From the award-winning team behind the International Encyclopaedia of Political Science... Moving beyond mainstream “traditional” approaches to bring you a new advanced-level introduction to political science. A perfect introduction for postgraduates who are new to political science, as well as upper-level undergraduates looking to broaden and deepen their understanding of core topics, this progressive account: • Guides you through all key areas of political science: origins, methodological foundations, key topics, and current issues • Takes an international and pluralist perspective with all issues explored in a comparative way related to different cultural and historical contexts • Includes pulled-out descriptions of major concepts, further reading and self-assessment questions at the end of each chapter.

Government, Parliament and Judiciary

Government, Parliament and Judiciary

Key terms

  • Bicameralism/Unicameralism
  • Cabinet
  • Fusion of powers
  • Governance
  • Government
  • Judicial independence
  • Party government
  • Representation
  • Rule of law
  • Separation of powers
  • Technocratic government


When in The Spirit of Laws (1748) Montesquieu developed his constitutional theory on the separation of powers, he based it on the three main powers that characterize a Rechtsstaat, namely the rule of law in a constitutional arrangement. These are the executive power, i.e. the government; the legislative power, i.e. the parliament; and the judicial power or judiciary. In more recent times and in other areas of the world, the famous political leader Sun Yat-sen in China also referred to those three powers. In their general theory of politics Gabriel Almond and Bingham Powell (1966, Chapter 6 and 1978, Chapters 9 and 10) developed their theory through ...

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