By Trevor Munroe
Crucial fabric for first-year scholars in social sciences and for the overall reader drawn to the fundamentals of up to date politics.
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Additional resources for An Introduction to Politics: Lectures for First Year Students
When we focus on that criterion for classification, we come up with two extremes. At one extreme, there are authoritarian or dictatorial states, sometimes called totalitarian states. At the other extreme when we use the criterion of location or concentration of power and authority, there are the democratic states. 7 AUTHORITARIAN STATES An authoritarian state is one in which nearly total power is concentrated in an individual, a political party, the military, or a religious group. In this type of state there are certain characteristics regarding the rights of the people in relation to government and in relation to one another: 1.
In other words, a state may be authoritarian at a particular point in time but at a later point becomes democratic. Conversely, a state can be democratic at a certain point in time, and become authoritarian or dictatorial. For 46 An Introduction to Politics example, in 1994, South Africa was clearly and unambiguously an authoritarian, dictatorial state based on racial exclusivity. The white racial minority had the rights while the black majority had none. In the year 1996, South Africa made the transition from being an authoritarian state to being a more democratic state with the abolition of many restrictions on the rights of blacks, including the right to vote and other rights of various kinds being conceded after a long period of struggle.
5. In these states there is no equality in the rule of the law. The law is for some but the rulers are above the law. The rules that exist are influenced by the desires of the ruling group, which may change from time to time. 41 8 DEMOCRATIC STATES In the modern world, approximately 60 percent of the states are classified as democracies. The word democracy comes from the bringing together of two Greek words, demos, which means people, and kratia, which means to rule. In democratic states, elections are relatively free and fair.
An Introduction to Politics: Lectures for First Year Students by Trevor Munroe