Democracy is a system of government in which all the people of a state or polity are involved in making decisions about its affairs, typically by voting to elect representatives to a parliament or similar assembly. Democracy is a government by the people, rule of the majority. It is a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
All democracies consist of four key elements:
a) a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections;
b) the active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civil life;
c) protection of the human rights of all citizens;
d) a rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.
Democracy contrasts with forms of government where power is either held by an individual, as in an absolute monarchy, or where power is held by a small number of individuals, as in an oligarchy.
Nevertheless, these oppositions inherited from Greek philosophy, are now ambiguous because contemporary governments have mixed democratic, oligarchic, and monarchic elements. Democracy contrasts sharply with dictatorship or tyranny. In a democratic society, people have an opportunity to control their leaders and to oust them without the need for revolution.
Several variants of democracy exist, but there are two basic forms, both of which concern how the whole body of all eligible citizens executes its will. One form of democracy is direct democracy in which all eligible citizens have direct and active participation in the political decision making. In most modern democracies, the whole body of eligible citizens remain the sovereign power but political power is exercised indirectly through elected representatives, this is called a representative democracy.
Presidential democracy is a system when the public elects the president through free and fair elections. The president serves as both the head of state and head of government controlling most of the executive powers. The president serves for a specific term and cannot exceed that amount of time. He has direct control over the cabinet, specifically appointing the cabinet members. A semi-presidential system is a system of democracy in which the government includes both a prime minister and a president. The particular powers held by the prime minister and president vary by country.
A monarchy is a form of government in which sovereignty is actually or nominally embodied in one or several individuals reigning until death or abdication. They are called te monarchs. Forms of monarchy differ widely based on the level of legal autonomy the monarch holds in governance, the method of selection of the monarchs. When the monarch has no or few legal restraints in state and political matters, it is called an absolute monarchy and it is a form of autocracy. Cases in which the monarch’s direction is finally limited are called constitutional monarchies.
Monarchy was the most common form of government until the 19th century, but it is no longer prevalent. Where it exists, it is now usually a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch remains a unique legal and ceremonial role, but exercises limited or no political power. Currently, 44 sovereign nations in the world have monarchs acting as heads of state, 16 of which are Commonwealth realms that recognize Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state.
All European monarchies are constitutional ones, with the exception of the Vatican City which is an elective monarchy. The monarchs of Cambodia, Japan, and Malaysia reign, but do not rule although there is considerable variation in the degree of authority they wield. Although they reign under constitutions, the monarchs of Brunei, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Swaziland appear to continue to exercise more political power than any other single source of authority in their nations.
A self-proclaimed monarchy is established when a person claims the monarchy without any historical ties to a previous dynasty. Napoleon I of France declared himself Emperor of the French. In a constitutional monarchy, the monarch is subject to a constitution. The monarch serves as a ceremonial symbol of national unity and state continuity. Constitutional monarchs have limited political power. They often have privileges of sovereign immunity and an official residence.
A monarch’s powers and influence may depend on tradition, popular opinion and law.
Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviour. Laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator. Statutes, decrees and regulations are the result of the legislative process. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts and arbitration agreements. The formation of laws may be influenced by a constitution, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.
The adjudication of the law is generally divided into two main areas referred to as criminal law and civil law. Criminal law deals with conduct that is considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined. Civil law deals with the resolution of lawsuits (disputes) between individuals and organizations. These resolutions seek to provide a legal remedy (often monetary damages) to the winning litigant. Under civil law, the following specialties exist: contract law, administrative law, constitutional law, international law etc.
Law provides a rich source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology. Law also raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness and justice. There is an old saying that all are equal before the law. The Greek philosopher Aristotle declared, ‘The rule of law is better than the rule of any individual’.
Religious laws play a significant role in settling of secular matters, which is still the case in some religious communities, particularly Jewish and some countries, particularly Islamic.
Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more people or parties intended to reach a mutually beneficial outcome, resolve points of difference or to gain advantage for an individual or collective.
Negotiation occurs in business, non-profit organizations, government branches, legal proceedings, among nations in personal situations such as marriage, divorce, parenting, and everyday life. The study of the subject is called negotiation theory. Professional negotiators are often specialized, such as diplomats, legislators or brokers.
Negotiation can take a variety of forms, from a trained negotiator acting on behalf of a particular organization or position in a formal setting, to an informal negotiation between friends. It can also be compared with arbitration, which resembles a legal proceeding in arbitration, when both sides make an argument as to the merits of their case and the arbitrator decides the outcome.
Negotiation theorists generally distinguish between two types of negotiation: distributive negotiation and integrative negotiation.
Distributive negotiation is also sometimes called positional or hard-bargaining negotiation. It tends to approach negotiation on the model of haggling in the market. In a distributive negotiation, each side often adopts an extreme position, knowing that it will not be accepted, and then employs a combination of guile, bluffing, and brinkmanship in order to cede as little as possible before reaching a deal. A distributive negotiation often involves people who have never had a previous interactive relationship, nor are they likely to do so again in the near future. Simple everyday examples would be buying a car or a house.
Integrative negotiation is also sometimes called interest-based or principal negotiation. It is a set of techniques that attempts to improve the quality and likelihood of negotiated agreement by providing an alternative to traditional distributive negotiation technique. While distributive negotiation assumes there is a fixed amount of value (‘a fixed pie’) to be divided between the parties, integrative negotiation often attempts to create value in the course of the negotiation (‘expand the pie’). It focuses on underlying interests of the parties rather than their arbitrary positions, approaches negotiation as a shared problem rather than a personalized battle, and insists on adherence to objective, principled criteria as the basis for agreement. While negotiating, individuals usually balance the concern for personal needs and interests with the needs and interests of others.
Human rights are moral principles or norms, that describe certain standards of human behaviour, and are regularly protected as legal rights in municipal and international law. They are commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights ‘to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being’, and which are ‘inherent in all human beings regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin or any other status’. They are applicable everywhere and at every time in the sense of being universal, and they are egalitarian in the sense of being the same for everyone. They require empathy and the rule of law and impose an obligation on persons to respect the human rights of others. They should not be taken away except as a result of due process based on specific circumstances, for example, human rights may include freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution.
The doctrine of human rights has been highly influential within international law, global and regional institutions. Actions by states and non-governmental organizations form a basis of public policy worldwide. The idea of human rights suggests that ‘if the public discourse of peacetime global society can be said to have a common moral language, it is that of human rights’.
Many of the basic ideas that animated the human rights movement developed in the aftermath of the Second World War and the atrocities of the Holocaust, culminating in the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. The first sentence of this document is: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’.
The modern human rights agreements emerged over the latter half of the twentieth century as a reaction to slavery, torture, and war crimes, as a realization of inherent human vulnerability and as being a precondition for the possibility of a just society.
Culture is that complex which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society. Culture is a central concept in anthropology including the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies. The word is used in a general sense as the evolved ability to categorize and represent experiences with symbols and to act imaginatively and creatively. This capacity is often thought to be unique to humans. The word ‘culture’ is also used to denote the complex networks of practices and accumulated knowledge and ideas that is transmitted through social interaction and exist in specific human groups or cultures. Some aspects of human behaviour, such as language, social practices such as kinship, gender, and marriage, expressive forms such as art, music, dance, religion, and technologies such as cooking, shelter, clothing are said to be cultural universals, found in all human societies. The concept material culture covers the physical expressions of culture, such as technology, architecture and art, whereas the immaterial aspects of culture, such as principles of social organization, mythology, philosophy, literature and science make up the intangible cultural heritage of a society.
A culture is the set of customs, traditions and values of a society or community, such as an ethnic group or nation. In this sense multiculturalism is a concept that values the peaceful coexistence and mutual respect between different cultures inhabiting the same territory. Mass or popular culture refers to the mass-produced and mass mediated forms of consumer culture that emerged in the 20th century.
Some schools of philosophy, have argued that culture is often used politically as a tool of the elites to manipulate the lower classes and create a false consciousness. Cultural studies, as a field of knowledge, combine political economy, communication, sociology, social theory, film studies, cultural anthropology, philosophy and art history. The texts of cultural studies comprise all the meaningful artifacts of culture.
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of states. It usually refers to international diplomacy, the conduct of international relations through the intercession of professional diplomats with regard to issues of peace-making, trade, war, economics, culture, environment, and human rights. International treaties are usually negotiated by diplomats prior to endorsement by national politicians. Diplomacy is the employment of tact to gain strategic advantage or to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common challenge in a non-confrontational, polite manner.
The ability to practice diplomacy is one of the defining elements of a state. Diplomacy has been practiced since the inception of civilization. In Europe, diplomacy begins with the first city-states formed in ancient Greece. Diplomats were sent only for specific negotiations, and would return immediately after their mission concluded. Diplomats were usually relatives of the ruling family or of very high rank in order to give them legitimacy when they sought to negotiate with the other state.
Diplomatic recognition is an important factor in determining whether a nation is an independent nation. Receiving recognition is often difficult, even for countries which are fully sovereign. Today there are a number of independent countries without widespread diplomatic recognition, most notably the Republic of China on Taiwan island. Currently, the United States and other nations maintain informal relations through de facto embassies, with names such as the American Institute in Taiwan. Similarly, Taiwan’s de facto embassies abroad are known by names such as the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office. The Palestinian National Authority has its own diplomatic service, however Palestinian representatives in most Western countries are not accorded diplomatic immunity.
Other unrecognized regions which claim independence include Abkhazia, Transnistria, Somaliland, South Ossetia, Nagorno Karabakh, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Lacking the economic and political importance of Taiwan, these territories tend to be much more diplomatically isolated. Though the Montevideo Convention states, ’The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by other states.’
A political party is an organization of people which seeks to achieve goals common to its members through the acquisition and exercise of political power. While there is some international communality in the way political parties are recognized, and in how they operate, there are often many differences between them, and some are significant. Many political parties have an ideological core, but some do not, and many represent very different ideologies than they did when first founded.
In democracies, political parties are elected to run a government by the electorate. Many countries have numerous powerful political parties, such as Germany and India, and some nations are one party systems, such as China.
A political party is usually led by a party leader, a party secretary and party chair who forms strategies for recruiting and retaining party members, and also chairs party meetings. The national party leader in the U.S. will be the president, if the party holds that office, or a prominent member of Congress in opposition. Each party has a chairman for its national committee who is a prominent spokesman, organizer and fund-raiser. Party conferences are held to elect party officers and to affirm party values for members in the coming year.
In single-party systems, one political party is legally allowed to hold effective power. Although minor parties may sometimes be allowed, they are legally required to accept the leadership of the dominant party. North Korea and China are examples; others can be found in Fascist States such as Nazi Germany between 1934 and 1945. The single-party system is thus usually equated with dictatorship and tyranny.
In dominant-party systems, opposition parties are allowed, but they are widely considered to have no real chance of gathering power. Examples of dominant-party systems include the African National congress in South Africa, the Cambodian People’s Party in Cambodia, the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, the National Liberation Front in Algeria.
Two-party systems are states such as Jamaica, Malta, Ghana and the United States in which there are two political parties dominant to such an extent that electoral success under the banner of any party is almost impossible.
Multiple-party systems are systems in which more than two parties are represented and elected to public office. Australia, Canada, Pakistan, India, United Kingdom, and Norway are examples of countries with strong parties and additional smaller parties that have also obtained representation.
Marriage is a socially recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws.. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal.
Individuals may marry for various reasons including legal, social, emotional, financial or religious purposes. Whom they marry may be influenced by socially determined rules, parental choice and individual desire. Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a local community and peers. It is often viewed as a contract. Marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting via a wedding ceremony.
Since the late twentieth century, major social changes in Western countries have led to changes in the demographics of marriage, with the age of first marriage increasing, fewer people marrying, and more people choosing to cohabit rather than marry.
Historically, in most cultures, married women had very few rights of their own, being considered, along with the family’s children, the property of the husband. They could not own or inherit property, or represent themselves legally. In Europe, the United States, and other places of the developed world, beginning in the late 19th century and lasting through the 21st century, marriage has undergone gradual legal changes, aimed at improving the rights of the wife. These rights included giving wives legal identities of their own, abolishing the right of husbands to physically discipline their wives, giving wives property rights, liberalizing divorce laws.
Monogamy is a form of marriage in which an individual has only one spouse during their lifetime at any one time. Polygamy is a marriage which includes more than two partners. Child marriage is condemned by international human rights organizations.
Supreme Court of Ukraine
The Supreme Court of Ukraine is the highest judicial body in the system of courts of general jurisdiction in Ukraine. The Court derives its authority from the Constitution of Ukraine but much of its structure is outlined in legislature.
The Court consists of several judicial chambers on criminal, civil, administrative, and arbitration cases. According to a judicial reform the Court consists of 48 justices. Appointments to the Court are made by the parliament and have no fixed time limit. The Chairman of the Supreme Court is elected to office and dismissed from office by the Plenary Assembly of the Court by secret ballot.
The first Supreme Court of Ukraine was established on December 15, 1917 as the General Court of the Ukrainian People’s Republic. It was the first established national court since liquidation of Hetmanate in the 18th century. Soon after that on January 17,1918 the Communist government declared about the creation of the People’s Court of Ukraine. The competence of the elected judges was extended until the adoption of the Constitution of Ukraine. The first judges to the court were elected in 1918. The court of the Soviet Ukraine was established on March 11, 1923. It moved into the 18th century Klov Palace in 2003.
According to a poll, the overall trust in the Court of Ukraine is very low.
War is a state of armed conflict between societies. It is generally characterized by extreme collective aggression, destruction, and high mortality. The set of techniques and actions used to conduct war is known as warfare. Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets, and can result in massive civilian or other non-combat casualties.
While some scholars see war as a universal aspect of human nature, others argue that it is only a result of specific sociocultural or ecological circumstances. In 2013, war resulted in 31,000deaths. The deadliest war in history was the Second World War, with 85 million deaths, followed by the Mongol Conquest which was greater than 41 million. The most destructive war in modern history is the War of the Triple Alliance, which took lives of over 60% of Paraguay’s population.
War is the sixth (of ten) biggest problem facing humanity for the next fifty years. War usually results in significant deterioration of infrastructure and the ecosystem, a decrease in social spending, famine, large-scale emigration from the war zone, and often the mistreatment of prisoners of war or civilians. Another byproduct of some wars is the prevalence of propaganda by some or all parties in the conflict.
Modern laws of war address declarations of war, acceptance of surrender and the treatment of prisoners of war, military necessity and the prohibition of certain weapons that may cause unnecessary suffering.
Some of the central principles underlying laws of war are:
– Wars should be limited to achieving the political goals that started the war and should not include unnecessary destruction.
– Wars should be brought to an end as quickly as possible.
– People and property that do not contribute to the war effort should be protected against unnecessary destruction and hardship.
Political science is a social science discipline that deals with systems of government and the analysis of political activity and political behaviour. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics which is commonly thought of as the determining of the distribution of power and resources. Political science is commonly divided into distinct subdisciplines which together constitute the field, such as political theory, comparative politics, international relations, public law.
Political theory is more concerned with contributions of various classical thinkers such as Chanakya, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Cicero, Plato and many others. Comparative politics is the science of comparison and teaching of different types of constitutions, political actors, legislature.
Political scientists study matters concerning the allocation and transfer of power in decision making, the roles and systems of governance including governments and international organizations, political behaviour and public policies. Political scientists can be found working in governments, in political parties. They may be involved with non-governmental organizations or political movements.
Modern political science was founded by Niccolo Machiavelli. Because political science is essentially a study of human behaviour, in all aspects of politics, political scientists have historically observed political elites, institutions, and individual or group behaviour in order to identify patterns, draw generalizations and built theories of politics. Politics is an observational, not an experimental science.
Despite the complexities, contemporary political science has progressed by adopting a variety of methods and theoretical approaches to understanding politics. Methodological pluralism is a defining feature of contemporary political science.