Political Structure

Topics: Separation of powers, Republic of China, Prime minister Pages: 7 (2348 words) Published: December 17, 2012
Topic: Political Structure of Certain Countries

Politics is the social structure and methods used to manage a government or state. Just as varying types of economic theories and systems exist, many varying political theories and systems exist as well. While many different political structures have existed throughout history, three major forms exist in modern nation-states: totalitarianism, authoritarianism, and democracy. Totalitarianism

Totalitarianism is a political system that exercises near complete control over its citizens' lives and tolerates no opposition. Information is restricted or denied by complete control of mass media, close monitoring of citizens and visitors, and forbidding the gathering of groups for political purposes opposed to the state. Constant political propaganda, such as signs, posters, and media that focus the populace on the virtues of the government, characterizes these nation states. Obviously, some totalitarian governments maintain more extreme laws than others do. Totalitarian nation-states include North Korea, Chile, many African and Middle Eastern nations, Vietnam, and others. Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism is a political system less controlling than totalitarianism, but still denying citizens the right to participate in government. A dictatorship, in which the primary authority rests in one individual, represents one type of authoritarian government. Dictators rule China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Haiti, and many African nations. In these systems, strong militaries and political parties support the dictators. Another form of authoritarianism is a monarchy, in which the primary authority rests in a family and is passed down through generations. In the past, most monarchies exerted near absolute power—in Saudi Arabia the ruling family still does. Democracy

Democracy is a political system where the government is ruled either directly by the people or through elected officials who represent them. Most democracies today rely upon a system of representatives to make decisions. The most common examples of democracies are the United States, Canada, India, and many other European nations.


Taiwan's government is a multiparty democratic regime headed by popularly-elected president and unicameral legislature. Taiwan's power is distributed among five large branches of government called Yuan: the Legislative Yuan (National Assembly), Executive Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Examination Yuan, and Control Yuan. The Examination Yuan oversees Taiwan's difficult system of exams, controlling access to education, jobs, business licenses, the civil service and so on. The Control Yuan is a watchdog agency that tries to keep things honest. The president is directly elected. The president appoints the premier, who wields considerable power because they appoint the heads of Taiwan's many ministries that oversee the large bureaucracy. Taiwan is still officially a province of China; there is a largely forgotten provincial government with its capital at the village of Chunghsing in Taichung County. In 1997, Taiwan's constitution was amended to reduce the provincial government's role to a few ceremonial posts. This act angered mainland China, as it seemed to imply that Taiwan was no longer a province of China but an independent nation. Many claim that Taiwan is the first Chinese democracy. This point can be debated, but there are few countries in Asia that have a more open political system than Taiwan. This a recent change- Taiwan was essentially a dictatorship until martial law was lifted in 1987. Today, there is universal suffrage and the voting age in 20. It is gradually shifting from Authoritarianism to Democracy, which is Soft Authoritarianism. SINGAPORE

Singapore, under the leadership of the PAP, possesses a distinct political culture: authoritarian, pragmatic, rational and legalistic. Singapore’s power structure is highly centralized, characterized by a...
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