AP Comp. Gov. Definitons Pages 12-23


A reference to the leadership and institutions that make policy decisions for a country.


Who has the power to make decisions, how they get that power and what threatens that power.

The Comparative Method

Empirical data:

Based on factual statements and statistics.


Normative Data:

Issues that require judgement.

Science time


Speculative statement about the relations between 2 or more factors known as VARIABLES.


What the researcher is trying to find, the idea that one or more variable,e influences the others.

Indepedent VarIable:

The influencer.

Dependent VarIaBle:



Exists when change in on variable coincides with change in the other.

Three world approach:

Based on Cold War politics. 1st world: US and allies. 2nd: USSR and allies. 3rd World: nations that didn't fit into either category and were economically underdeveloped.

Civil Society:

The way that citizens organize and define themselves and their interests.

Informal politics:

Takes into consideration not only the ways that politicians operate outside their formal powers, but the impact that beliefs, values and actions of ordinary citizens have in policy.

Our own 3rd world


Countries that control what happens within their borders. WOW.


Stable, long lasting organizations that help turn political ideas into policy.


The ability to carry out actions or policies within their borders independently from interference from inside or outside.


A group of people bound together by a common political identity.

Of course this is different from


The sense of belonging and identity that distinguishes one nation from another.

MultinatiNal state:

A state that contains more than one nation. πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’

Stateless nations:

People without a state.

Core Areas

Inner most region of a country with the most population.


Outlying areas with smaller towns, less factories and more open space.

Multicore states:

More than one core area-- may or may not be problematic.


Rules that a state sets and follows in exerting its power.

In a Democracy...


Elected officials represent government.


Individuals have immediate say over government decisions. Obviously not possible.

Parliamentary system

Citizens vote for legislative representatives which in turn select the leaders of the executive branch. Governed by parliamentary sovereignty.

Presedential system:

Citizens vote for legislature and executive branches, which function with separation of powers

Head of state

Role that symbolizes the power and nature of a regime.

Head of government

A role dealing with the everyday task of running the government.

Presedential system

Type of democracy where the roles of head of state and head of given to one person.

Checks and Balances:

Fam honestly :/// (checks of power between three branches of government)

Separation of Powers

Branches sharing power so one doesn't dominate the other. You've known this since 3rd grade.

Semi-Presidential System

A prime minister coexists with a President directly elected by the people and holds a significant degree of power. Russia uses this system.

But let's be honest it doesn't matter who's President it's Putin 24/7


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