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AS and A Level: Political Philosophy

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  1. Assess the advantages and disadvantages of direct democracy.

    One example would be in California (1978), when the people voted for Proposition 13. This led to a severe shortage of emergency services, and the authorities were unable to deal with a fire that swept through Orange County. Direct democracy can also lead to the majority discriminating against a minority. For example women did not gain the vote in Switzerland until 1971 because until then the franchise consisted entirely of men.

    • Word count: 513
  2. What is power? Power is the ability to influence others through the use of threats, sanctions or manipulation. That power is legitimate and is called authority whereas the authority is defined as rightful power

    Weber saw a charismatic leader as the head of community. Rational- Legal Authority (which is the last type) depends upon a formal set of rules (which gives those who hold authority the right to direct and command others and to take decisions on their behalf). Another ideologist of this term is Niccolo Machiavelli - the Italian political philosopher - who wrote an essay "The Prince". In his work he examined "mechanic of power" and rejected ideas about political authority. He argued that the conventional advice to rules to be merciful, liberal and loved was ideal in a word in which people were virtuous, but the problem was that the world wasn't like that.

    • Word count: 612
  3. Why and to what extent have conservatives supported tradition?

    Established customs and practices are ones that individuals can recognize; they are familiar and reassuring. Tradition also generates social cohesion by linking people from the past and providing them with a collective sense of who they are. Change, is unknown and therefore it creates uncertainty and insecurity, and so endangers our happiness. Tradition, therefore, consists of rather more than political institutions that have stood the test of time. Some modern Conservatives have also valued tradition, these include, the 'one nation' conservatives and the Christian Democrats. 'One nation' conservatism began in the 19th century when Disraeli coined the term.

    • Word count: 1279
  4. Corruption is the grease that lubricates the squeaky gate

    and health (37.3) sectors, although the intensity of the bribes reduced, this is because there is little manoeuvrability for favouritism in these areas. 2 This shows that the need for corruption for basic services in Ghana is hundreds of times greater than in the United Kingdom, and that without providing bribes there is little chance of receiving the service. In this case, in LDC's corruption does seem to provide the 'lubrication for the squeaky gate'. Secondary, corruption is seen to reduce the amount of bureaucracy that is systemic in LDC's, as it allows people to jump the extensive cues which plague the majorities of basic services and allows funding the flow into the country.

    • Word count: 1201
  5. Nationalism is a recipe for peace and international order. Discuss

    Thus implying an emphasis on national allegiances instead of global or international allegiances. However, internationalism is compatible with nationalism in the sense they both call for cooperation. Internationalism requires solidarity between pre-existing nations, instead of the abandonment of national identities altogether. Hence, why nationalism could be a device that peace and international order can be achieve through. To claim is possible it is important to analyse all the different types of nationalism to see if they contain forms of internationalism. Firstly, liberal nationalism the oldest form of nationalism stemming from the French Revolution and The Enlightenment period.

    • Word count: 1125
  6. Free essay

    To what extent has Europe adopted a single social model?

    This was movement towards the creation of a single market. The dream was to promote freedom of access and movement in four key areas; Firstly, legal residents of EU member states would be allowed to live and work in any other member state, and have their professional qualifications recognized. Secondly, currency and capital would be allowed to flow freely across borders, and EU residents could use financial services in any EU country. Thirdly, business could sell their products throughout the EU, and consumers would be free to buy those products in any member state without incurring costs or penalties.

    • Word count: 1128
  7. Government and Politics Personal Statement

    I am interested in the role of the UN as a global authority, the process of conflict resolution and the alliances that governments form to take international measures. My own political ideology is based on the notion that the world can be made stronger through international co-operation, and that our main concern should not be with domestic interests but international ones. I enjoy absorbing a wide variety of political opinions, and I follow current affairs in the UK and internationally with great interest.

    • Word count: 484
  8. Free essay

    Media a threat?

    We do, and how do we get hold of such information? through the media. If the government is doing something wrong, the media will tell us what is going on, and let me just emphasise that this is not a threat but is actually healthy criticism which helps the democratic government know the public's opinion. The media is there to enhance the public's awareness about governments, their doings and to express their opinions regarding current issues in politics. As we all know, there are many different Newspapers. Such as: 'La provincia', 'El pais', 'El mundo'. Now do you really think that all these Newspapers share the same view?

    • Word count: 400
  9. To what extend is fascism a blend of nationalism and socialism?

    Second, fascists' obsession of warfare has demonstrated the nationalist's characteristics within themselves. Fascism sees the interests of the nation as rivaling against other nations; therefore, there is a need to be engaged in warfare in order to protect the nation from expansionist nations and to maintain the nation's independence and self-determination of a people, especially in the Nazi form of fascism, they struggled to keep their race pure. More importantly, the love of warfare shows the fascists' pride of their nation and their desire of expressing the nation's superiority.

    • Word count: 954
  10. To what extent is feminism a single doctrine?

    This implies that women see themselves as inferior compare to men and they are not aware of such acceptance. Therefore, it is necessary for women to realise for themselves that they are not in fact inferior, before they could fight against such "otherness". All feminists see gender as a critical issue to the inequality imposed on women and believe that there should be no differences between genders. They accept that there are fundamental biological differences between men and women but these do not make men any superior than women. They believe as John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor stressed that men and women were born equal in terms of their rationality, judgement and intellect.

    • Word count: 814
  11. How Similar was Thatcherism To Traditional Conservatism?

    It has been argued though that the process of disengagement does contradict traditional conservatism in the idea of the organic society, which dictates that a nation is a single body and every citizen is interdependent on one another. However these measures were essentially a pragmatic and empiricist reaction to the troubles of the past of Britain, and were measures to sustain economic order, therefore Thatcher blended traditional and liberal values to restore the order, and within the CHNKWKS N�����TEXTTEXT&?FDPPFDPPBFDPCFDPCDSTSHSTSHF-STSHSTSH-F2SYIDSYIDPFSGP SGP dFINK INK hFBTEPPLC lFBTECPLC "FFONTFONT�FTSTRSPLC �F:PRNTWNPR*GgFRAMFRAM'K�TITLTITLL&DOP DOP ?L"rism was a modern day progression of traditiona How Similar was Thatcherism To Traditional Conservatism?

  12. Realism, idealism and neoliberalism

    Realism in all of its forms emphasizes the continuities of the human condition, particularly at international level, it can be defined as: a practical understanding and acceptance of the actual nature of the world, rather than an idealized view of it (Morgenthau, 1964:86). The actual nature of the world pertains to human nature and their viewpoints of the international political world. Realists argue that on the international stage the main actor is the state and its distinctive characteristic is supreme sovereignty.

    • Word count: 1445
  13. What is liberal about John Rawls Theory of Justice? How may it be criticised?

    However, Rawls theory is different from the ideas of earlier liberals in many ways, for example he does not accept the state of nature. Instead he starts from an "original position" whereby individuals are under a "veil of ignorance" which blinds them to facts about their lives - "no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status". Therefore the outcome will be fair principles for all members of society. Although the state of nature and veil of ignorance are similar in the way that they are both hypothetical and non-historical, they are not necessarily liberal in this way.

    • Word count: 1083
  14. Nationalism. Where do nations come from? Are they natural or artificial formations?

    the rise of nationalism as the modernization and advancement of the world meant that most pre-modern communities could no longer serve their role as a basis for community spirit in the modernized world (Uzelac, 2005:203). The emergence of the 'Nation' was the alternative and it instilled feelings of membership to the community that continuously developed into a form of nationalism. In this way, people belong to a certain nation at their birth and consequently that sense of belonging explains nationalism.

    • Word count: 1129
  15. Iran Country Study

    * When a bill reaches a committee it is placed on the committee's calendar. A bill can be referred to a subcommittee or considered by the committee as a whole. It is at this point that a bill is examined carefully and its chances for passage are determined. If the committee does not act on a bill, it is the equivalent of killing it. * Often, bills are referred to a subcommittee for study and hearings. Hearings provide the opportunity to put on the record the views of the executive branch, experts, other public officials, supporters and opponents of the legislation.

    • Word count: 4114
  16. Nigeria Country Study

    http://www.ihonvbere.com/julius/2008/09/the-legislative-process-in-nigeria/ * The Courts and Rule of Law - The Nigerian constitution provides for an independent judiciary. In practice, the judiciary is subject to executive and legislative branch pressure, influence by political leaders at both the state and federal levels, and suffers from corruption and inefficiency. The regular court system comprises federal and state trial courts, state appeals courts, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Supreme Court, and Shari'ah and customary courts of appeal for each state and for the federal capital territory of Abuja.

    • Word count: 3511
  17. Friedrich Nietzsche's Political Philosophies

    Were his auditors to embrace this untimely teaching, Zarathustra insists, they would be prepared finally to emerge from the shadow of the dead God and take their rightful place as the legislators of the future. In doing so, they would shed the burden imposed on them by the resentful, ascetic morality that they have inherited from its twin sources, Christianity and Platonism. Zarathustra's teaching of the �bermensch thus conveys the promise of a life predicated on a love of the body and an aspiration to noble values.

    • Word count: 892
  18. To what extent was Fascist Italy the bastard child of Liberal Italy?

    Many Liberal historians argue that Fascism in Italy was simply an 'unfortunate accident' which only existed because of the First World War's disruption of the newly unified Italian Government's work. Indeed, urbanisation and growing literacy were having some effect by 1914 and 'Italian' was starting to emerge as a 'lingua franca' especially in the army and the towns. There was also a sense of Patriotic duty instilled in the youth in schools through propaganda. Furthermore there was a national economy linked by roads and railways with several institutions such as trade unions and newspapers developing.

    • Word count: 2029
  19. To what extent is Liberalism compatiable with democracy?

    The social contract also leads to constitutionalism which preserves the freedom of the majority and guarantees stability, through the mass ruling and therefore less chance of a rebellion. This shows that democracy is compatible with liberalism through the element of consent and legitimacy. Another argument that can be made is that it is the best way of reconciling interest groups. Interest groups can be mediated in a way that promotes social harmony through avoiding conflict. Liberals support pluralism which is needed in society for different views and opinions to be expressed for example socialism, liberalism and conservatism.

    • Word count: 1021
  20. To what extent has socialism been defined by its opposition to capitalism?

    Socialist disagree with capitalism on numerous fronts. It places a huge emphasise on private ownership and property which socialists strongly disagree with as private property encourages engrained inequality due to hereditary nature of property ownership. Socialist would argue that their should be collective ownership of the means of production as this would result everybody benefiting from the production and abuse and license would be removed. They also disagree with the capitalist belief that individuals competing will produce the best results, they argue that this isn't efficient and creates waste and that it encourages a distortions in the humans natural nature which would be to co-operate and aid each other to create the best possible outcome.

    • Word count: 1005
  21. Is Fascism an Ideology?

    Fascism is seemingly comprised of and defined by what is disagrees with rather than its actual beliefs. "Fascism thus has a strong 'anti-character': it is anti-rational, anti-liberal, anti-conservative, anti-capitalist, anti- bourgeois, anti-communist and so on." (Heywood, 2007) This nihilist approach is a key challenge to Fascisms claim of political ideological status and whilst to a degree this is common of many ideologies its antagonistic nature is so pronounced that it seems to consume the majority of its doctrine, leaving it with little or no ideological substance.

    • Word count: 1151
  22. Is Labour Still Socialist Party?

    They do this by continuing with the welfare with policies such as child benefits and welfare to work programs. In 2008 Brown changed the top rate of income tax so that richer people will be charged more which will go towards more benefits for the poorer people. Because the labour party has been formed from trade unions it is good to workers therefore there are many workers rights. There is a minimum wage for workers which has been increased in 2008 to �5.73 an hour for over 22 year olds. This does not have to happen a company could set their own minimum wages but however because we have a socialist government they set them.

    • Word count: 891
  23. To what extent can social policies ensure health inequalities are reduced significantly?

    A person's social class is based on a mixture of factors such as income level, education, housing and occupation. The report's other findings were there were some cases of lower social classes experiencing worst health than in the 1950's. The report looked at four explanations for patterns in inequality. The artefact explanation which suggests health inequalities don't really exist, but only appear to because of the way class is constructed. The social selection explanation was that people are in lower social class because of their ill health rather than social class being the reason for poorer health. The behavioral/cultural explanation is that ill health is the sufferers own fault and is down to their lifestyle.

    • Word count: 1650
  24. Are Humans Innately Evil or Good?

    They both have clashing and different opinions, but in my opinion I would have to agree with John Locke. Locke was born on August 29, 1632 in Wrington, England. He died on October 28, 1704. He was best known as an English philosopher and the author of Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Every human being is born good, they have a clean record, and they don't know anything. Originally we were all in a state of nature. Parents, friends, relatives, societies, and the community influence us to do what they do. As we tend to grow up we will see murdering, stealing, taking drugs, and fighting all around us.

    • Word count: 587
  25. Types of governments that exist:

    In a capitalist or free-market economy, people own their own businesses and property and must buy services for private use, such as healthcare 2. socialism(Norway) Socialists' governments own many of the larger industries and provide education, health and welfare services while allowing citizens some economic choices 3. Communism (Cuba) In a communist country, the government owns all businesses and farms and provides its people's healthcare, education and welfare. 4. Dictatorship (Iraq) Rule by a single leader who has not been elected and may use force to keep control.

    • Word count: 613

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