APCOGO Course Concepts Vocabulary Part 1

Advanced" Democracies

Countries with well-established democratic governments and a high level of economic development

Communist and Post-communist Countries

Countries that have sought to create a system that limits individual freedoms in order to divide wealth more equally

Less-developed and Newly-industrializing Countries

Newly-industrializing countries are experiencing rapid economic growth, and also have shown a tendency toward democratization and political and social stability or less-developed countries that lack significant economic development, and tend to have authoritarian governments


The organization that maintains a monopoly of violence over a territory


Stable, long-lasting organizations that help to turn political ideas into policy


The ability to carry out actions or policies within their borders independently from interference either from the inside or the outside


A group of people bound together by a common political identity


The sense of belonging and identity that distinguishes one nation from another

Binational or Multinational State

One that contains more than one nation

Stateless Nation

People without a state

Core Areas

The beginning point of a nation, where it expands to form a nation


Outlying areas

Multicore State

States with more than one core area

Regime (21): the collective rules that a state sets and follows in exerting its power

The collective rules that a state sets and follows in exerting its power

Direct Democracy

When individuals have immediate say over many decisions that the government makes

Indirect Democracy

Elected officials representing the people

Presidential System

Where citizens vote for legislative representatives as well as for executive branch leaders, and the two branches function with separation of powers

Parliamentary System

Where citizens vote for legislative representatives, who in turn select the leaders of the executive branch

Semi-presidential System

Where a prime minister coexists with a president who is directly elected by the people and who holds a significant degree of power

Head of State

A role that symbolizes the power and nature of the regime

Head of Government

A role that deals with the everyday tasks of running the government

Authoritarian Regimes

Decisions are made by political elites without much input from citizens


Those who hold political power


A theory developed in the 19th century by Karl Marx and altered in the early 20th century by V. I. Lenin and Mao Zedong


An arrangement in which government officials interact with people/groups outside the government before they set policy

Patron-client Systems

Provide reciprocal favors and services to their supporters.


Generally have a strong ideological goal (like communism) that many authoritarian systems lack


A situation in which power is split among many groups that compete for the chance to influence the government's decision making

Democratic Corporatism

Formation of interest groups is spontaneous and organizations develop institutionalized and legally binding links with the state agencies, so that the groups become semi-public agencies, acting on behalf of the state. As a result, groups and individuals lose their freedoms


The right to rule

Traditional Legitimacy

Tradition should determine who should rule and how

Charismatic legitimacy

Dynamic personality of an individual leader or a small group determines the legitimacy

Rational-legal legitimacy

A system of well-established laws and procedures

Common Law

Based on tradition, past practices, and legal precedents set by the courts through interpretations of statutes, legal legislation, and past rulings

Code Law

Based on a comprehensive system of written rules (codes) of law divided into commercial, civil, and criminal codes