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Principles of State, Government and Constitution


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Lecture slides for an undergraduate class on Philippine Politics and Governance I taught between 2003 and 2005.

The lecture this was used for was meant to provide an introduction to subsequent lectures on various parts of the 1987 Philippine Constitution that would take up the better part of the course.

These slides were prepared using Powerpoint XP.


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Principles of State, Government and Constitution

  1. 1. concepts of state, government and constitution
  2. 2. overview <ul><li>meaning, elements and characteristics of a state </li></ul><ul><li>forms, types and classifications of government </li></ul><ul><li>meaning purpose and kinds of constitutions </li></ul>
  3. 3. what is a state ? <ul><li>a state is an entity that enjoys a monopoly over the legitimate use of violence over its territory (Max Weber) </li></ul><ul><li>elements: population, territory, government and sovereignty </li></ul>
  4. 4. “people” <ul><li>answers the question, “who governs whom?” </li></ul><ul><li>no specific number requirement </li></ul><ul><li>“…the state shall neither be too small nor yet one that seems great but has no unity.” (Plato) </li></ul>
  5. 5. “territory” <ul><li>answers the question, “where?” </li></ul><ul><li>demarcated area that rightly belongs to the population </li></ul><ul><li>terrestrial, fluvial, maritime and aerial </li></ul><ul><li>should be permanent and large enough to be self-sufficing </li></ul>
  6. 6. “government” <ul><li>the “agency or instrumentality through which the will of the state is formulated, expressed and realized.” (Pointdexter v. Greenhow) </li></ul>
  7. 7. “sovereignty” <ul><li>the supreme and uncontrollable power inherent in a state by which the state is governed </li></ul><ul><li>the supreme power of the state to command and enforce obedience to its will within its jurisdiction </li></ul><ul><li>necessitates freedom from external control </li></ul>
  8. 8. plenary powers of government <ul><li>police power </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the power to establish and enforce laws </li></ul></ul><ul><li>eminent domain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the power to appropriate property for public use </li></ul></ul><ul><li>taxation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the power to collect revenue from citizens </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. classifications of governments <ul><li>“forms” of government refer to the basic rules by which a nation carries out its policies </li></ul><ul><li>there is no standard for the classification of governments </li></ul><ul><li>actual arrangements differ from theoretical ones </li></ul>
  10. 10. governments: Aristotelian typology Mob Rule Democracy Many Oligarchy Aristocracy Few Tyranny Monarchy One Perverted Ideal Number of Rulers
  11. 11. governments: distribution of power <ul><li>unitary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>policy emanates from the center and is absolute </li></ul></ul><ul><li>federal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>plenary powers of government are divided between central and local governments </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. governments: structure <ul><li>parliamentary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>fusion between executive and legislative branches of government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the legislature selects the executive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>presidential </li></ul><ul><ul><li>characterized by separation of powers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>directly elected executive </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. constitution <ul><li>“that body of rules and principles in accordance with which the powers of sovereignty are regularly exercised” </li></ul><ul><li>“that written instrument by which the powers of government are established, limited, defined and distributed.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. why study the constitution <ul><li>it is the supreme law of the land </li></ul><ul><li>it is the framework within which government power can be understood </li></ul>
  15. 15. constitutions are… <ul><li>… enacted or evolved… </li></ul><ul><li>… written or unwritten… </li></ul><ul><li>… rigid or flexible. </li></ul>