By Trevor Munroe
Crucial fabric for first-year scholars in social sciences and for the final reader drawn to the fundamentals of up to date politics.
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Extra resources for An Introduction to Politics: Lectures for First Year Students
Elections in these countries, when they do take place, are neither fair nor free. They are rigged, to one degree or another. 2. There is either only one political party that has any real chance of holding state power or there is no political party because, as in the case of a military dictatorship, political parties are banned. 3. In these states, political rights are extremely restricted. By political rights, we mean the right, for example, to form a political party or the right to join a civic association.
Important decisions are made by the people themselves and the state provides institutional means whereby the people can exercise their right to decide. The referendum is one such mechanism. Another example is the right of recall, which gives the people the legal means of terminating the tenure in office of any elected official 47 48 An Introduction to Politics before his or her term is up. In other words, if the members of Parliament or elected representatives are elected for five years, where the right of recall does not exist a member can be in office for five years regardless of how he or she performs.
Power and authority may look like the same, but they are not necessarily the same. 34 An Introduction to Politics Power is the ability to get your own way, authority is the ability to get your way without the use of sanctions or threat thereof, but by virtue of a consensus that you have the right to do so. In other words, the legitimate right to do something is authority; the ability to impose sanctions is power. Modern political science is the study of the process whereby binding decisions are taken.