Topic 2.3: Executive Systems
This topic is focused on the executive systems in each of our course counties, and how the structure and function ⛓️ of those systems reflect the allocation of political power within each of the Comp Gov countries.
If you spent time with us in Unit 1, you know that AP Comparative Government is a very vocabulary heavy course, so that's where we'll need to start. 🏋️ Didn't get to check out 😎 Unit 1 yet? Make sure to look 👀 it over:
Topic 2.3 Key Terms 📇
😎Head of Government—The executive leader or chief executive. Responsible for formulating, implementing, and executing policies through a cabinet and/or various government agencies.
🤵🏽 Head of State—Represents a nation in ceremonial functions. In some governments, this individual can also have formal powers to shape foreign policy.
👮🏾♂️ Commander in Chief—The top governmental official in charge of military decisions.
👔 Prime Minister—The leader of the legislature is also the head of government, in charge of formulating, implementing, and executing policies through different agencies.
👥 Executive Cabinet—Top government officials in charge of formulating, implementing, and executing policies through different agencies.
💻 🏢 Civil Service—Permanent members of bureaucratic agencies who implement laws and government regulations.
What is unique about this topic is that AP Exam has each key concept focus on one of the course countries and how the executive branch is structured and functions in that country, so we will do the same. We will do this two ways:
1) We will go through each country in a short paragraph and cover the structure and function 👀
2) We will create a chart to examine the countries all together so that you have a visual comparison 🎉
Structure and Function of Executive Branch—Course Countries
1.🇬🇧 UK. Has a head of government and head of state. The monarch 👑 serves as the head of state (passed through bloodlines) and is primarily a ceremonial 🤴 role in the modern era, with little formal powers over the government. The head of government is the prime minister (selected from the majority party in parliament and formally appointed by the monarch). The prime minister is responsible for leading the legislature and cabinets 🗄️ in formulating, implementing, and executing policies through different agencies.
2. 🇷🇺 Russia. Has a semi-presidential system in which the prime minister and president coexist. The directly elected 🗳️ president is the head of state 🤵🏽 and is commander in chief 👮🏾♂️, appoints the top ministers, conducts foreign policy, and presides over the Duma in certain cases. The prime minister is the head of government and oversees the civil service (bureaucratic agencies).
3. 🇮🇷 Iran. The Supreme Leader is, in theory, elected and overseen by the Assembly of Experts, not the people, and is the head of state in Iran. The supreme leader 👨💼 is the self-appointed political and religious 🛐 authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The supreme leader is commander in chief, and he appoints top officials. The president, the head of government, is elected by the people, serves a 4-year term, and oversees civil service and foreign policy. Already, we can see this is a bit different than the head of state in the UK 🇬🇧, which has little to no power. In Iran, the head of state has greater power and the president reports to them.
4. 🇳🇬 Nigeria. The people elect 🗳️ the president in Nigeria directly, and he is both head of state and head of government. The president serves as chief executive, commander in chief, and head of civil service 👨💼 The president also approves domestic policy and conducts foreign policy. Finally, the president appoints the cabinet with the senate.
5. 🇨🇳 China. Top leaders of the Chinese Communist Party 🇭🇰 determine top governing officials without input from the people, including the president. The president is commander in chief of the military and general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. The president 🏢 nominates an individual to be the premier, who is the head of government, overseeing the civil service in particular. Any changes in top leadership happen secretly 🤫 and without the input of the people.
6. 🇲🇽 Mexico. The people elect 🗳️ the president in Mexico directly and he is both head of state and head of government. The president serves as chief executive, commander in chief 👮♂️, and head of the civil service. The president also approves domestic policy 🗣️ and conducts foreign policy. The president appoints members of the cabinet, although some positions need the approval of the senate.
Executive Structure and Function—Course Countries
|UK||Presidential||Monarch-Head of State Prime Minister-Head of Government||Monarch—Ceremonial Figure Head/Little to No Power. Prime Minister—responsible for leading the legislature and cabinets in formulating, implementing, and executing policies through different agencies.|
|Russia||Semi-Presidential||President-Head of State Prime Minister-Head of Government||President- Commander in Chief, oversees Foreign Policy, Prime Minister-oversees civil service|
|Iran||N/A - Authoritarian||Supreme Leader-Head of State President-Head of Government||Supreme Leader-Commander in Chief, appoints top leaders President-oversees civil service and foreign policy|
|Nigeria||Presidential||President-Head of State and Head of Government||President- commander in chief, responsible for leading the legislature and cabinets in formulating, implementing, and executing policies through different agencies.|
|China||N/A - Authoritarian||President-Head of State Premier-Head of Government||President-commander in chief, oversees all top appointmentsPremier-oversees civil service|
|Mexico||Presidential||President-Head of State and Head of Government||President- commander in chief, responsible for leading the legislature and cabinets in formulating, implementing, and executing policies through different agencies.|
Although countries may share 🔗 structures and functions, the type of regime impacts how the structures function. Let's look at the UK 🇬🇧 and Iran 🇮🇷 as an example:
Each has a head of state and a head of government, but the UK is a democratic regime, while Iran is an authoritarian 👑 regime. This impacts the powers of the head of state and head of government. In the UK, the head of state has given over power to parliament over time, so the head of state 🙋is more ceremonial 🎑 In Iran, the supreme leader is head of state and is in control of the political and religious well-being of Iran. The head of government reports to him.