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:
Write 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 while adhering strictly to APA style of reference.
- 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.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
- Robinson, J. (2006). Economic development and democracy. Annual Review of Political Science, 9, 503–527. Retrieved from http://scholar.harvard.edu/jrobinson/publications/economic-development-and-democracy
- Constitution Finder. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2, 2014, from http://confinder.richmond.edu/
- National Constitutions. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2, 2014, from http://www.constitution.org/cons/natlcons.htm