centralization in England, power-sharing in Northern Ireland, pragmatic devolution in Wales, and then a strong push towards independence in Scotland. For a question about how centralized or decentralized British politics is, the answer would need to be based on where a person lives, with England rehearsing the conventional arguments about constitutional centralization and the rest of the country increasing decentralization, if not a form of federalism. The chapter then assesses the question of the rationale and general stability of the system, with respect to the integrity of the UK as a whole.

Chapter

Cover Foundations of European Politics

10. Political Systems and Government Formation  

This chapter considers executive branch politics in a number of European democracies. It addresses the nature of parliamentary democracy and compares it with other forms of democracy. For example, it looks at separation-of-powers systems using the principal–agent framework of Chapter 2. The chapter examines in detail the link between parties and institutions in order to understand the process of government formation and government collapse. It begins to consider the foundations of the process of law-making which is relevant for the remainder of the book.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

13. Political parties  

Richard S. Katz

This chapter examines the role that political parties play in the working of democracy. Political parties are among the major actors in democratic politics. Whether or not in power as the result of victory in free and fair elections, the governments of most countries have effectively been in the hands of party leaders. When governments were not in the hands of party leaders, most often it was because party government was interrupted by a military takeover. The chapter first considers various definitions of a political party, before tracing the origins of political parties. It then describes the functions of parties and the ways in which parties are organized, regulated, and financed. It concludes with an analysis of the role of parties in the stabilization of democracy in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, as well as challenges confronting parties in the new millennium.

Chapter

Cover Comparative European Politics

7. The Executive Branch  

Petra Schleiter

This chapter offers a clear introduction to the history, constitutional structure, and powers of the modern executive in European countries. It provides an overview of the constitutional position of the political executive in parliamentary and semi-presidential democracies, then charts variations in the powers of key actors (including prime ministers, cabinets, and presidents) and their political implications for conflict within government, cabinet stability, and policy processes. The text complements its coverage of the political executive with an analysis of the civil service and the political challenges of controlling it, and concludes with a comprehensive assessment of the rise in executive autonomy and its political implications in the twenty-first century.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

12. Political Parties  

Richard S. Katz

This chapter examines the role that political parties play in the working of democracy. Political parties are among the major actors in democratic politics. Whether or not in power as the result of victory in free and fair elections, the governments of most countries have effectively been in the hands of party leaders. When governments were not in the hands of party leaders, most often it was because party government was interrupted by a military takeover. The chapter first considers various definitions of a political party, before tracing the origins of political parties. It then describes the functions of parties and the ways in which parties are organized, regulated, and financed. It concludes with an analysis of the role of parties in the stabilization of democracy in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, as well as challenges confronting parties in the new millennium.

Chapter

Cover UK Politics

10. Identity, equality, and power  

This chapter turns to issues relating to political power and society. The goal of a contemporary democracy is to allow people to be both equal and different. The UK is a diverse society and people in the UK differ in many ways by their gender, sexuality, abilities, ethnicity, religious beliefs, age, and many other aspects. The importance of various ‘identities’ has recently been recognised in UK politics and they now co-exist alongside more traditional ways of classifying people which tend to lie along socio-economic lines. The chapter then looks at the effectiveness of scrutiny measures to protect people from unequal treatment in the political or legal sphere on the basis of their identity.

Chapter

Cover UK Politics

11. Devolution and local government  

This chapter turns to the forms of government that cover specific areas within the UK. These territories fall into two general categories: devolved and local government. The chapter introduces the general roles of these tiers of government, their powers, their responsibilities and how they function. It introduces a number of theoretical perspectives to these subjects. It looks at the balance of power between the various systems that exist. It offers examples as to how that balance of power works in reality. The chapter also considers the mechanisms for regulating interventions by the UK Parliament into devolved spheres of operation; the process of expansion of Welsh devolution over time; the devolution of responsibility for police and justice in Northern Ireland; devolution to local government in England; and innovatory approaches in Scotland. The chapter provides an assessment of devolution and local government and gives some historical context as well. Finally, the chapter looks at the relationship between Brexit and devolution.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

22. NGOs in world politics  

Jutta Joachim

This chapter examines the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in world politics. It considers what distinguishes NGOs from other actors in international politics, what types of influence NGOs exert in international relations, and whether NGOs contribute to more democratic policy-making at the international level. The chapter also discusses the growing importance of NGOs and presents two case studies that illustrate how they have contributed to the emergence of new norms through their engagement with international governmental organizations (IGOs). The first case study pitches Friends of the Earth against Royal Dutch Shell to show how NGOs have impacted on climate change law. The second case study focuses on the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

22. NGOs in world politics  

Jutta Joachim

This chapter examines the role of transnational non-governmental organizations (TNGOs) in world politics. It considers what distinguishes TNGOs from other actors in international politics, what types of influence NGOs exert in international relations, and whether TNGOs contribute to more democratic policy-making at the international level. The chapter also discusses the growing importance of TNGOs and presents two case studies that illustrate how they contribute to the emergence of new norms through their engagement with international governmental organizations (IGOs), provide assistance to those in need, but also highlight the diversity that exists among the organizations. The first is about the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 ‘Women, Peace, and Security’ to which TNGOs contributed in a significant manner, while the second is about the search and rescue missions of migrants which TNGOs undertake in the Mediterranean Sea. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether TNGOs contribute to more democracy at the international level.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

15. Citizens and Public Opinion in the European Union  

Simona Guerra and Hans-Jörg Trenz

This chapter provides an overview of trends in public opinion towards the European Union (EU). The chapter also discusses the key factors thought to explain differences in mass opinion regarding the EU. These include political economy and rationality; that is, opinions stemming from calculations about the costs and benefits of the EU; perceptions of the national government (domestic proxies); the influence of political elites; political psychology, including cognitive mobilization (attentiveness to politics) and concerns about the loss of national identity; and, finally, the role of the mass media in driving opinions regarding the EU.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

14. Global governance  

Richard Jolly and Thomas G. Weiss

This chapter discusses ‘global governance’, the term now used widely to analyse the international system. Global governance consists of collective efforts to identify, understand, and address worldwide problems and processes that go beyond the capacities of individual states. The question of how to improve global economic governance can be understood by addressing the main ‘gaps’ in the international system: knowledge, norms, policies, institutions, leadership, and compliance. The chapter then presents three illustrations of current issues in global governance—and the gaps therein—to help in understanding international responses (both weak and strong) to communicable diseases, economic instability, and child welfare. Ultimately, addressing global governance problems requires more robust intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Chapter

Cover I-PEEL: The International Political Economy of Everyday Life

3. Food  

This chapter examines the topic of food in everyday international political economy (IPE). It primarily focuses on the international trade of agricultural commodities and its developmental implications within the Global South. It explains the concepts of governmentality and the global value chain. The chapter begins by looking at corporate brands behind the globalization of chocolate, the associated transformation of dietary patterns, and the attempts to manage the exploitation that persists in the cocoa industry. It shows how these trends can be drawn together conceptually with reference to neoliberalism, a key term in IPE and in food studies generally. The chapter then analyses the meaning of food security, looks at how diets are governed, and looks at where value is distributed in the agri-food sector. It also considers how autoethnography and foodscaping can be used to reflect theoretically on daily diet and the moral economy of veganism.

Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

7. The foreign policy process: executive, Congress, intelligence  

Michael Foley

This chapter examines the U.S. foreign policy process which encompasses the executive, Congress, and intelligence. It first considers American foreign policy as a primary agency of government adaptation before discussing the role of the executive as the lead agency of systemic evolution in response to foreign policy needs, taking into account the executive prerogative and judicial recognition of inherent executive power. It then describes the political and technical difficulties experienced by Congress in matching the executive in foreign policy. It also explores the ramifications of 9/11 and the war on terror for American foreign policy and concludes with an overview of U.S. foreign policy under Barack Obama.

Chapter

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

9. From Deadlock to Dynamism  

The European Community in the 1980s

N. Piers Ludlow

This chapter examines the origins of the European Community's (EC) transformation, arguing that the most important factor was the emergence of a new degree of consensus among economic and political leaders about what ‘Europe’ should do. In the course of the mid-1980s, the EC went from being a seemingly moribund entity to a rapidly developing success story. The launch of the single market programme revitalized the EC, helped it overcome long-standing institutional paralyses, created onward pressure for yet more integration, and forced the rest of the world to pay heed to the European integration process once more. The chapter explains how the apparently narrow target of establishing an internal market within the EC encouraged multiple other efforts to integrate Western Europe more closely. It also considers the important role played by national governments and the European Council in shaping the direction of European integration.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

3. The rise of modern international order  

George Lawson

This chapter examines the rise of modern international order. It begins with a discussion of international orders before the modern period, focusing on how trade and transport helped to link diverse parts of the world. It then considers debates about the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, along with nineteenth-century developments such as industrialization and imperialism. It also explores the main ideas that underpinned modern international order, the ‘shrinking of the planet’ that arose from the advent of new technologies, the emergence of intergovernmental organizations and international non-governmental organizations, and the advent of a radically unequal international order. The chapter concludes with case studies on the dual character of international law and imperialism in China.