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
266 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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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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What did Marx and Engels mean by “Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.”?

In the communist manifesto what did Marx and Engels mean by "Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes"?
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What is the difference between negative rights and positive rights?

What's the difference between negative rights and positive rights? Can negative rights co-exist? Can positive rights co-exist? Can negative rights co-exist with positive rights?
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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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12answers
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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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8answers
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Is there a scientific political ideology?

It could be argued, that the idea of "freedom" dictates much of US politics, that the idea of "nation" dictates much of Russian politics, that the idea "responsibility" directs German politics, and so ...
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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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1answer
302 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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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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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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Why do working class people vote for the political right?

Some analysis of the 2017 General Election in the UK has been published in the Financial Times, which seems to indicate that people without a university degree, who were working class, and had poor ...
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When is a democratic vote actually the wrong tool?

Democracy is defined as: Democracy is sometimes referred to as "rule of the majority". Democracy is a system of processing conflicts in which outcomes depend on what participants do, but no ...
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1answer
226 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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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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318 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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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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1answer
264 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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Why allow convicted criminals to vote?

According to a 1998 HRW report, The United States may have the world’s most restrictive criminal disenfranchisement laws. We know of no other democracy besides the United States in which convicted ...
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5answers
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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 are the ideological differences between the Soviet Union and Noam Chomsky?

What the Soviet Union used to be is usually considered a socialist state. Noam Chomsky is a political activist who is also considered a socialist. Still, Noam Chomsky appears to have a very ...
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Can the U.S. technically be called an oligarchy and a democracy?

I thought theoretically the U.S. could be a democracy (because people have a say in the daily workings of the government) and an oligarchy ( the president, the Supreme Court, etc... are the only ones ...
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What is the purpose of democracy?

In many modern political debates democracy is often considered an unalloyed virtue: things are good because they are democratic. Things the people have voted for are good because they represent the "...
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What is the difference between globalisation and imperialism?

It seems obvious to start by looking at the first few lines on Wikipedia: Wikipedia on globalisation Globalization or globalisation is the process of interaction and integration among people, ...
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If authoritarian regimes are so bad, why do we see so many of them?

This is my first question here... If authoritarian regimes are so bad, why do we see so many of them? I don't understand why they are so prevalent in the world. It can't be because people are gullible ...
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In Communism, what happens to property rights?

Picking up on a question that was posted here, it said that in Communism a home that one built could be reapportioned to someone by the vote of a majority It seems to me that this isn't a fair ...
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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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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
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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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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
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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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Is Communism intrinsically authoritarian?

As a consequence of the recent developments in China, I’ve heard a lot of commentary which characterises authoritarianism as an inevitable consequence of a Communist state. How true is this statement?...
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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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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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Does it make sense to label Lenin as a 'social democrat'?

I am confused by tim's great answer to this question on Bernie Sanders's political orientations. To summarize the answer, though Sanders labels himself as a socialist, it seems that social democrat ...
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2answers
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What is the relationship between politicians' electability and physical fitness?

I wasn't able to find any studies which looked at the relationship between a candidate's body shape or physical fitness and their predicted election success. The closest source I could find were ...
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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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Is the conspiracy theory of “Cultural Marxism” inherently tied to antisemitism?

According to Wikipedia, cultural marxism is a conspiracy theory that says that the Frankfurt School wants to destroy western culture by controlling the media, academia, etc., using as its method the ...
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What ethical (if any) or economical arguments are offered in defense of the inheritance tax?

Although I am normally quite supportive of higher taxation, I've never really felt comfortable with the inheritance tax. I see no reason why the government should tax the money a parent wishes to ...
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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
409 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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5answers
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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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1answer
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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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Why is populism seen as being negative or bad?

The definition that I found for populism is "support for the concerns of ordinary people". Democracy is form of government where the people rule by majority. If Democracy is considered to be "good", ...
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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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