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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1answer
243 views

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
256 views

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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What ideas about policing, police power, and police conduct have classical theorists offered? [closed]

For the sake of this question I'm defining "classical" as "Pre-Renaissance." I am looking for quotes or sources from authors recognized as political theorists or philosophers, but ...
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3answers
839 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
750 views

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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61 views

How can the strength and capacities of societies be measured and compared? [closed]

In recent international development arguments, namely Migdal, Fukuyama, Acemoglu and Robinson's works, the society's capacity is represented as a deciding factor in a country's development. As these ...
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1answer
241 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
259 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
104 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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7answers
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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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4answers
605 views

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
292 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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269 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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290 views

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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1answer
227 views

Writings 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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2answers
490 views

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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3answers
235 views

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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2answers
330 views

“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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1answer
273 views

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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1answer
171 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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2answers
395 views

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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576 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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12answers
5k views

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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487 views

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
130 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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“Materialist” versus “symbolic” politics

Apologies if the question is too vague. By “materialist” politics, I mean political reasoning and action that is primarily focused on the goal of optimizing measurable outcomes for people, in such ...
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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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193 views

How do different parts of society depend on each other for their progress?

As an example, some part of society can progress only so much before such progress stagnates and it requires other parts of society to progress. Prior Research No matter how many different ways I ...
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2answers
228 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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155 views

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
310 views

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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2answers
158 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
429 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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154 views

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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516 views

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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1answer
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What is the freezing hypothesis, and is it still applicable today?

I came across the term, which seems to refer to a theory initially introduced by Lipset & Rokkan in 1967. It appears to refer to a way of categorising voters into 'frozen' blocs that don't shift ...
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What is the difference between totalitarianism and authoritarianism?

Both ideologies seem to have a dictatorship-like system of governance, no tolerance of dissenting opinions, and an executive which holds absolute power. What is the difference between these two ...
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2answers
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Do any countries practice a system of proportional funding/budgeting that combines everyone's funding choices?

As far as I know, most countries write up budgets like they write laws: organs of government declare what they need for the next year, someone makes a proposal, and other people add to the proposal, ...
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309 views

What prevents organizations that implements mainstream center-left, social democratic policies from becoming popular?

After seeing the first answer, I realized that the question was poorly formed and edited this from socialist organizations existing to mainstream center left organizations becoming popular In a free ...
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According to Selectorate Theory, which dictatorship type is best-equipped to survive? [closed]

I understand that selectorate theory can be used to distinguish between democracy and authoritarian regimes (due to difference in winning coalitions) and between the types of dictatorship (due to ...
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1answer
227 views

Which (subjective) measure of corruption is the best predictor for an outsider winning a major election?

There's a (somewhat vague) theory that once the electorate starts to believe the political system is corrupt, it is more likely to vote for an outsider (someone who hasn't had a long political career) ...
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1answer
282 views

Are there any proposed systems to bring more long-term planning into (democratic) government?

In much of the world, (liberal) democracy (in a broad sense) is seen as the best (or least bad) system of government, and in the 20th and 21st century, living standards have improved markedly in ...

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