Questions tagged [political-theory]

Political theory is the study of the concepts in politics. Use this tag for questions regarding political philosophy or scientific theories.

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2answers
162 views

Merging and splitting in apportionment

This question is about rules for apportionment of parliament seats among parties. Many such rules have the property, that a party may gain a seat by splitting into two parties, or two parties may gain ...
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A textbook of (the history of) political thought [migrated]

I am looking for a textbook or a book covering the history of political thought in Europe up to the current times. Could you recommend one that is readable for a lay person and offers a good ...
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Can we call the United States of America an asymmetric federation?

The United States also observes tribal sovereignty of the American Indian nations to a limited degree, as it does with the states' sovereignty. American Indians are U.S. citizens and tribal lands are ...
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371 views

Is democracy inherently anti-authoritarian?

I read a question asking if communism was inherently authoritarian as it is often portrayed. President Nixon often talked about countries being either communist or free. Is democracy always the ...
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2answers
170 views

What is the use of governmental sovereign immunity within a state?

This is seen internationally, but I will stick with an example from the US. In the US, the federal, state, and (some) local governments enjoy sovereign immunity giving them protection from all law ...
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8answers
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Why aren't any countries trying to create a neo-democracy/ alternate system of government? [closed]

I have been stewing over a question for the past few days: Why haven't people come up with a new form of governance that is much better than democracy and eliminates the current intrinsic faults with ...
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1answer
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Is it likely that the Founding Fathers would not have created the 2nd Amendment if automatic rifles had been available in 1775? [closed]

I am wondering if it is likely that our nation's founding fathers would not have created the 2nd Amendment if automatic rifles had already been invented by 1775 and that they were being used in mass ...
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8answers
570 views

What keeps a democracy from disestablishing itself?

Assume a democracy where every person can vote. Now, if there was a party to say: "If we win, next time only all men are allowed to vote plus all women with dark hair." Let's assume that ...
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5answers
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What conditions must happen to end a cult of personality?

Background Cults of Personality are a long standing phenomenon going back to at least the Roman Emperor Commodus. However the term really only entered popular lexicon after Nikita Khrushchev's Secret ...
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5answers
379 views

Are there sources that try to demonstrate that democracy is just an oligarchy?

My concern is certainly both philosophical and political ...I'm looking for interesting writings ( book, article, essay, etc .. ) about a theory on similarities between known forms of democracy and ...
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4answers
479 views

Is an “enlightened public” political system a form of democracy, or of technocracy/epistocracy?

I am not sure who originally came up with this idea, but in his book Against Democracy, Jason Brennan talks about a political system he calls "simulated oracle", or an "enlightened ...
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Is there any formal research into the concept of “nothing more permanent than a temporary government program”?

According to a quote attributed to Milton Friedman, "there's nothing more permanent than a temporary government program". Is there any formal academic research into this concept, i.e. ...
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1answer
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Are there modern theories of free speech that account for the inequality of the marketplace of ideas?

Recent critiques of the "marketplace of ideas" theory of free speech have noted inherent shortcomings with this system, namely: People do not have equal ability to spread their ideas in the ...
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Are the differences between capitalism's and socialism's analysis of resource distribution fairness fundamental?

I have always understood a (broadly speaking) capitalist, free market approach to economics to rest on the notion that a resource distribution is fair in light of how closely it correlates the ...
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854 views

Understanding how Fascism showed that direct government is not same as self-government

Harold Joseph Laski in his book Parliamentary Government in England writes: Direct government, in short, is not the same thing as self-government; it may, indeed, as the experience of Fascist ...
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1answer
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Is Duverger's Law a theorem or an empirical regularity?

I wanted to know if Duverger's law ("[T]he simple-majority single-ballot system favours the two-party system") was/can be derived from a mathematical model of elections, like the Median ...
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1answer
254 views

Has authoritarianism been removed as an attribute of the right?

Historically, authoritarianism was an attribute of the right; during the French parliament in the momentous 1789 vote in which a decision was made regarding the veto power against the king post ...
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1answer
270 views

What did Black Panther, Huey Newton, mean by 'Non-State' in this speech?

In a speech to Boston College, on the 18th November, 1970, Huey Newton, one of the founders of the Black Panther Party in 1966, said: ... But by and large you can see the transformation which was ...
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1answer
117 views

What is the distinction between constitutional power and statutory power?

I know it sounds easy on the surface. Constitutional powers are conferred through constitutional text, whereas statutory powers are conferred through legislation. But consider the following scenario (...
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If the goal of communism is a stateless society, then why do we refer to authoritarian governments such as China as communist?

The actions taken by these governments seem to be more fascist than communist. The term communism is used to describe so many contradicting policies and it is very confusing.
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What is an alternative theory to the Paradox of Tolerance?

The Paradox of Tolerance expresses the idea that a society that is unlimited in its tolerance of intolerant philosophies is unlikely to survive, and therefore that an otherwise tolerant society should ...
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Is it a fundamental tenet of liberalism to allow the expression of illiberal ideals?

In recent years, the US has seen a rise in a priori rejection or "cancelling" of illiberal ideas on the left. In essence, these ideas are being rejected from mainstream liberal society ...
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What differentiates Trotskyism from Marxism/Leninism?

I understand that the split originated in a power struggle, but I'm more interested in the modern theoretical differences. In the present day, there appears to be an ideological split between ...
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2answers
341 views

According to political scientists, what, if anything, are the benefits of election polling to a liberal democracy?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_democracy About 3 months and a million news-years ago, the pollsters and election analysts were taking a kicking for not predicting the US elections accurately ...
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296 views

Are there groups or parties considered far-right but not populist?

Some authors reject that populism is even a terribly meaningful concept, but leaving aside that general rejection, for those who admit that populism is "a thing" and likewise admit that the ...
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Do we have a political term for the situation when a weak country milks from two stronger countries which are enemies of each other?

Do we have a political term for the situation when a weak country milks from two country which are enemies of each other? My research includes, studying about debt-trap, and other questions here. So I ...
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Writings or public statements advising elected politicians on how to make hard choices

While not always seen in this light, members of congressional or parliamentary bodies are regularly faced with moral choices when deciding how to vote in situations where the answers to questions like ...
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How did the US end up so evenly split?

When looking at the popular vote for 2016, about 49% to 51%, and the current numbers for 2020, it's astonishing how close it is — how evenly the country is divided. Surely this is unexpected and ...
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Is it advantageous to lie in political polling answers?

When a person is asked questions by a poll, are there any rational reasons why they might lie with their answers in order to achieve their goals for the election? For example, if they say they are ...
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“You can't call a country a democracy until a government has twice lost an election and given up power.” Whose quote or idea is this?

I've completed a "Moral Foundation of Politics" course on Coursera.org and there's an interesting quote that sounds like this: Schumpeterians will often say, you can't call a country a ...
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Is there a term for politicians enacting a policy where the negative consequences will be far after their political career is over?

For example, Governor Newsom has recently committed to banning internal combustion engine cars starting from the year 2035 or 15 years from now. Given that this will be long after he's out of office, ...
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181 views

How can wages/income be aligned with social value production?

Many people would argue that nurses provide more value to society than investment bankers*, yet the latter position is paid significantly more than the former. This fact is often lamented. My question ...
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Apparently many US voters think their candidate supports their politics even if they do not. Does this also apply to voters in other countries?

This surprising New York Times article says many US voters can't tell what political positions their candidate espouse, and in fact appear to simply attach their favored positions onto their candidate....
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Political philosophy: major developments in the last 20 years?

Has there been any groundbreaking academic/ scholarly research conducted in the field of political theory/philosophy in the past 20 years? Obviously the 20th century had a lot of novel political ...
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What word might describe a position between progressive and reactionary [duplicate]

My understanding of both terms is that they relate to one's tolerance of the status quo, with "progressive" meaning someone who wants to progress beyond the current status quo ("change&...
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628 views

If the countervailing ideology to Progressivism is Conservatism, what is the countervailing ideology to Reactionary movements?

Background In the United States, Progressivism has been associated with sets of (normally left leaning relative to the political spectrum of the time) political reforms whose number and societal ...
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1answer
127 views

Is politics the reason behind the US having so many news channels? [closed]

The US strongly adheres to the separation of state and church, however it seems that the US cannot separate news and politics. Has this bias caused or contributed to the influx of alphabet news ...
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Alternatives to money and power as social incentive mechanisms

Capitalism does a pretty good job of incentivizing people to work on what's economically profitable, e.g., finance, law, tech, and what gives them power over others, e.g., becoming CEOs. Now let's ...
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Is there a term for the practice of defunding a public asset in order to privatize it?

In a lecture entitled The State-Corporate Complex: A Threat to Freedom and Survival given by Noam Chomsky in 2011, at the University of Toronto, a 'standard technique of privatization' is described: ...
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1answer
136 views

What are efficient approaches to counter drug trafficking?

I recently heard that for a City/State it might be better to educate people and help them get away from drugs rather than fighting the drug dealers with more and more police force. Based on the ...
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What is the constitutional logic for a republic to have a sovereign immunity law?

Looking at this list, it seems like most sovereign immunity laws exist in countries with monarchies, which makes sense both historically (an artifact of the principle of rex non potest peccare); and ...
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Why has the State been considered as a problematic institution?

I have enrolled in a course of Public Administration and there is a paper called State, society, and Public Administration. Unfortunately it is a course which a student needs to study him/herself ...
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Can we ever truly know democracy? [closed]

So I've been doing a lot of reading mainly to do with democracy, its meanings and its histories and the problem that I keep running into is the impossibility of truly knowing democracy. If we are to ...
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231 views

What are the methods by which a democratic system can suppress demagoguery and intellectualize the popular vote?

Socrates criticized democracy for its conduciveness to demagoguery and its embrace of even those votes that do not come from thoughtful and intellectual individuals. These objections are salient given ...
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Was “The Mandate of Heaven” a theory of directly democratic revolution?

The Mandate of Heaven philosophy states that if a ruler was overthrown by the people, it was Heaven executing its will - with respect to an ineffective ruler. The Duke of Zhou created the idea in ...
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1answer
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Why fight political polarization? [closed]

Political polarization is one of the key topics in politics and society today, and there seems to be a consensus on the opinion that political polarization is something bad. The ability to “reduce ...
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166 views

Term for shifting positions toward the center during an election

I was thinking about various politicians who, at the beginning of their campaigns (usually presidential campaigns), held opinions typically associated with "left" or "liberal" ideology, and who, over ...
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1answer
459 views

To what extent is Marxism a liberal ideology?

It's been asserted in another answer here that: Marxism is, of course, part of the spectrum of Liberal ideologies, though it is often maligned as being something 'other.' Looking at the SEP page ...
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Is there an elaboration on Roger Martelli's conclusion that left-populism is doomed to fail?

In reading an article about Chantal Mouffe's work, some of which advocated for left-populism, I found this bit interesting: According to Mouffe, who is also a philosopher of art, only Jean-Luc ...
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In what ways is Marxism not (left-wing) populism?

On a certain level, Cas Mudde's definition of populism (the most accepted in academia today, it seems), namely an ideology that considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogeneous ...

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