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Unit 1

1.0 Unit 1 Overview: Political Systems, Regimes, and Governments

3 min readโ€ขnovember 5, 2021

kelly-cotton

Kelly Cotton


AP Comparative Governmentย ๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ

Bookmarkedย 1.3kย โ€ขย 71ย resources
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Unit 1 Overview: Political Systems, Regimes, and Governments

There is one thing you need to know about this unit (okay, I lied, two things!):
  1. How does a political system impact the lives of its people on a daily basis?
  2. How do comparative political scientists generate meaningful conclusions that can then be used to try and identify and explain trends and patterns in other nations?
Before we get into unit 1, let's take a quick second to look at the course as a whole ๐Ÿ™‚ The course is divided into 5๏ธโƒฃ five units covering:
  • How government gains power ๐Ÿ’ช and legitimacy
  • Institutions (stable, long-lasting organizations that help turn political ideas into actual policy. Think of legislatures and political parties!)
  • Culture and participation ๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ
  • Elections
  • Political and economic ๐Ÿ’น change

Core Course Countries

The course will ask you to demonstrate what you have learned about each of these topics through six 6๏ธโƒฃ countries, called the Core Course Countries:
  1. UK ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง: When you use the term UK or United Kingdom we are referring to the combination of Scotland ๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ, Great Britain ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง, and Northern Ireland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช. For the purposes of this course the UK is used as an example of a democratic ๐Ÿ™‹regime, as well as a parliamentary system.
    https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-EQG0rT2V6cH2.png?alt=media&token=591e7d8a-c6d2-4d2f-9745-8b2aa6dd5831

    UK Map. Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia

  2. Russia ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ: Russia came into existence again after the Soviet Union broke ๐Ÿ’” up in 1991. Russia is used as an example of an authoritarian ๐Ÿ‘‘ regime and a semi-presidential ๐Ÿ™Œ system.
    https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-pyHs3SlLysy7.png?alt=media&token=882bca0a-717b-4266-9f1d-198006decf3e

    Map of Russia. Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia

  3. Iran ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท as a course country is quite interesting because it is an authoritarian ๐Ÿ‘‘ regime, but it is also an example of a theocratic ๐Ÿ•Œ government. Unlike the first two course countries, the UK and Russia, Iran cannot be identified as a semi-presidential, presidential, or parliamentary system, but more on that in Unit 2 Political Institutions ๐Ÿ›
    https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-WRFM5ECHKeBO.png?alt=media&token=a67c6bc6-8e45-4316-9725-8154eb532374

    Map of Iran. Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia

  4. Mexico ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ: This country, much like the UK, is an example of a democratic ๐Ÿ™‹ regime, however unlike the UK, Mexico is an example of a presidential ๐Ÿคด system.
    https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2FMexico_map_(english)-ENNu9IwCDUVX.png?alt=media&token=edcbb762-2774-47ba-b3d3-43c208083f08

    Map of Mexico. Courtesy of commons.wikimedia

  5. China ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ: This country is an authoritarian ๐Ÿ‘‘ regime, similar to Russia and Iran. Much like Iran, the course does not categorize China as a presidential, semi-presidential, or parliamentary system, but once again we will talk ๐Ÿ’ฌ about that in Unit 2 Political Institutions.
    https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-YEMrbory96vH.png?alt=media&token=f50e7aad-1a0d-4bb4-9ba6-60b769b3705e

    Map of China. Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia

  6. Nigeria ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ: This country, much like the UK, is an example of a democratic ๐Ÿ™‹ regime, however unlike the UK, Nigeria is similar to Mexico in that it is an example of a presidential ๐Ÿคด system.
    https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-9vRn6oqCCNW9.png?alt=media&token=5bbf7b61-a202-4046-88c9-a401b8e23752

    Map of Nigerian Linguistic Groups. Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia

In addition, you also need to know about Supranational Organizations. These are organizations like the EU ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ that encourage states to pool ๐ŸŽฐ their sovereignty together in order to receive economic ๐Ÿค‘, political ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš–๏ธ, and social ๐Ÿ‘จโ€โš•๏ธ benefit, but more on that later.

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๐Ÿ“Exam Skills
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๐Ÿ‘‘Unit 1: Political Systems, Regimes, and Governments
โš–๏ธUnit 2: Political Institutions
๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธUnit 3: Political Culture and Participation
๐Ÿ’‚โ€โ™‚๏ธUnit 4: Party and Electoral Systems and Citizen Organizations
๐Ÿ—Unit 5: Political and Economic Changes and Development
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