AP Comparative Government (Chapters 1-7)

open-list systems

electoral systems in which voters can give preference votes to individual candidates

party system

the number of parties and the relationships among them

patron-client networks

structures where a central authority grants patronage (benefits) in exchange for loyalty

primary elections

preliminary elections in which voters nominate party candidates for office

proportional representation

electoral system in which multimember districts (or district, as the case may be) elect a proportional amount of representatives per party

psychological effect

foreseeing of the mechanical effect and only voting for the larger parties in SMDP election systems

single-member district

an electoral district in which voters choose one representative

single-member district plurality election rule

first past the post"; electoral system in which countries are split into election districts that send representative based on the party that has the most votes within the district

strategic voting

granting support to a party that is not your first choice in order to avoid a worse outcome


the legislatures or "parliaments" of the legislative branch

authoritarian regimes

regimes in which policymakers are chosen by military councils or political parties, or inherit it


the practice of using two-chamber assemblies in the legislative


all members of the executive branch below the top executive


the most important collective decision-making body in most political systems

chief executives

the officials at the top of the executive branch

civil service

administrative government service to society

confidence relationship

the relationship between prime minister and parliament based on dismissal and dissolution

constitutional regimes

regimes where the powers of governments are defined and limited by a written constitution

decision rules

the basic rules that govern how decisions are made

democratic presidential regime

a regime with a separate executive and legislative branch

federal systems

government systems that divide the powers between the national government and state or provincial governments

higher civil service

those who report to the top civil service and spend their lives becoming increasingly important in the civil service


a formal accusation of misconduct in office against a public official

judicial review

the practice of high courts effectively policing government


an institution to protect society against bureaucratic injury

parliamentary regimes

democratic regimes in which the executive and legislative branches are interdependent

semipresidential regime

a democratic regime where executive and legislative are separately elected, but the president has the power to dissolve the legislature

separation of powers

the division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government

direct taxes

taxes on income, capital gains or wealth, et cetera... that tend to be progressive

gross domestic product

the total value of the goods and services produced by a country's residents in a year

indirect taxes

sales and value-added taxes, excise taxes, customs duties, et cetera...

night watchman state

a Lockean state that primarily concerns itself with regulation aimed at preserving law, order, and commerce and the protection of citizens

opportunity costs

the losses in an area of political goods where resources have been committed to another

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

a group of advanced capitalist nations that promotes economic expansion

police state

a state that regulates intrusively and extracts resources very severely

policy goods

political goods that pertain to welfare, security, fairness, and liberty

political goods and values

the motivations behind public policies

process goods

political goods that pertain to participation, compliance, justice, effectiveness, and efficiency

public policies

political decisions with the aim of building community, fostering development, or promoting nation-building

regulatory state

a state, developed in all advanced industrial societies, that regulates the behavior of producers and consumers

symbolic outputs

public policy outputs/functions that involve direct appeals to the people

system goods

political goods that pertain to a stable and transparent environment and allow for maintenance and adaption

trade off

prioritization of political goods

welfare state

a state that provides extensive resource distribution (such as healthcare, education, employment and housing)


government by the people"; political system with civil and political rights, where leaders are fairly elected and held accountable for their actions


the movement towards democracy


a people's belief in a common descent

European Union

a European, political/economic union of nations


costs that are not accounted for by the user or producer of a good


organizations in a political system who have the power of policymaking on behalf of a people

gross national product

a measure of a country's national economic development

human rights

the basic rights to which all people are entitled

income inequality

a large displacement between the wealthy and the poor of a nation


a people with a common identity


the cases where sovereignty and national identification collide


rule by the few

political culture

common citizen expectations and mindsets at the system, process, and policy level

political system

a social system with the power to make authoritative, public decisions and both formulate and implement goals, as well as all related institutions/agencies

public goods

goods that do not detract from another's enjoyment of those same goods

religious fundamentalism

a complete belief that one's religion is the only truth


independent legal authority over a population in a specific territory


political system with sovereignty

state of nature

the natural condition of humankind, without any government

totalitarian systems

systems in which governments constricts privacy and rights

United Nations

international organization of 192 members with authority to control world security


public policy function/output that allocates benefits and services to various groups of the population


the setting in which a political system operates


public policy function/output that involves resource collection


the actions of political structures


the increase of international interdependence


the action agents of a system, received from both international and domestic environments


the state of countries being mutually dependent

interest aggregation

process function that involves the combination of public demands into policy proposals

interest articulation

process function that involves the expression of needs and demands


the repercussions of the outputs of a political system


the implementations of a political process or system

policy adjudication

process function that involves the settling of disputes about public policies

policy implementation

process function that involves the enforcement of public policies

policy level

the effects of a political system on the people


process function that involves the filtering of policy proposals into public policies/authoritative rules

political communication

system function that involves information flow through society

political recruitment

system function that involves the selection of people for political activity

political socialization

system function that involves the formation of political values and culture in people

process functions

the activities of a political system that allow for creation and implementation of political policy


public policy function/output that involves the management of a people's behavior

structural-functional approach

the idea that the same structures do not necessarily perform the same functions in different countries, and that certain functions are shared by different structures in one country


the agencies in a political system that perform functions


a set of interdependent parts in a certain environment

system functions

the indirect influences on a political system

agents of political socialization

individuals, organizations, and institutions that influence political attitudes


erosion of nondemocratic ideologies and development of citizen skills and political resources


the interpretation of every word in the sacred texts as literal truth


the belief that laws ought to be obeyed by the people


acceptance of free markets


movement towards Western, industrial mindsets


citizens who are unaware of government presence


citizens who are or could potentially be involved in the political process

political culture

a common citizen political orientation or mindset

political socialization

the formation of political values or cultures in people, and the transmission of that culture to the next generation

political subcultures

divisions of a political culture caused by a disagreement on critical policy


citizens who obey the law but do not involve themselves in politics

anomic groups

spontaneous, flash affair interest groups that form when many individuals react to an event

associational groups

interest groups with formal procedures and staff that represent the interests of a particular group

channels of political access

the ways that interest groups use to reach policymakers, can be legitimate or coercive

civil society

social or political involvement that is free from political control

collective action problem

the problem in nonassociational groups where there is a common problem without an effort to organize members

controlled interest group systems

interest group systems under government control where there is one group per social sector, membership is compulsory, and groups are hierarchically organized

institutional groups

formal interest groups with special political or social functions

mass media

the media technologies that provide for (objective or otherwise) mass communication and a channel of political access

neo-corporatist interest group systems

centralized interest group systems where one peak association tends to represent each social interest, membership is compulsory or universal, and there is systematic policymaking involvement

nonassociational groups

unorganized interest groups based on common interests or identities, and hence have more continuity than anomic groups

pluralist interest group systems

decentralized interest group systems where multiple groups may represent a single interest, membership is voluntary, and interest groups are clearly separated from government

political terror tactics

the use of fear in order to change political rules or destroy a system


contentious action by interest groups on specific interests

social capital

the norms, skills, and networks that a society learns from political participation

accommodative party systems

competitive party systems in which stability is achieved by compromise between parties that are far apart on the political spectrum

authoritarian party systems

party systems that seek to direct society

closed-list PR systems

proportional representation systems in which voters have no say about their candidates

competitive party systems

party systems that try to build electoral support

conflictual party system

an unstable competitive party system in which most parties do not each other or the system and are far apart on the political spectrum

consensual party system

a stable competitive party system in which most parties trust each other and the system and are not too far apart on the political spectrum


compromise between parties that are far apart on the political spectrum


majority runoff; a version of single-member district election in which voting happens in two stages (with a majority needed to win the first stage and more votes than any other party needed to win the second stage, after the number of parties are trimmed

Duverger's Law

the theory that the relationship between electoral systems and party systems goes such that SMD election systems generate two-party structures while PR election systems generate multiparty systems

effective number of parties

measurement that takes into account the number of parties in a country and their relative sizes

electoral authoritarianism

a facade of democracy and freedom in a political system and its elections

electoral system

the rules by which elections are conducted

exclusive governing party

an authoritarian party that insists on total control over all political resources

inclusive governing party

an authoritarian party that recognizes, to an extent, other political groups and organizations

majoritarian two-party systems

competitive party systems dominated by just two parties

majority-coalition systems

competitive party systems in which parties establish preelectoral coalitions

majority runoff

double-ballot; a version of single-member district election in which voting happens in two stages (with a majority needed to win the first stage and more votes than any other party needed to win the second stage, after the number of parties are trimmed do

mechanical effect

the result of a SMDP election system where smaller parties get no representation whatsoever

median voter result

Downs' theory that two-party systems will inevitable target the center and "converge

military governments

governments that maintain order by monopoly on coercive force

multiparty systems

competitive party systems in which a single party practically never gains a majority and coalitions are formed through bargaining after the election