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Twenty proposals to defend liberal democracy

The populist wave which has submerged Europe and the United States in recent years seems unstoppable. But is it? The End of Populism offers answers and proposes concrete solutions to confront the rise of “illiberal democracy.” Drawing on years of research, the author develops a complete new ideal type of populism, which enables him to identify the basic problems. Deploying a wealth of social science evidence, he refutes the populist claim that democracy is a “demand side” phenomenon, and demonstrates that it is rather a “supply side” phenomenon. He argues that one can have "too much democracy” and shows how methods of direct democracy, such as popular initiatives, referendums, and open primaries, which pretend “to give the power back to the people,” have led to manipulation by populists and moneyed interests. Populist attacks on the judiciary, central banks, the media, and other independent agencies, instead of strengthening democracy, have rather undermined liberal democracy. The author formulates twenty original and bold proposals to fight populism and defend liberal democracy. These proposals include ways to bridge the gap between the people and the elites, fight corruption, improve political party funding, and initiate societal, educational, and macro-economic reforms to increase economic equality and alleviate the insecurity of the citizens.

Marcel H. Van Herpen

Council of Europe, asked for an opinion, wrote that “the effects of the [government] Amendments … endanger not only the rule of law, but also the functioning of the democratic system, because they could render an important factor of checks and balances ineffective. Human rights would be endangered since the right to a fair trial before an independent court – the Constitutional Tribunal – is compromised.” 8 The Polish government did not give in, however, but continued to undermine the liberal foundations of the Polish state. On 12 July 2017, a new law was voted on

in The end of populism
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Aeron Davis

discussed. They have weighed up alternatives and made detailed suggestions for improved systems. They are in many of the publications cited in this book, as well as in many good academic and independently funded research centres and interest groups (but not often in Westminster-based think tanks). As a quick summary: In politics, our first-past-the post electoral system is not one that any emerging democracy would select now. The lack of a written constitution and poor set of checks and balances belong to an anachronistic past. Reform of our

in Reckless opportunists
Rousseau as a constitutionalist
Mads Qvortrup

chief ideologue of the terror regime has done his reputation few favours (Barny 1986: 120). The main charge is that he, through his doctrine of the General Will, through his allegedly uncritical advocacy of plebiscitary democracy, and through his alleged opposition to checks and balances, has become the antithesis of constitutional democracy. The case for the prosecution has been stated by J.L. Talmon, who finds that Rousseau ‘puts the people in the place of the physiocratic despot’ (Talmon 1952: 45). Moreover, Talmon believed that ‘at the very foundation of the

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Edward Ashbee

powers, methods of election or appointment, and terms of office. The Constitution also rested on checks and balances. There was not only a separation of powers; the Founding Fathers also built a degree of conflict between the branches of government into the fabric of the Constitution. They sought to ensure that no single branch could become over-powerful or oppressive. As James Madison noted in Federalist Paper no. 51: ‘Ambition must be made to counteract ambition’. The Constitution therefore required

in US politics today (fourth edition)
Sibylle Scheipers

competences is embedding legal institutions and offices in constitutional structures. According to sovereigntists, however, such structures are not available at the supra-state level. Consequently, the central charge laid at the ICC is that the office of the prosecutor lacks accountability: ‘America’s constitutional democracy includes checks and balances – including elections – that circumscribe the courts’ freedom. But the ICC floats above accountability to representative institutions.’12 A similar criticism can be found in an article published in the Rocky Mountain News

in Negotiating sovereignty and human rights
Tony Wright

this required a revision of the policy armoury of social democracy to achieve its traditional egalitarian objectives (Crosland, 1956). Democracy and the state What was absent in British social democracy was any interest in the nature of the British state and the character of its democracy. It was simply assumed that the state was the instrument of its purposes and that political democracy would put this instrument into its hands. In fact, the nature of the state in Britain, centralised and without restraining checks and balances, and with prerogative powers

in Making social democrats
Duncan Watts

the checks and balances built into the proposals. They doubted the value of a special document defending personal rights, for federalists claimed that the maintenance of basic freedoms would depend primarily upon the balance of forces set out in the document and on the tolerance or otherwise of the age. For anti-federalists, the Bill of Rights was a proclamation of their fundamental belief in the natural rights of all Americans. Whether or not another generation Chap 3 28/8/03 1:08 pm Page 49 Liberties and rights 49 sought to deny them, it was crucial to

in Understanding US/UK government and politics
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A critical election?
Sarah Birch

checks and balances. A government with a solid majority in Parliament has considerable freedom to legislate, even if some powers have been devolved to administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. And a prime minister who has the support of their party can dominate the government. The main accountability mechanisms in the British system are the independent judiciary, independent civil service and an independent

in Breaking the deadlock
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Lessons from overseas
Colin Copus

pertinent to the debate about the development of the English experiment with directly elected mayors in areas such as: the power, responsibility and roles of the elected mayor; the balance of power and checks and balances between mayor and council; the prominence, or otherwise, of the elected mayor within the wider governance network; and how citizens can act as a check and balance within local politics. The Italian mayor: the search for a new style of political leadership The direct election of an executive mayor was introduced in Italy in 1993, by Law 81. There are two

in Leading the localities