Democracies Around the World
The United States government has been the reference point for democratic governance throughout the course thus far, but this week the focus turns to democracies around the world. Are they similar to or different from democracy in the United States? Do they have a president as the head of state? Do they have separation of powers or three separate branches of government? Which governing body develops public policy and which implements it? As a student of governance and public policy, you are encouraged to explain how other countries “do” democratic governance. Begin by browsing the Internet for official government websites of various nations. You might be surprised by what you find. This week, you explore democracies around the world and consider how they compare to democracy in the United States.
- Analyze similarities and differences in governance and public policy in democracies around the world
- Analyze the development, enactment, and implementation of public policy
Discussion: Democracies Around the World
The United States does not have a monopoly on democracy. Democratic governance is flourishing in other nations around the world. Not all democracies are alike, however. Citizens adapt democratic governance to meet their local needs and conform to their cultural mores. The United Kingdom and the United States are held up as leading examples of democratic governance. Both nations are long established and robust, yet each approaches democratic governance differently. The United Kingdom has a parliamentary government, while the United States has a presidential government. Comparing and contrasting different approaches to democratic governance is an excellent way for you to increase your knowledge of how other governments work and at the same time gain new insights into how you are governed in your own country.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review the article “Duration of Party Control in Parliamentary and Presidential Governments: A Study of 65 Democracies, 1950 to 1998” in this week’s Learning Resources. Take note of similarities and differences between parliamentary and presidential governments.
- Review the article “Economic Development and Democracy” in this week’s Learning Resources. Focus on the comparisons made between development and democracy. Consider how the information in this article might inform a comparison between nations.
- Peruse the Internet for official government websites of nations around the world. Identify at least two nations, other than your home nation, that have forms of democracy and browse the website for each.
- Focus on the specific form of democracy that exists in the nations you identified.
- Consider the similarities and differences between each of the governments and with the United States, paying particular attention to types of governing bodies (i.e., Senate, Parliament, House of Lords) within each government, which bodies are responsible for day-to-day government operations, and which are involved in developing or implementing public policy.
- Think about similarities and differences between the three countries and then between them and the United States in terms of governance and public policy.
With these thoughts in mind:
This is the question
Post a brief description of democracy in the nations you selected. Explain the similarities and differences of democracy in this nation(s) with democracy in the United States in terms of governance and public policy. Alternatively, you may explain the similarities and differences of democracy in 2 of the 3 nations you studied. Also, share at least one insight you gained and/or conclusion you drew based on your comparison.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.
References or sources to use
Maeda, K., & Nishikawa, M. (2006). Duration of party control in parliamentary and presidential governments: A study of 65 democracies, 1950 to 1998.
Comparative Political Studies, 39(3), 352–374.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.