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Unit 4 Overview: Party, Electoral Systems, and Citizen Organizations

3 min readโ€ขdecember 30, 2022

Harrison Burnside

Harrison Burnside

kelly-cotton

kelly-cotton

I

Isabela Padilha Vilela


AP Comparative Governmentย ๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ

90ย resources
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Unit 4 Overview: Party, Electoral Systems, and Citizen Organizations ๐Ÿ’‚โ€โ™‚๏ธ

This unit really builds on political institutions from Unit 2 and political culture and participation from Unit 3. In this unit, the focus is on how various electoral systems ๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ work in our course countries (UK, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, China, Nigeria) and how individuals participate in those systems via political parties, interest groups, and systems that support various interest groups. There are six topics you are expected to address at the end of this unit, let us quickly discuss each:

Unit 4 Topics โœ…

  1. Describe electoral systems and election rules among the course countries. The word describe is important! It is telling you that you need to know the characteristics and qualities of the systems, and it is clear that your understanding is across ALL course countries.
  2. Explain how election rules accomplish different regime objectives like access to ballots, election wins, and constituency accountability. Once again the word explain is important because it means you need to make the development of an idea clear.
  3. Describe characteristics of political party systems and party membership.
  4. Explain how political party systems and memberships link citizen participation to policymaking.
  5. Explain how social movements and interest groups affect social and political change.
  6. Describe pluralist and corporatist interest group systems.
Like previous units, this unit builds on itself. In other words, it is expected that you know the details of the electoral systems and characteristics of institutions like political parties ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ and interest groups before you can progress. You will take what you have learned about the systems and explain the impacts on different regimes and their authority, for example, or how regimes impact the system to maintain their authority.
As you move further into the course, you notice that each unit builds on the units prior, meaning to be truly successful with electoral systems, you need to understand factors you have previously studied like political organizations (What branches do people vote for in our course countries?) and political culture (How much impact do citizens have on their institutions? Is there rule by law or rule of law being employed)?

Key Terms ๐Ÿ”Ž

Here are some key concepts that you should know before you jump into this Unit's topics:
  • Elections ๐Ÿ—ณ- refers to the formal process in which voters cast their ballots to select individuals for office.
    • Questions to keep in mind: What makes elections fair and competitive? Why are they important?
  • Proportional Representation % - refers to a voting system in which the number of seats won by a political party refer to the number of votes they got for an election.
    • Questions: Which nations use proportional representation? How is it different?
  • Plurality vs. Majority ๐Ÿ‘‘ - whereas majority refers to the greater part, or more than half, plurality refers to the system of voting that elects that candidate that essentially has the most number of votes.
    • Questions: Which countries have a majority and a plurality voting process? What is the difference?
  • Party ๐Ÿ‘ฏ - consits of a group of people that have similiar ideology and goals and that seek to influence public policy and that typically have a formal system and rules (which we will investigate in this unit!)
    • Question to keep in mind: What is the importance of parties in a democracy vs. authoritarin regime?
  • Interest Groups ๐Ÿค” - consists of organizations that attempt to shape public policy and advocate for certain issues.
    • Question: How do interest groups influence politics? What is the difference in their activity in authoritarian vs. democratic regimes?
  • Corporatism ๐Ÿค‘ - ideology that advocates for a creation of a society that works in collaboration between the government, businesses and labor.
    • Question: What is corporatist interest?
Now that we know what to expect, let's transition to our first topic, 4.1: Electoral Systems and Rules.
Browse Study Guides By Unit
๐Ÿ‘‘Unit 1 โ€“ Political Systems, Regimes, & Governments
โš–๏ธUnit 2 โ€“ Political Institutions
๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธUnit 3 โ€“ Political Culture & Participation
๐Ÿ˜Unit 4 โ€“ Party, Electoral Systems, & Citizen Organizations
๐Ÿ—Unit 5 โ€“ Political & Economic Changes & Development
โœ๏ธFrequently Asked Questions
๐Ÿ“Exam Skills

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