On ‘Political Institutions’


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Basic ideas on political institutions

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On ‘Political Institutions’

  1. 1. On „Political Institutions‟ Prof. Lourdes Veneracion-Rallonza, PhD Department of Political Science Ateneo De Manila University
  2. 2. Two stories… 'Community-based' ‘Adversarial’  Collective binding-  Creation of legitimacy decisions to regulate  Implementing ruler‟s common interest will  Implementing  disputes decisions  Actions against those  Interpretation of rules who challenge rules  punishment
  3. 3. Basic Types of Institutions  Rule-making  Rule-applying/enforcing  Rule adjudicating
  4. 4. Discourses  Normative - justice, equality, rights - „discursive political institutions‟ as representation of various currents of perspectives - discussion, deliberation, and negotiation - discover common principles that should prevail in society - “just political institutions generate just societies” (John Rawls)
  5. 5. Discourses  ‘Quantified’ - „tragedy of Political Science‟ (David Ricci) - mass data and policy analysis - technical concepts that are measurable: „attitude,‟ „cognition,‟ „socialization,‟ „system‟ o Structural-functional: functions (institutions emerge to solve societies‟ recurring problems) o Historical-institutionalism: impact of „historical moment‟ (distribution of power and influence by various groups) o Economic: rational choice (utility-maximizing individuals)
  6. 6. So, what are „political institutions‟?  Formal: “arrangements for aggregating individuals and regulating their behavior through the use of explicit rules and decision processes enforced by an actor or set of actors formally recognized as possessing such power” (Levi 1990)  Informal: unwritten rules such as „customs,‟ „culture,‟ „habits,‟ „social norms‟ (March and Olsen 1989; Scharpf 1989; Hall 1986)
  7. 7. What do „political institutions‟ do: two end points of the continuum…  Economic approach - individual preferences - „logic of exchange‟ (change of strategy but not preference) - collective choice  Cultural/Sociological - preference based on situation - „logic of appropriateness‟ (locating the self and appropriate action in a particular situation)
  8. 8. „Political institutions‟ and Change  Product of unintended consequence  Evolution „survival‟ of the most necessary  Institutional design by strategic agents  Ultimate question: structure vs. agency
  9. 9. Governments as Political Institutions: Basic Types
  10. 10. I. Based on the ‘number of people ruling’ # of Person/s Ruling for Ruling for SELF- ‘Ruling’ INTEREST INTEREST of OTHERS One Monarchy Tyranny Few Aristocracy Oligarchy Many Polity Democracy
  11. 11. II. Based on the relationship between the Executive and Legislative branches •Presidential - close relations •Parliamentary - politics of competition
  12. 12. III. Based scope of power of the national government  Unitary government - from the Greek word „unitas‟ - (usually) there is centralization of power  Federal government - from the Greek word „feoderis‟ - decentralization of power
  13. 13. IV. Based on ‘ideological’ labels/categories  Democratic government – perfect democracy, democracy, limited democracy  Non-democratic government – authoritarian, totalitarian, perfect totalitarian Spectrum of Government Power Perfect democracy Perfect Totalitarianism
  14. 14. „Democratic‟ Experience: Some Variations CATEGORY ATTRIBUTE Party System 2-party vs. multi-party Legislative Assembly Unicameral vs. bicameral Government Structure Unitarian vs. Federalist Central Authority Parliamentary vs. Presidential Local Government Weak vs. strong
  15. 15. Focus: Philippine Context  Branches and constitutional contexts  Recurring themes: unitary vs. federal, presidential vs. parliamentary, centralized vs. decentralized