Political Science: Effectiveness of the Political Systems in Sweden, Brazil and Vietnam

Authority effectiveness is determined by the degree of goals achievement. Besides, an inalienable function of authority is maintainance, development, and adaptation of the whole system. For common people, the better authority provides progressive advance of society, expressed in life level growth, the more effective it is. At a deep level, government is estimated by possibility of self-realization it gives. This estimation is expressed in different displays of trust degree to the authority bodies (Huntington 41).

Thus, the efficiency problem is directly related to the problem of society’s acknowledgement of lawfulness and justice of the political power, its institutes, decisions and actions, i.e. legitimacy. To get the society’s steady acknowledgement, political power must have support of layers interests of which it relates to citizens’ prosperity.

Effectiveness as a notion was introduced by S. Lipset in his work “Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics” in 1960. Effectiveness is a source of legitimacy and, simultaneously, a bridge promoting the change of one type of legitimate power by another one (Lipset 23).

Lipset divided all the political systems into 4 groups: 1) legitimate, but not effective enough; 2) effective, but not legitimate enough; 3) political systems both legitimate and efficient; 4) systems lacking both legitimacy and efficiency potential. This scheme helps to trace 3 stages of political stability: unstable with the lost legitimacy and efficiency; relatively stable lacking one of parameters; stable, having economically effective legitimate power.

There is a connection between economic development, measured by the GDP level, and the political institutes’ character. The detected by Lipset regularities ”“ sharp increase of existence possibility of stable democracies at achieving high levels of economic development and social structure characteristics (level of education, urbanization) related to them – confirmed, though, there are exceptions like India or Singapore (Lipset 113).

Thus, our further analysis will be based on criteria of goal achieving, legitimacy, adaptiveness, stability and economical growth.

In the countries of West-European tradition steady democracies, as a rule, are formed at lower GDP levels, than in the developing countries. For example, Sweden is a state of democratic political regime, whose form of government is limited parliamentary monarchy.

Constitution proclaims the hereditary King the head of the state, however, his authority is actually of formal character. The King performs mainly ceremonial duties. His functions as the executive power head are constitutionally settled on the government (Derbyshire 45).

Highest agency of State power is the parliament Riksdag, unicameral representative body, elected for 3 year by general election. The Constitution gives Riksdag the considerable volume of legislative rights. Among the most important functions of parliament is determination of state financial policy. Parliament has right to declare war and make peace. It controls governmental activity, administrative, judicial machinery, and local authorities.

Executive power is assigned to the Cabinet of ministers, formed at direct participation of Riksdag and responsible to it. Government authority is presently quite vast, mainly because most rights, belonging earlier to the King, are now exercised by the government. The basic issues of economic, social and political life are solved by the Cabinet which only must inform the King about the accepted measures (Derbyshire 47).

Due to its political system simultaneously legitimate and effective, Sweden is a stable democracy and has high economic growth indexes. As and rule, high-industrial and postindustrial societies are stable democracies. Traditional agrarian societies are, as a rule, stable monarchies, experiencing though convulsions because of the “dynastic cycle”. Between these two levels is a period of political instability of young, unsteady democracies, social revolutions, totalitarian experiments, and unsteady authoritarian regimes (Crozier 127).

Only in 1988 Brazil was proclaimed a democratic legal state. As a model of territorial and state structure the federal presidential republic is accepted (Derbyshire 203).

A legislature is performed by the National congress, consisting of Chamber of Deputies and Federal Senate, both having equal authorities and controlling each other. Legislative initiative right is possessed by deputies and senators, President, Federal Supreme Court, higher courts, prosecutor general and citizens (popular initiative).

Federal executive power belongs to the President and the Cabinet of Ministers headed by him. The President appoints ministers, possesses veto right, issues acts having law power, he is the Supreme Commander-in-chief and has the right to declare war. The head of state appoints the members of the Federal Supreme Court, prosecutor general, chairman and directors of central bank (Derbyshire 205).

However, the Brazil party system is characterized by extreme fragmentarity and polarization. There are over 40 political parties registered.

The main role is played by the party leader’s personality. Coalitions are created taking into account conjuncture interests.

Important changes happened in the presidency period of F.H.Cardoso (1994 – 2002). Substantial adjustments were made to classic neoliberal policy; in particular, the role of the state in the economic regulation was revised. Privatization obtained systematic character. Attention was focused on strengthening the legal state. At the same time, social problems weren’t solved, agrarian reform proceeded too slowly. Eventually, the reforms didn’t show the expected results, social disintegration and polarization grew, privatization was accompanied by large-scale corruption, usual for countries in the transient stage.

Unfavorable economic situation and necessity to return the trust of entrepreneurs and part of middle layers made the government of Lula da Silva (2003) to reject radical slogans and provide a considerable succession of domestic policy, which caused disappointment of part of the left electorate and intensified contradictions within Worker’s Party.

Ineffective authority cannot remain legitimate for long. Illegitimate authority cannot be effective neither in achieving goals nor in assignment: losing legitimacy governmental actions meet society’s active resistance (Lipset 38).

Transition to the postindustrial epoch shakes the foundation of authoritarian regimes’ economic efficiency. Exhausting of industrial policy possibilities as a tool of development, its concentration on regressing branches protection, reduce the role of public investments as a factor of economic growth. Authoritarian establishments removal begins, and young democracies form, as it happens in Brazil (Przeworski 136).

An alternative method of political stability problem solution is forming of “closed” democracies (No dictator for life, but the political elite agrees about the mechanisms of regular transmission of power). For many years such system of government was considered an example to follow in many states of Latin America and Asia (Crozier 128).

On the other hand, the successful countries of Western Europe serve an exemplar for developing Orients. However, the set European establishments often reflect problems accumulating in postindustrial society. Their borrowing by the less developed Eastern countries creates serious difficulties in providing strong economic growth (Della Porta 350).

Vietnam is a parliamentary republic, whose Constitution states: “Party leads, people dominate, state manages”. Vietnam Communist Party is the only party, occupying leading position in the political system. Presently it counts over 2 million people (Derbyshire 412).

All the power in a country belongs to the people who realize it through the National Assembly, a unicameral higher representative body, performing legislature, making basic decisions in the issues of domestic and external policy, executes the supreme control over all state bodies’ activity. It also elects the Permanent Committee of deputies, the President and Vice-President, Council of Ministers (government), chairman of the Supreme People’s Court, prosecutor general. The head of state is the President, who is elected by the NA for 5 years. He is answerable to the NA. Council of Ministers is the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, its higher executive and regulatory body, and its responsible to the NA too (Derbyshire 414).

In general, the political pattern can be described as a party-state system. All legislative, executive and judicial bodies function under the direction of the VCP.

In 1986 the VCP initiated radical changes, proclaiming the course “renovation” policy, transition from socialistic planned economics to the market economy with a socialistic orientation. Since 1992 the denationalization of industrial companies takes place, foreign investments attraction and joint ventures creation are encouraged. Despite economic successes of recent years, Vietnam remains an underdeveloped and poor country, and belongs to ineffective countries, possessing, however, legitimacy and trust of its people.

Possibility to use flexibility of early democracy establishments for the solution of long-term social and economic problems, generated by postindustrial development, appeared to be limited here. Importing European institutes’ stability, countries also import their rigidity (Della Porta 357). The conditions of modern economic growth, being the process of large socio-economic changes, demand society’s and elites’ ability to regularly conduct reforms of socio-economic structures. At this stage it’s a condition of successful adaptation to new challenges, ability to maintain the place in the group of leaders (Przeworski 204).

Authority effectiveness is not limited to its ability to control the situation in society, it also promotes the socio-economic problems solution.

Social conflict thus appears under authority’s control because it succeeds to involve the society basic layers in the reforms and development process. Adequate political leadership, skillful use and transformation of political institutes, extend the value of effective power, declining the potential of public violence and providing society integration (Huntington 42). Thus, Sweden is here an example of effectively arranged political structure.

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