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HISTORICAL, POLITICAL, CONSTITUTIONAL AND DIPLOMATIC TERMS - 01

PUBLISHED BY: SURENDER KUMAR
OCTOBER 25, 2012

   
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 HISTORICAL, POLITICAL, CONSTITUTIONAL AND DIPLOMATIC TERMS - 01

ADJOURNMENT MOTION
A motion moved by a member in a legislative house (assembly/ parliament) to draw the attention of the government to a matter of urgent public importance or interest.

 

 

 
AMNESTY
A general pardon, especially for political offences against the State. In India, such an amnesty is typically given on the eve of the Independence Day to political prisoners, who have displayed good conduct during their stay in the jail.

 

 

 
APARTHEID (MALANISM)
An African term which means complete segregation of the non-whites from the whites (racial discrimination). Practiced in South Africa in the past until it was dismantled by the FW de Clark government in the 1990s in response to Nelson Mandela's historic struggle.

 

 

ARMISTICE
A policy of economic self-sufficiency of a nation. Secured at the cost of other nations; especially practiced by many nations during 1920.

 

 

 

BLACK-OUT
A sudden extinction of all lights; a safeguard against air raids. Can also refer to a power outage during times of peace.

 

 

 

BICAMERAL SYSTEM
The form of legislature which has two Chambers or Houses as opposed to a unicameral system having only one House of legislature. For example, Indian Parliament, Sttae Legislature in some states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

 

 

 

BUFFER STATE
A smaller state lying between potentially hostile larger States, reducing the risk of war between them. Poland was a buffer State between Germany and Russia; Belgium is a buffer State between France and Germany.

 

 

CABINET GOVERNMENT
A form of government in which the Executive, a Council of Ministers, is responsible to the legislature. It is also called the parliamentary system.

 

 

 

COLD WAR
A state of apparent peace between two powerful countries or blocs, but they exhibit mutual hostility through press, radio, etc.

 

It is often used to describe the relationship that had existed between the Soviet Union and the Western Powers since 1947. The cold war has now almost abated with the frequent summits between President Bush and Mr. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader.
 

 

 

CHARGE D'AFFAIRES
An official in a diplomatic mission or an embassy who is an acting ambassador in his absence.

 

 

 
CONSULS
Commercial representatives abroad are styled as Consuls.

 

 

 
CONDOMINIUM
A joint rule of a territory by two or more nations, as Sudan was under the joint rule of England and Egypt till 1955.

 

 
 

CASTING VOTE
The deciding vote of the presiding officer of the house / chamber in case of a tie on an issue.
 

 

 

DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM
A logical method of historical analysis associated with the name of Karl Marx and his collaborator, Engles. Marx had borrowed this method from Hegel, according to whom history was the product of the clash of opposing ideas. He viewed history as a conflict between two opposing forces, thesis and anti-thesis, which is resolved by the emergence of a new force, synthesis. Present conditions are due to a class struggle between the capitalists, who are motivated by private profit, and the workers, who resist exploitation. This conflict will inevitably lead to a revolution by which the workers will overthrow capitalism and capture power themselves. Marxian ideology has not stood the ravages of time. It is being discarded by most of the countries which had embraced it earlier.

 

 

 

DEMAGOGY
Inciting people by lies, false promises, half-truths, appeal to passions as opposed to reason and logic.

 

 

 

EXTRADITION
Handing over an accused fugitive for justice by one country to the other.

 

 

 

FOURTH ESTATE
It refers to the Press.

 

 

 
FIFTH COLUMN
A term used to describe traitors, people who help the enemy in times of war.

 

 

 
FASCISM
An anti-Communist, dictatorial political system evolved by Mussolini and his followers in Italy after 1922. The Italian fascism was a model for similar movements in other countries including Germany where it evolved into Nazism.

 

 

 
GLASNOST
A term  which implies more openness of the society and freeing the media from the overwhelming state control.

 

 

HOTLINE
A direct telephone between two nations, especially which are hostile to each other, to prevent accidental war. Any line of speedy communication ready for an emergency.
 

 

 

IRON CURTAIN
A term first used by Winston Churchill for such countries which do not give other countries any information concerning their internal affairs. The term was applied to the erstwhile Soviet Russia and her satellites.

 

 

 

McCARTHYISM
The policy of screening the U.S. officials to discover their communist tendencies, adopted by John McCarthy, a U.S. Senator. It evoked strong protests from all quarters thus resulting in the censuring of his policy.

 

 

 

MARXISM
The thought developed by Kari Marx, along with Engels. According to him, the State throughout history has been a tool for the exploitation of the masses by a dominant class; class struggle has been the main tool of historical change; the capitalist State contains the seedsgerms of its own destruction; a revolution is inevitable; and after a transitional period known as the dictatorship of the proletariat, a stateless and classless society will come into being.

 

 

 
NATURALIZATION
A process by which an alien is allowed to enjoy the privileges of a natural born citizen.

 

 

 

OLIGARCHY
A government in which the supreme power is in a few privileged hands.

 

 

 
PANCHSHEEL
Five principles enunciated by the Prime Ministers of India and of People’s Republic of China in 1954 as the basis for international co-operation. They are :

 
1. Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty

 

2. Non-aggression

 

3. Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs

 

4. Equality and mutual benefits

 

5. Peaceful co-existence

 

 

 

PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT
As contrasted by the presidential system, parliamentary government is one in which the real executive (a cabinet headed by the Prime Minister) is responsible to the legislature. It is also called the cabinet form of government.

 

 

 

PERESTROIKA
A term used to imply restructuring of the economic system to increase production and make available more consumer products to the people.

 

 

 

PLEBISCITE
A referendum regarding self-determination of future political status. Many organizations have been demanding a plebiscite in Kashmir to decide its future political status, whether the Kashmiris want to live with India or Pakistan or independently.

 

 

 

 

PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM
A system of government in which the President is the real executive head and is independent of legislative control as in the U.S.A. The President is the Head of State as well as of the Government.

 

 

 

QUORUM
The bare minimum number of officers or members of a society or legislature who must be present to make the proceedings valid.

 

 

 

REFERENDUM
A process by which all important laws and amendments, after having been passed by the legislature, are put to the vote of the electorate. The people may ratify or reject them. This procedure is mostly followed in Switzerland.

 

 

 

REPUBLIC
A State, especially a democratic one, which has a non-hereditary head (the President) as distinguished from a State like Britain which has a hereditary head (King or Queen) with limited powers, of course.

 

 

 

RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT
The form of Government in which the executive is responsible to the elected legislature. It is also called parliamentary or cabinet form of government.

 

 

 

RULE OF LAW
Means that all persons are equal in the eye of law without any distinction of status, colour, caste and sex, and that the government cannot exercise any arbitrary powers.

 

 

 

SNAP DIVISION
A vote or division taken unexpectedly and in which the respective strength of different parties may not be correctly indicated.

 
 

 

SOCIALISM
A political and economic theory according to which land, transport, chief industries, natural resources (e.g. coal, water-power), etc. should be owned and managed by the State, or by public bodies in the interests of the community as a whole.

 

 

 

SPOILS SYTEM
The practice of giving offices as reward by a successful party leader to his partisans for their services. It prevails mostly in the U.S.A.

 

 

 

TOTALITARIANISM
A system in which the State (or those in power) dominates every sphere of an individual’s life.

 

 
 

TERRITORIAL WATERS
Refer to the belt of sea under a State’s territorial jurisdiction. For example, India's territorial jurisdiction runs up to 12 nautical miles.

 

 

 

VETO
The constitutional ir legal right of a person to reject or prohibit something.

 

 

 
WHIP
Organizing secretary of a parliamentary party, with authority over its members to maintain discipline and secure attendance at parliamentary debates and voting. Whip also means an order given by such a secretary to members of the party to attend a debate and vote.

 

 

ZIONISM
Literally pertaining to the Jews. This movement was started towards the end of the 19th century to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine. The terms now implies the expanding frontiers of Israel.

 




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