Up Human Rights Examples Democracy Parties European Union United Nations Globalisation Sustainability Teaching Politics Peace Education Methods


Basic course 1
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Political parties make up one of the most important elements in today's modern mass societies. Born out of society, political parties act as mediators between citizens and state institutions in most modern-day democracies. The influence brought to bear by political parties usually touches upon many areas of state. Members of political parties hold state office. Some people regard this amount of influence as going too far and they criticize the system for allowing parties too much power.

During the course of this Main Subject Group, which is closely connected to the Main Subject Group of Democracy - especially basic course 4, we will be asking, firstly, what parties are, where they originate and what their function is in the political system. We will be focusing on the role parties play as mediators between the "people and the state" - a task that they perform in close coordination with associations, the media and other institutions. Secondly, we will present two important party political systems namely the ones in the US and Great Britain. We will end by addressing some of the most important criticisms of modern-day party-political democracies: Have they degenerated into party-political states?

"Party is organized opinion."
[Benjamin Disraeli]

"A party is the sum of those who believe that they are of one opinion."
[Charles Tschopp]

"A party can only ever be one tool. And there is only ever one purpose: power."
[Jean Paul Sartre]

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SubjectsHuman Rights  I  Democracy  I  Parties  I  Examples  I  Europe  I  Globalisation  I  United Nations  I  Sustainability

Methods:    Teaching Politics    II    Peace Education    II    Methods



This online service on the subject of political education was developed by agora-wissen, the Stuttgart-based Gesellschaft für Wissensvermittlung über neue Medien und politische Bildung (GbR) (Partnership for the Exchange of Information Using New Media and Political Education). Please contact us with your questions or comments. Translation from German into English by twigg's Übersetzung deutsch-englisch.