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American Government and Politics Today

American Government & Politics Today Bureaucracy Is bureaucracy really necessary? Is it possible to have too much or not enough -- and how does one find that balance? Is the "wrong type" of bureaucracy possible? These are all important questions to be answered within the realm of political studies. Bureaucracy is necessary, because rules and regulations are part of what makes up a civilized society. No games would be able to be played and no knowledge would be able to be transmitted properly if there were no rules as to how anything was done. Without organizers and people who manage things, it would not be easy to move society forward or even to keep it from regressing. There are people who think that bureaucracy is not necessary, but they generally have their own agendas that are not within the realm of what most of society would address. Because that is the case, they are considered anarchists and often not taken seriously. For most of society bureaucracy is somewhat of a "necessary evil" in that they see the value in it and know that it is required, but they do not particularly like some or all of it. Part of the reason bureaucracy is not popular comes from the ways in which it is created and upheld. Often, there are issues that are strictly regulated and that many people believe should not be so heavily controlled. At the same time, there are issues that are not carefully regulated and that can cause harm because those areas actually need more control from the government or other entities. Bureaucracy needs balance, and many areas of life and society are using the wrong type of bureaucracy to "control" people when guiding those people would be a much better choice. By providing people with a very high level of control over what they can and cannot do in certain aspects of their lives, these people can easily feel as though they are being restricted from doing things that matter to them. In other areas of life, where they have more freedom, these people……

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Government and Politics of Europe

Government and Politics of Europe Democracy deficit in the European Union In spite of the fact that more than two decades have passed from the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the European Union is still unable to maintain democracy at a constant level in all of its member countries. Although people might be inclined to express lack of interest in…

Pages: 5  |  Essay  |  Style: Harvard  |  Sources: 0


American Government and Politics Today

Government Why did the Framers of the Constitution create a bicameral legislature? Was part of the reason for a two-house legislature the idea that it would be more difficult to pass legislation, therefore serving as a check on a runaway legislature? What impact does this have today? Is it easy for Congress to agree on legislation? There are three main…

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Government and Elections Should Foreign

Campaigning also requires attendance at charity functions and other public events so that candidates can mix, mingle, meet, and greet the public. The monetary expenses of political campaigning are such that require great amounts of funding. In fact, the idea that a candidate can run for political office effectively without great amounts of funding would not even be considered as feasible in today's society. Funding for political campaign is a big business. There was a ban on corporate spending on campaigns however, this ban was blocked by the Supreme Court in 2010 when it ruled that the "government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections." (Liptak, 2010) The report states that the move by the Supreme Court served to overrule "two important precedents about the First Amendment rights of corporations." (Liptak, 2010) III. How do constitutional restrictions hinder the effective and efficient operation of government? Constitutional law restricts the President and government's authority to do the following: (1) abolish or transfer an independent regulatory agency or all its functions; (2) consolidate two or more independent regulatory agonies or all their functions; (3) continue an agency or function beyond the period authorized by law; (4) authorize an agency to exercise a function not expressly authorized by law; (5) increase the term of an office beyond the period authorized by law; (6) deal with more than one logically consistent subject matter; or (7) abolish enforcement functions or programs established by statues. (FAO, 2010) These are only some of the actions that the President and government cannot take. The Constitution places limits on what government can do to protect the American public. This is because the forefathers understood that government should remain small rather than become the large bureaucratic machine that it presently is today. The present administration has sought to bypass Congress on many of its moves on restructuring the U.S. Government however as reported by the FAO (2010) "Congressional deliberative processes serve the vital function of both gaining input from a variety of clientele and stakeholders affected by any changes and providing an important constitutional check and counterbalance to the executive branch." Bypassing these governmental processes can results in too much power being vested in the President and his discretion. The Constitution provides for a system of checks and balances that serve to ensure that the Constitutional rights of the American people are not violated……

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Comparative Politics and Government

Political Science Government in Canada and the United States The purpose of this paper is to introduce and analyze the topic of political science in America. Specifically, it will compare and contrast three major branches of government and politics in the United States with Canada's government and politics. Both democracies, Canada and the United States have many governmental branches and…

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United States of America Has

Whenever a Republican President is elected, the policies devised under him contains traditional beliefs despite of the fact that these policies are to be applied in an environment subjected to continuous mammoth changes. Moreover, since the Republicans are mainly Conservatives, they support the idea of culture in which people bear personal weapons that imposes a grave threat to the security and safety of common people. This is reflected by a brutal incident of present times in which innocent children were shot down by a heavily armed person (Deutsch, 2010). Democrats who are chiefly Liberals believe in providing social and economic assistance to its people. This has promoted a culture of dependency where people are not willing to realize that self-reliance is actual code of life and dependency is morally wrong. Furthermore, Liberals promote multiculturalism that is expected to amalgamate cultures by removing religious and cultural differences between them. However, at instances, this practice promotes jealousy when some people get favor over others for any reason. It disturbs the cultural balance since America is a land of inhabitants belonging to a diverse range of ethnicity (Watts, 2006). The impact of Liberal politics is immense on American society as a whole. They focus on promotion of human rights, environmental development, security, assistance, and so forth as part of their political measures; whereas, Conservatives essentially cater to family ideals and ethics in their politics. Modern Liberalism in America that encompasses deep and diverse politics has recently affected its foreign policy as well as promoted the American political beliefs on international arena (Watts, 2006). Liberal government of present-day America mainly focuses on economic and social equality for which it largely facilitates females, senior citizens, and underprivileged. It also believes in assisting third-world nations by providing aid to them (Watts, 2006). Conversely, Conservative government does not believe in providing assistance to its people, rather it considers that individuals are responsible for themselves and if they require help, private institutions should play a fundamental role (Deutsch, 2010). Conservatism and Liberalism are poles apart with respect to the beliefs they illustrate. Nevertheless, these ideologies have greatly influenced every facet of U.S. In today's epoch. Despite of all the odds, America's supremacy and political visions are recognized all around the world and the people hold high hopes from their leaders. References Brux, J.M. (2007). Economic Issues & Policy. Fourth Edition. Canada: Cengage Learning. Deutsch, K. (2010). The Dilemmas…

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War and Occupation: The Effects

Since agriculture was still the major industry in Japan, the implication of the reform cannot be underestimated. In fact its implication extended far beyond the economic -- it served to change many ancient and severely entrenched attitudes in the Japanese society and even served to weaken the previously strong authority of family and community. (Roberts, p. 517) It also prompted…

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Federalist Paper #10, James Madison

S. Constitution, para 1), it is important to maintain the idea of liberty in any argument to ratify it. The paper does this successfully, and in fact not only maintains the idea, but also implies that liberty would be enhanced through ratification. The Constitution also includes the ideas of representation by population (U.S. Constitution, Article I), and the Federalist Paper defends that idea thoroughly by providing reasons for the masses not to govern themselves directly. The only weakness of this paper was that the factions were presented in a slightly negative manner. Had James Madison not portrayed the faction members in quite such a negative manner, he may have been able to broaden his audience, and make more people likely to ratify the Constitution. Although the attempts to downplay the negative aspects of factions helped, more could have been done to portray factions as possible problems, but still positive groups. In general, James Madison provides a well thought out, well argued paper on the justifications for ratifying the Constitution, based on Article I, that of representation. While his arguments may create a negative view of factions, his arguments are in line with the majority of people at that time. His points are well written, and his overall tone is that of educating the people, rather than dictating their actions. References James Madison. "Appendix D: Federalist Nos.……

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Singapore's Politics

Singapore's government is best described as a Socialist Democracy, which makes it somewhat similar to the governments of Northern Europe ("Introduction to Singapore's Political System"). The People's Action Party (PAP) has been the central governing force in Singapore since the nation gained sovereignty in 1965. The political culture of Singapore and the PAP has been described as "authoritarian, pragmatic, rational and legalistic," ("Introduction to Singapore's Political System"). Although pragmatism, rationality, and legalism are familiar to Western investors, many have been put off by the authoritarian philosophies underlying the now-famous rules against certain types of public behavior like gum-chewing ("Why Singapore?"). Similarly, many foreigners and especially Americans might find the "highly centralized," and "top-down style" of political leadership counterintuitive ("Introduction to Singapore's Political System"). Singapore is run more like a company than a country, with many leaders appointed rather than elected. This does not seem like a democratic method of governance, and yet Singapore also relies on a Parliament and Constitutional law. In fact, the appointed members of Singaporean government are not unlike their counterparts in the American President's cabinet. The President of Singapore is elected, and serves for a period of six years. Voting in Singapore is compulsory. The Constitution guarantees certain rights and freedoms to the citizens of Singapore, including labor rights. Members of the Singaporean Parliament, or Legislature, ensure a balance of power. The government of Singapore is comprised of a diverse body of citizens, reflecting the diversity of cultures, languages, and ethnicities in the nation ("Introduction to Singapore's Political System"). As one author puts it, "Singapore is not administered by politicians, but by bureaucrats, in a meritocracy where power is gained through skill, performance, and loyalty to the nation and its policies," ("Introduction to Singapore's Political System"). While this may not seem to be a viable method of running a democracy, the PAP has remained admirably corruption-free. This is because "Singapore's political leadership has committed itself to maintaining a competitive business environment by enforcing a strict 'no tolerance' approach towards corruption and bribery," ("Why Singapore?"). The government of Singapore assumes the role of "promoter and practitioner of Corporate Social Responsibility," ("Introduction to Singapore's Political System"). The political culture and structure of Singapore make the country one of the most attractive in the world for doing business. In addition to the nearly non-existent corruption and minimal red tape, there are other reasons why doing business in Singapore is…

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Governance in America Federal Government Should Take

Governance in America Federal government should take the lead in issues that affect the country. As stipulated in Article I, Sec. 8 of the American constitution and subsequent amendments to the Article I, issues pertaining to defense, war prosecution, prosecution, peace, foreign relations, foreign commerce, and interstate commerce are the prerogative of the federal government. The 21st century world suffers from many trivialities including nuclear war threats. Modern economies heavily rely on interstate trade and international trade. No viable trade can be undertaken without peace and tranquility. Stronger foreign relations are pivotal for international trade. All these cannot be actualized without the involvement of the federal government. It has to be remembered that it is the federal government of the United States that signs trade treaties on behalf of the American people. Problems that bedevil American economy like the trade imbalances can only be adequately addressed by the federal government. Other than issues to do with peace, war prosecution, foreign relations, and foreign commerce, the constitution also mandates the federal government to protect American citizen's constitutional rights like the rights to vote and outlawing any form of slavery. Issues pertaining to voting have evoked emotive debates since the inception of the independent United States. There was widespread violence especially in the south where the African-Americans were not allowed to vote. Such touchy issues cannot be left in the hands of any institution other than the federal government. The federal government also engages in copyright protection, establishing federal courts inferior to the SCOTUS, coining money, establishing post offices and posts roads, and establishing a national set of universal weights and measures. The federal government, in order to effectively carry out its constitutional mandates, has to engage in taxation. All these are crucial responsibilities that impact lives of Americans directly and cannot be entrusted to state or national governments (Anonymous, 2011). If Congress were to refer certain issues to a vote of the people, it might put civil rights issues to the vote. It is no doubt that direct democracy enhances majority tyranny as civil rights issues spiral out of control. For the past thirty years, public opinion has been sought on……

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African Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa

African politics in Sub-Saharan Africa According to Thomson (215), one of the main obstacles to democracy in sub-Saharan Africa is the tendency of African governments towards a one-party structure. The author explains that this is largely a reaction to artificially induced democracy brought about by colonialism. During the post-colonial period, African governments manifested their liberty in the one-party state. Many…

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American Government and Institutions

American Government & Institutions Should voters continue to have the political authority to change state constitutions when popular or unpopular issues are shaping public opinion? What is the proper role of the people in a Constitutional government? Did the Founders intend for citizens to make changes in the Constitution when times change and issues alter public opinion on various topics? This paper discusses those issues in light of the constitutional bans that have been enacted in up to 30 states vis-a-vis same sec marriage. The Arguments A classic example of voters showing their political muscle is the fact that some 30 states in the United States have passed initiatives that ban on same-sex marriage. Led by members of the Christian conservative movement and others representing conservative causes (and against gay rights), these states now have amended their legal political statues to reflect current attitudes and policy beliefs. It should be noted that the Founders clearly wanted the states to have authority to enact laws that are suited to their specific cultural, social, and geographical experiences -- as long as those state laws did not intrude on federal law -- but they made it very difficult for any state or political movement to change the U.S. Constitution. Two-thirds of the states' legislatures would have to approve any amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As to the issue of popular sovereignty, professor Daniel Levin (Boise State University) explains that there are very few aspects of the U.S. Constitution actually represented in the American culture. Hence, there is an ongoing difficulty in actually "embodying popular sovereignty." Yes, the U.S. Constitution is a symbol of the "formal political relationships between individual citizens and the state based on…popular sovereignty," Levin writes. But because Americans have never conceived of the state as "fully autonomous from society, the Constitution is a weak symbol, lost in the mist that surrounds the American state." Popular sovereignty is difficult to understand and "virtually impossible to depict," Levin asserts. Meanwhile, if popular sovereignty means the ability to pass propositions and alter state constitutions, it is certainly in play in America. To wit, California was one of the 30 states to pass a ban on gay marriage based on a popular vote. However, in February, 2012, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals……

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American Politics

American Politics When a successful capitalist republic engages in popular elections to determine the leadership of its governing body, the administrating rules regulating it are the nuts and bolts to which systematic legitimacy is inextricably tied. American history is wrought with the corruption that naturally surfaces from this heated competition; from dirty politics to lobby and corporate controllers, every election…

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Citizens and Politics Many Citizens Today Are

Citizens and Politics Many citizens today are not interested in politics and public policy because they see that nothing really changes. It does not seem to matter who gets elected, democratic or republican, the basic status quo is preserved (Schmidt, et al., 2011). The rich continue to get richer, and the poor continue to struggle. Taxes and prices for everything rise, and the economy struggles because the national debt is growing and the "little guy" does not have enough to pay his or her workers a good, living wage. Politicians also seem to have a hard time keeping their promises. They say that they will do something if elected, but once they are elected they do nothing - or they reverse what they originally said. Part of the problem comes from the fact that the political system is very broken (Losco, 2010; Schmidt, et al., 2011). The president does not have that much power, and it is relatively easy for Congress to derail whatever the president has planned. So much arguing and infighting in politics has simply soured the American people when it comes to getting involved in any kind of policy-making or political issues. It would be nice if politicians paid attention to citizen engagement, but the reality of it is that they are not that concerned about how engaged the citizens are. They need enough citizen engagement and involvement to get the required number of votes to win. Beyond that, they focus on their special interests and the campaign promises that they actually meant - not the ones they only said in order to get elected. As far as the American people are concerned, however, citizen engagement is something to be aware of. There is a reason that many people are not paying attention to politics (Losco, 2010). However, if they believed that they really could affect change they would be more likely to get involved and focus on what they could do to help needed changes take place. As long as the status quo is there, and as long as it seems like something that they cannot change, why should any citizen get involved? It is a losing proposition. As a nation, the level of interest and participation is relatively low. A large number of Americans are registered to vote, but most of them do not bother to show……

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American Politics Introduction to Kevin

However, although it was supposed to get rid of tax preferences for "the rich and powerful" - there were "650 special provisions" in the bill which were called "transition rules" and "technical corrections" which actually didn't hurt the rich but harmed the middle class. On page 414, Phillips calls a section of his Afterward "The Democratic Deficit and the Rise of the Unelected." During the winter of 2000-2001, Phillips recalls, "when Americans watched the U.S. Supreme Court determine the outcome of the November presidential election..." And the Federal Reserve Board made "its critical judgments on the fate of the U.S. economy," the "migration of political authority" was thrown into "bold relief." For thinking Americans, these past few years have brought about radical and almost unbelievable events: first, Bush is elected on a 5-4 vote of the Supreme Court, five Republicans and four Democrats. And that happens notwithstanding the fact that Al Gore won the popular vote, and even won the Florida popular vote - once a coalition of news organizations hired lawyers and counters to count all the "disputed ballots" with "hanging chads" and the other flaws in the Florida balloting. So, we have a president elected by a 5-4 vote by a judiciary that does not run for election or re-election, and a Federal Reserve Board, that is not beholding to the public, that does not run for election or re-election, making monumental decisions affecting millions of Americans. And today, we see the enormous influence of giant corporations like Halliburton, formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney, which, we now know, received billion-dollar no-bid contracts before the attacks on Iraq even begun, contracts to "rebuild" Iraq. After reading this book by Kevin Phillips, the rebuilding should take place not in Iraq, but in America. And what should be rebuilt is not just the power grids, the schools, the roads and the other key infrastructures that are rotting away (things Bush wants to rebuild in Iraq), but the whole system of how taxes and the economy always benefit the rich few, rather than the struggling middle and lower classes. Reference Moyers,……

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Habits of the Heart by Robert Bellah

Habits Heart Creating a Government of Citizens In his book Habits of the Heart, Robert Bellah makes an argument that the individualism embedded in modern American society and culture is having a detrimental effect on the government of the United States, and specifically on the relationship between the citizens and their government. There are definitely benefits to the American sense of individualism, at least in a pragmatic (Bellah uses the term "utilitarian" or "economic") sense, but Bellah argues that the cynicism and suspicion with which people view their government is ultimately counterproductive and inefficient. The argument that is built in Habits of the Heart is multi-faceted and quite complex, but and examination of certain of the key points Bellah makes regarding individualism and its conflict with the collective good in this country leads to some understanding of the issues facing our government as framed in this book. One very clear fact emerges from this examination: striving towards collectivism is fraught with too many disagreements and barriers to be accomplished in a way that still upholds the ideals of democracy. A large part of the problem that Bellah notes in the citizens' relationship to their government in the United States comes down to the definition of success that is associated with individualism, at least in Bellah's view. Bellah contends that, "Americans define success in terms of the outcome of free competition among individuals in an open market" (198). The concept of citizenship, then, has more to do with the way individuals can take advantage of the current system of government and business, rather than a sense of civic duty or a striving towards the common good. As this is how success is defined throughout society, it makes sense that the individuals who hold government offices would define success the same way, and it is precisely this striving towards individual gain by……

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Andrew Heywood

Andrew Heywood In my opinion, in order to best discern among the four definitions given for politic, we have to point out that politics can virtual have both a figurative and a realistic approach. According to whether the meaning is figurative or realistic, the degree to which the definition of politics encompasses different areas varies, from the political spectrum (real approach) to the public affairs spectrum (still real approach) to the private life (figurative approach and senses such as politics as compromise and consensus). As such, in my opinion, the best definition of politics is that providing a meaning that limits politics to the spectrum of the public sector. In this sense, politics can be seen as the art of government and as public affairs. The first notion, that of politics as the art of government, is perhaps the one providing the most realistic approach to what politics is all about. Politics in general is associated with a process of (1) electing the representatives of the people in governmental structure, (2) uniting ideas into coherent political platforms that can properly reflect the direction that respective party wishes to promote, (3) the existence of political entities, part of this mechanism etc. We do indeed have both a positive and a negative perspective associated to politics, from this perspective, as the capacity to rise as a representative of the people in the governmental structures is often associated with personal ambitions of reaching those levels. Politics is not limited necessarily to the governmental sector, we can refer to politics when we discuss the art of government in the business sector as well. Indeed, the business sector is also an area where……

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Honest Graft

Honest & dishonest graft. According to Plunkitt, the difference between honest and dishonest graft is simply that honest graft lies in seeing opportunities and taking them. Plunkitt gives the example of property that he bought that, hearing a certain location will be in demand, he proceeds to buy the property before later selling it at a higher price than before. What Plunkitt was doing, in this and similar cases, was investing his money in areas that would later be in demand and, therefore, proceed for a higher price. According to Plunkitt, most politicians get rich the same way rather than through robbing the government by dishonest graft, I.e. By profiteering from their political activities and diverting money that is supposed to be for the government into their own pockets, by gambling, or by blackmailing certain institutions. Plunkitt also sees raising wages as a kind of honest graft since he (and other who do so) makes himself popular that way thus receiving votes. I happen to agree with Plunkitt in the first instance (regarding investment), but think that raising wages should be implemented for reasons other than for solely gaining popularity. Plunkitt seems to imply that were he not in a political position, he may not accord fair salary / benefits. I also think that penalizing certain institutions is not 'blackmail', as Plunkitt calls it, but a way of regulating their concerns. Plunkitt, wishing to profit from these organizations, may have refrained from fining them. I find Plunkitt's reasoning disturbing. Section 2. Plunkitt & drinking Plunkitt sees drinking as detrimental to the person who wants to make a success of it in life. According to him, successful businessmen, including politicians, are temperate. They may sell liquors to others, in order to make a business, and they may befriend drinkers (cautiously) but they know that in order to retain they're thinking and calculating abilities and in order to attain positions of prestige, they had better let liquor alone. Plunkitt provides many examples of this, from the successful politicians of Tammany Hall to the Bowery leaders and the most successful saloon keepers who understand that temperance is a business deal. Section 3. Plunkitt & political party bosses in the Democratic Party Plunkitt thinks that the Democratic Party should reserve itself to studying human nature rather than confine itself to studying politics and theories of politics from books. People are most persuaded by those…

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Government Constitution What Are the

States also have authority reserved to them. This separation of powers does overlap and from time to time leads to problems which then have to be resolved according to the other components of the Constitution (Kelly, 2012). What is public policy? Explain. What purpose does it serve? Public policy manifests the general sense and universal conscience of the citizens as a total that extends throughout the state and is applied to matters of public well-being, security, and welfare. It is universal, well-settled public opinion relating to the responsibilities of citizens to their fellow citizens. It brings in something that varies with the changing economic needs, social customs, and moral ambitions of the people. Public policy enters into, and influences, the performance, implementation, and understanding of legislation (What Is Public Policy, 2012). Public Policy is the implementation framework under which governmental and non-governmental organizations work to determine one or more social, financial or political issues of a society. It defines the roles and responsibilities of a variety of agents in the system and the share and allocation of resources to decide the issues. It is significant because its consequences proliferate through the total cross section of the society directly or indirectly. The policies take the shape of providing incentives that support certain behavior over another or disincentives to dampen particular actions. The significance of public policy can also be stressed in terms of the scale and cost of its implementation which makes any changes to be made in the latter stage extremely expensive and therefore it is fundamental to provide maximum effort and resource in its design. References Features of the Constitution. (2008). Retrieved from http://www.thisnation.com/textbook/constitution-features.html Kelly, M. (2012). Overview of United States Government and Politics. Retreived from http://americanhistory.about.com/od/governmentandpolitics/a/amgovoverview.htm What Is Public Policy? (2012). Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-public-policy.htm…

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European Union a State, or

Whereas, the democracy provided by the EU is mainly "with the people" and "for the people" and is mostly done through this vast process of the intermediation of the interest; this is also known as "Community Model" (Schmidt and Monnet, 2004). Because of such a fragmented democracy the legitimization of EU has been questioned as, EU is compared to the…

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Hearing the Name of Nobel

Gradually, they erased recognizable signs of democracy, justice, education and freedom. It is happening here. But it hasn't gone as far as Lewis described in his book.... yet. One test will be how the nation responds to the shame of the Abu Ghraib prison. If the stupid white men who support Bush fail to wake up after this latest slap in the face to American honor, integrity and respectability, it will be a sign that it can indeed Happen Here. Then there are the true skeptics, like myself, who believe that all presidents should be closely watched, regardless of their political bent. How can a person who goes as far as the presidency be anything but power hungry and a control freak? And how can a politician reach the top without making numerous promises to supporters, which may or may not be in the best interests of the country? This does not mean, however, that a dictator will get into office. For now, I believe, America is free from having a Hitler come into power. Our most recent presidents may be considered unethical by some of their actions, but they have remained within the guidelines of the Constitution. Thus far, political activists have seen to that. The above quotes from organizations show that as soon as a U.S. President (or even candidate for president) sways too far from what is believed to be the law of the country, he is criticized by his detractors. Electing someone as bad as Windrip (from the far right or left) would necessitate that the paranoia and name calling by all American political parties has come to an end and that everyone in the U.S. has become completely unconcerned and apolitical. Based on history, this scenario does not appear probable. Like it or not, the activists will continue with their biased watchfulness and not let anyone slide by unnoticed. Reference Lewis, Sinclair. It Can't Happen Here. New York: New American Library, 1970.…

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Social and Political History How

Although Americans do invest power in the leaders of the government, the "taking" of power by the present administration has become unacceptable to most Americans who want protection "from" terrorists instead of becoming "suspected" terrorist themselves. Americans desire a "just" or "balanced" form of government rule and not the invasive and violating standards of the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts recently implemented in the United States. In a sense, the "protection" afforded our leaders in the present administration has incurred daily violation of American citizens since the implementation of the legislation passed since 9/11. For example, the recent G8 Summit in the Georgia Islands should not have caused the massive descent of Homeland Security complete with Humvees and machine guns on the small town of New Brunswick, Georgia. This is one example of the abuse of power as well as the interference with the full-functioning of individuals in society because of the sovereignty of the government. 2. Bio-Physiological Theories of Crime: How can social scientists integrate biology into the study of criminality and criminal justice? How can law enforcement take into account the thesis of biological predispositions toward criminality in the administration of justice? What are your thoughts about the significance of the apparent relationship between anti-depressant use among adolescents and elevated suicide rates? What does research on neurotransmitters tell us about deviant and criminal behavior? Suggest any biological/genetic / congenital / physiological explanations accounting for the behavior of law enforcement personnel? Might there be biological reasons that predispose people to select law enforcement as a career? Are there any inherent factors that seem to you to explain the behaviorial patterns…

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Spending Restrictions for Corporations Towards Campaigns

Spending Restrictions for Corporations Towards Campaigns Since the 1970's the overall issue of the influence of corporations, labor unions, political action committees, advocacy groups and 527 organizations have been facing increasing amounts of scrutiny. This is because the overall roles that these entities have been playing, in the world of politics are being increasingly brought to the forefront. As a…

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Habits of the Heart by Robert Bellah

Individualism vs. collectivism: Habits of the Heart Today, America is at a crossroads. Americans must ask themselves the question: do we as a society attempt to use government intervention to create a more equitable America, or do we trust the capitalist system to improve individual American's lives? Is more government, wisely used, or less government, the answer? According to the 1996 collection of essays entitled Habits of the Heart, instead of condemning government, we should use it in a more ethical and proactive manner. America, looking for a moral underpinning to its evolving sense of itself has too often focused upon individualism. Over the course of the book Robert Bellah and other contributors compare how two distinct ideological strains have existed in American: first, there is the collectivist impulse of charity and the sense of responsibility to the community that underlines America's beginnings as a religious nation. Second, there exits the individualistic, capitalistic impulse -- and the ethos of the frontier. Habits of the Heart proposes that the old ideology of the Gospel of Wealth must be abandoned. Bellah appeals to a social tradition of collective action, as manifested in early Progressivism and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s activism. Biblical teachings and civic republicanism are cited as the two, uniting features of the American communitarian ideological tradition and are perhaps best embodied in King's unique form of leadership. Americans must once again be reminded of their responsibility to others as well as to themselves and to their families. This stands in stark contrast to the Protestant work ethic which sees labor as a way of proving one's merit and fitness for heaven, as well as the capitalist ideal that views financial success one's moral fitness to live in society. "Economic self-reliance is often seen as the bedrock on which the more general character rests" in America (Bellah et al. 56). According to the authors, in America today, religion has shifted once again to a psychological, individualistic mode and the fear of government intervention (most notably manifested during the current healthcare debate) seems to have grown, rather than……

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Brazil's Old, or First, Republic Was Born

Brazil's old, or first, republic was born out of the erosion of support for the existing administration. A coup d'etat was carried out by conspirators with the support of the military and a Constituent Assembly organized to write a new constitution and immediately order the separation of church and state as well as other republican reforms. The creation of the constitution was completed in June 1890, and it was voted upon and adopted in February 1891. Similar to the United States' Constitution, Brazil's document ended the monarchy and set up a federal republic, officially called the United States of Brazil. A congress elected by the people and formed of a house and senate replaced a parliament of senators appointed for life . The new Constitution established an independent judiciary, and an elected Chief Executive (President) as head of the executive branch. The result of all this was a major shift of power from a strong, federal government with most of the power to a system that granted broad powers to the individual states, though not necessarily to the "the people." How the Old Republic Changed Brazil Politically and Socially Until the early 1900's, the social structure and economic situation in Brazil mirrored a model set up in the early days of colonial development. A small group of wealthy landowners controlled much of Brazil's riches and authority, while the much larger class of Brazilians -- mostly slaves, their descendents, and the mulatto population -- lived in poverty mostly as farm workers. However, in 1888 the slave trade was eliminated. The authorities sought out Europeans to come to Brazil because the coffee plantation owners could no longer utilize the abundant supply of slaves they had before, and there weren't enough other workers. So, at the beginning of the Old Republic period, in the last decade of the 19th century, tens of thousands of immigrants from Europe arrived annually. Their numbers increased during the first decades of the 1900's, reaching a peak of well over half a million from 1911 to 1915. Rather than become farm workers, a majority of the immigrants settled in the cities. Agricultural production continued to thrive and was the staple of the Brazilian economy. But, by the second decade of the twentieth century, industry had begun to develop around urban centers like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Along with the continued industrialization of the country, came something…

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Political Culture and Affirmative Action

Political culture, political socialization, and identity politics converge in the debate about affirmative action in the United States. Political culture refers to the core values and beliefs about politics and the political process within a unified society. Social behaviors such as participation in political organizations, membership in special interest groups, and voter turnouts are products of political culture. Political culture may also be reflected in the media and in public and private social discourse. In the United States, core cultural values related to the political process include strong emphasis on preserving individual rights and freedoms. Political culture in the United States sometimes entails mistrust of the federal government and a corresponding distrust of tax-dependent social services. Although the American political culture is rooted in a "government of, by, and for the people" in practice political and civic culture is subject-oriented. The low voter turnout reflects the sense of powerlessness that pervades American political culture. Political and civic cultures overlap and find expression in voter turnout and general attitudes toward and interest in government and politics. The political culture of the United States is far different from the political cultures in other democracies even though the basic elements of all democracies such as suffrage remain the same. Political cultures change over time, as social values and norms shift with successive generations and changing demographics. Political socialization and identity politics are both related to political culture. Individuals in the society are socialized into their political and civic cultures, just as they are socialized into their peer groups. Demographic factors play a strong role in political socialization as well as in identity politics. Identity politics depends on race, class, age, educational background, and gender. Based more on factors related to personal identity than on factors related to specific political issues, identity politics fuels voting habits and political culture. Membership in political organizations is often based on identity politics rather than on issue-based politics although sometimes the two issues converge. For example, age is the main issue prompting voters to join the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) but age also promotes greater interest in retirement-related political issues like social security and Medicare. Affirmative action illustrates the convergence of political culture, political socialization, and identity politics. One of the reasons why affirmative action is a hot political topic in the United States is because of the heterogeneity of the nation: the country's population is…

Pages: 4  |  Essay  |  Style: MLA  |  Sources: 8


Democracy & Voter Knowledge Can Democracy Thrive

Democracy & Voter Knowledge Can Democracy Thrive if Voters Are Not Informed About Elections? Today's political campaigns seem to be more about using media (TV, radio commercials and Web sites) to distort the opposition's record than it is about extolling one's own record. Indeed, and unfortunately, Americans of late have been electing leaders based on sound bites and 30-second attack…

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U.S. Census Bureau Projected That There Would

¶ … U.S. Census Bureau projected that there would be 14.3 to 16.8 million people aged 85 or over in the year 2040 (Gavrilov and Heuveline 2003). Other projections placed the figure at 23.5 to 54 million. Population aging may, on one hand, mean massive survival of the human race through a rapid decline in mortality, but it also produces…

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Executive Order and Law: An

Since these orders are commonly associated with regular administrative issues and in-house operations of federal agencies, some of the things that can be accomplished by executive orders include supervising the administration of public lands and amending the rules of civil service. An example of an executive order issued by the president is the one related to the U.S. sanctions on Burma. This executive order was issued by President Obama and Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State, to ease some investment and financial sanctions on Burma in reaction to the historic reforms that have occurred in that nation for the past one year. The measure was geared towards supporting the ongoing reforms in Burma and an indication of the willingness of the United States to encourage and support the economic and political progress of Burma. Through this, the United States government seeks to continue urging the Burmese Government to continue with the process of political and economic reforms ("Release of Executive Order Blocking Property," par, 2). This executive order was issued by the president based on the authority vested on the president by the U.S. Constitution and in line with the specific statutory authority from the Congress. Under Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, the President has been granted executive power for ensuring laws are faithfully implemented through giving guidance and direction to the Executive Branch. Therefore, the President Obama acted based on the provisions of the Constitution in issuing the executive order. Since this order is based on the United States Foreign Policy, I think it's a good order because it promotes the country's relations with Burma. I also agree with the order on the basis that it recognizes the ongoing reforms in Burma and also highlights concerns by the American government. Furthermore, the executive order demonstrates America's support of democratic reform and reconciliation initiatives. Works Cited: United States. U.S. Department of the Treasury. Release of Executive Order Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Burma; Burma Designations; Release of Burma General Licenses. U.S. Department of the Treasury, 11 July 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. . "What Is an Executive Order?" ThisNation.com -- American Government and Politics Online. ThisNation.com, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. .…

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Federalism Distinction Between Federal System and Other

Federalism Distinction between federal system and other systems of government Generally, there are three systems of government that exist; federalism, unitary and confederate. Federalism is a system of government where the nation is organized into more than one level of government. These levels have formal authority which they exercise over the area and people in the area. This is different from a confederate government where there exist a national government that is weak and most power is bestowed upon the components within the country such as the states (Leroy, 2010). It is also different from the unitary government where all the power is found in the central government unlike the confederate systems the federal system, the federal government is the national and central government of the state which is federated. The government as constitutional authority that can not be challenged .It therefore acts for the whole country when it comes to relating and dealing with foreign governments. The national government is hence the sole possessor of sovereignty. The national constitution divides and ensures that constitution powers are distributed between the national government and the resultant political units. Therefore, the citizens in federal systems are subjected to two governments the national or federal and the regional governments. The federal system is therefore seen as a compromise made between extremely concentrated power and a loose confederation for the states that are independent that can be used to govern many people found in a large territory. History of federalism Federalism is seen to have undergone some evolutions from when it was first adopted to the present day. Between 1789 and 1865 there existed dual federalism whose concept was that the national and state governments formed partnerships that are equal and the difference was their separate and distinct areas of authority. Between 1865 and 1901 there was the development of a second form dual federalism that was characterized by an erratic national government that became more present particularly in areas that had been fully under states. Cooperative federalism was then developed between 1901 and 1960. This was marked by a lot of cooperation and collaboration in the levels of governments (Boyd, 1997). In 1960 to 1968 another type of……

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Political Science the United States

The President is also trying to influence Congressmen to either not pass the laws at all or to change the laws before they are passed so the laws will not reduce the freedom of the internet too much. The article shows that Congress passes laws and that the interest group of the movie industry wants Congress to pass laws to help stop the pirating of movies, which means that copies of movies are stolen and the movie industry loses the money it would make from selling those copies. The movie industry used its lobby of "The Motion Picture Association of America" to convince Congress to pass two laws -- SOPA and PIPA -- to help stop this piracy. Meanwhile, interest groups like Facebook and Google try to keep the internet as free as possible and do not want the U.S. Justice Department to be able to get court orders and control internet search engines and payment processors. It looks like the two laws might be passed by Congress, although the President is worried about the laws. The President spoke out in this article to warn about his worries about the laws before they are passed. This will let the public know what the President thinks, influence the public, and maybe influence Congress to stop the laws or change the laws before they are passed so the freedom of the internet will not be reduced too much. 3. Conclusion The Legislative Branch passes laws that affect Americans. Interest groups on each side of an issue push and pull Congressmen and try to influence them to pass laws that help their groups. The President also has the power to influence and uses it by speaking out for or against laws that might be passed. By speaking out, the President can influence the public, let them know where he stands on an issue, and maybe influence Congressmen to vote one way or the other. The article "White House airs objections to SOPA, PIPA anti-piracy bills" shows how all these forces work. Works Cited Verrier, R. (2012, January 14). White House airs objections to SOPA, PIPA anti-piracy bills. Retrieved on January 16, 2012 from Los Angeles Times Web site: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/01/white-house-sopa-pipa.html…

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Presidency and Congress Evaluate Dickinson's

Most recently in the news, there have been issues with the national budget and where money should be allocated- there has been a constant clash between where money should be allocated, with Republicans and Democrats butting heads as to where things should be allocated with the threat ultimately of a total "government shutdown" (Agiest). This threat is a byproduct of politician partial to their ideologies not be able to reach this "What's good for the nation?" type of thinking that Dickinson believes that Congress has reached. If the case was that there was less politics and more governing for the good of the nation, then is it is safe to assume that issues like this would not arise. Finally, the politics of Congress is certainly evident in their policy making part of their jobs. Policy making needs to represent the interests and the goals that Congress people are trying to accomplish, often times that falls along party lines. With the recent outcry on the investment banks, the SEC's decision to go after Goldman Sachs has been split along party lines (Rauhala). Individual interests, local and special interests will always be present either directly or indirectly when it comes to issues, like the decision to go after Goldman Sachs. Republicans are hesitant since they do receive campaign contributions, as previously mentioned, which most definitely influence their actions. Congress is not working as a cohesive unit that Dickinson believes there is. Dickson's thesis is not applicable to the way that Congress is run currently. By evaluating many of the tasks that congress is responsible and exploring them more in depth, it seems that politics and special interests are evident in many ways, either bluntly like when the nation struggled to decide on a budget or when the SEC is deciding to go after banks, or more indirectly with campaign contributions and the way that specific policy decisions are made. The very foundation that Congress was built on was to have individual opinions and was built to ensure that everyone's interests were represented and that being stated, having a truly nationalized legislating body would be further counterintuitive to how the country is structured, where someone's interests are expressed in their government. Partisan politics will always be evident, either directly or indirectly in the U.S. government, which makes Dickinson's thesis seems irrelevant. Congress remains, not like Dickinson has stated, a collection of representatives of…

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Constitutional Government and Governmental Branches

AP Government and Politics AP Government & Politics The three branches of the federal government are interdependent with respect to their integral capacity for utilizing mutual checks and balances to ensure that no single branch has too much power and influence. Each branch of the federal government can exercise checks over the operations and power of the other two branches. The Judicial Branch can determine that legislative acts are unconstitutional. Through the power of judicial review, the courts can determine that executive actions are unconstitutional. The President -- representing the Executive Branch -- appoints federal judges and Supreme Court judges. Judges are appointed for life and are free from controls by the executive branch from the time of appointment forward. The Legislative Branch can exercise checks over the Judicial Branch through the capacity to create lower courts, remove judges from office through impeachment. The Senate -- representing the Legislative Branch -- approves the appointment of judges. A primary function of the Legislative Branch is lawmaking. The Legislative Branch can exercise checks over the Executive Branch by overriding presidential votes with a two-thirds vote, approves appointments made by the President, and can remove the President from office through impeachment. The Senate has the authority to approve treaties, and has the power to determine funding for executive action. The Executive Branch has the power to enact the laws established by the Legislative Branch. The Executive Branch has veto power over the bills put forth by the Legislative Branch, can recommend legislation to the Legislative Branch, and can appeal to the public regarding legislation and other concerns. The Executive Branch has the ability to call special sessions of Congress. Overall, the system of checks and balances in the federal government work well but conflict does occur……

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U.S. Presidential Disabilities and How Society and the Media Reacts

Perceptions of Presidents With Disabilities Bibliographical Essay The perception of American presidents as healthy and able-bodied men has always been one that served to convey confidence and support of them by voters during their campaign bids for the office. For voters, this highest office of authority and operations has required a man who is on top of his game, physically…

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Congress and Presidency

Congress and the Presidency Separation of Powers Separation of powers is the concept adopted by the Founding Fathers that prevents any branch of government -- executive, legislative, or judicial -- from governing the U.S. without "checks and balances" from the other two branches. It was meant, in the time of kings and emperors, to prevent a monarchy or dictatorship. Each branch of the government is given certain limited and specific powers. An example would be that the legislative branch can introduce and pass laws, but the President, or executive branch, can veto them. Another example is that, though the U.S. Supreme Court is appointed for life, it is the executive branch which must appoint the justices, and the legislative branch must approve the selection and has the power to impeach. It may be important to note that, in the beginnings of our country when the politicians wrote the first articles of confederation of the states in 1781, there were no checks and balances. The only power designated by the articles was Congress which consisted of one representative from each state and ran everything -- everything that the states allowed them to run. Remember too, though, that prior to these articles, states had been and were still the primary power group in the colonies. To impose a strong central federal government that held any level of power over the states was tyranny to many, at best. So, the fact that the articles did just that with a weak though centralized Congress was a major step. Separation of powers did not exist, at least not in any real sense. In 1786 it became apparent to all that the articles of confederation were not working. In 1787, the Philadelphia Convention arrived at the "Great Compromise" and a brand new U.S. Constitution. The articles were completely rewritten in a broad and courageous step outside the individual states' powerful interests. These "founding fathers" were committed to a stronger union and to the states' demands for a separation of powers between federal and state governments. As well, they knew that no unit of the federal government could become so powerful as to produce a ruling body vis-a-vis the British crown. Thus, the bi-cameral legislature, the executive and the judicial branches were born and a system of checks and balances put in place by dividing separate powers and duties for each. Executive Branch Success With Domestic Policy…

Pages: 4  |  Thesis  |  Style: APA  |  Sources: 5


Jeffersonian & Jacksonian Democracies Jeffersonian and Jacksonian

Jeffersonian & Jacksonian Democracies Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracies THE FIRST PARTY SYSTEM: Before discussing how and why the change came to American government and politics - from the Jeffersonian era to the Andrew Jackson era - it is worthy to set the stage for the Jacksonian period by reviewing the era of Thomas Jefferson, known politically as the "First Party…

Pages: 8  |  Term Paper  |  Style: MLA  |  Sources: 4


Letter Advising President on Public Policy and

Letter Advising President on Public Policy and Political Science To the President-Elect of the United States, I would like to congratulate you on a successful election and thank you for naming me to your advisory committee, the opportunity to assist your administration's domestic and foreign agenda is one I have relished since joining your campaign. As a veteran of Washington's often convoluted political process, I would like to begin my official duties by engaging in a frank discussion designed to demonstrate the realities of modern policymaking within today's heightened partisan hostilities. It is especially important to learn hard lessons from the recently concluded Obama Administration, which suffered from a continual inability to pursue its policy agenda after lofty campaign rhetoric was tempered by political gridlock and obstructionist policies from Congressional opposition. By studying the successes and failures of previous presidencies, especially the ambiguous legacy of your predecessor, you can gain a greater understanding of the challenges awaiting you, while sharpening your ability to address these challenges effectively. One of the most important factors for any elected leader within a democratic governance structure to consider is the role of the press in distributing information and shaping public opinion. While previous presidencies were bound by the traditional forms of print and visual media, today's White House has the advantage of the internet and social media when crafting the messaging used to appeal to the public. As the Obama Administration recently learned, however, the position of authority does not make one immune to advanced attacks launched in the online realm, which is why you must be prepared to filter any efforts to advance your political agenda through the lens of today's technologically integrated society. A policy advisement issued by a prominent political scientist during the early stages of President Obama's first term predicted that "the experiences of the Clinton and Bush presidencies offer a consistent and sober warning to the Obama White House: although the introduction……

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European Federalism: Historical Analysis Fascism

In Britain, several groups and associations had amalgamated in order to strive for Union for Democratic Control. Europe and the Threat of Fascism Italian Fascism Why the concept of federalism in Europe emerged in the first place? As mentioned earlier, after the end of World War I, fascist movements had emerged in the European region; specifically in Italy and Germany.…

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History of Human Rights as

History Of Human Rights As social mobility became more available to people around the globe, there was a greater call for enforcing globalized human rights. As evolutions in government and politics have opened up chances for socio-economic mobility there has come a greater demand for the avocation and adherence to basic principles of human rights. Past Societies were limited by stricter caste and class divisions, which essentially made human rights less of a concern for a ruling elite. The Caste System in India is a prime example of how strict caste differences can stifle any calls for avocation of human rights. The caste system deeply divides socio-economic classes and stifles any sort of social mobility (Nelson, 2009). The Untouchables were a class that often saw gross vilations of human rights, yet this was not perceived as an issue because of the designation of their class. Therefore, violations of human rights were often overlooked. B. During the age of Serfdom in Russia, there were also strict limitations on social mobility. 1. Serfs in Russia also had no means of advocating greater rights for themselves or had social mobility (Shah, 2000). 2. As such, many saw gross violations of what is now considered human rights, especially in regards to fair labor practices. C. Slavery in the United States restricted African-American slaves from becoming free citizens. 1. With their restrictions on social mobility, they were denied the basic rights of American citizens. 2. Thus, they were often beaten, overworked without any pay, and worse. II. Yet, as social mobility opens up for people in a society, there is a greater public demand for defending basic human rights. A. Social mobility allows people from the lower classes to move up into a greater position of influence (Willetts, 2012). 1. Thus, they become more powerful in helping structure more adherence to general human rights practices in their societies. B. The more social mobility possible, the greater the level of equality of opportunity within societies (Spagnoli, 2008) 1. This allows for people to more equal access to benefits such as education and healthcare, which helps reduce the potential for human rights violations within that society. III. There are a number of examples of countries opening up the possibility for social mobility and at the same time increasing their dedication to protecting their citizens' basic human rights. A. England was one of the first Western nations to…

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Politics of Estonia Foreign and Domestic

Politics of Estonia: Foreign and Domestic Brief Introduction/Overview. Estonia is a small Baltic state with an area of roughly 45,228 sq km and a population of 1.3 million people. It is bordered on the south by Latvia, and to the East by the Russian Federation. It is a coastal country, with a Western shore to the Baltic Sea and a…

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