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Political and Legal Systems Cheat Sheet by

Legal systems


Totali­tarian system subord­inates the individual to the interests of the collective
Dissent is eliminated through indoct­rin­ation, persec­ution, survei­llance, propag­anda, censor­ship, and violence
Types of totali­tar­ianism
Tolerates no deviation from state ideology. Deviation = punish­ment. Officals reg politics, pay less attention to social and economic structure of society.
Organises nationed using corpor­atist perspe­ctives, values and systems. Controls, using force and indoct­rine, minds, souls and daily existance. North Korea, Burma.
Single party controls elections, tolerates dissent as long as does not challenge state, suppresses other ideolo­gies.
Gov is an expression of prefered diety. Leaders claim to represent its interests on earth. Applis acient dogma rather than modern beliefs. Strick social and gender reg. Iran, Afgani­stan, Saudi Arabia.
Engines of totali­tar­ianism
Economic develo­pment, incons­ist­ancies, economic problems, standards of democracy
Monopo­lises power and uses it to regulate most / all areas of life.

Wide world of legal systems

Why are legal systems important?

Regulate business practices
Defines business policies, rights and obliga­tions involved in business transa­ctions
Because government of a country make laws they differ from country to country
Different countries have different laws and regula­tions, knowledge of common law, civil law, contract laws, laws governing property rights, product safety and liability for a country helps in business decisions.

Common law

Relies upon
Judge made precen­dents
How are decisions made
Refering to previous judgem­ents, custom, reasoning. Only considers legisl­ation after consid­ering these factors.
US, Canada, HK, NZ, England, India, Australia

Civil law summary

Relies upon
Systematic codeif­ication of access­able, detailed laws. Political officals translate legal principles into statutes.
How are decisions made
Judges apply statutes to resolve disputes. Unbound by precedent. Judges are constr­aining in interp­ret­ation of law.
Approx 150: Germany, Japan, France, Mexico.
Most widespread type of law

Theocratic law summary

Relies upon
Religious doctrain, precepts and beliefs. Legal auth is placed in religious leaders. They regulate business transa­ctions and social relations based on sacred text. No separation of church and state.
How are decisions made
Based on sacred text.
Muslim and islamic are the most prevalent

Customary law summary

Relies upon
Norms of behaviour practiced over a long time
How are decisions made
Indivi­duals recogn­ising benefits of conforming to community standards
Plays a role in countries with mixed legal systems
Indigenous law

Democracy summary

All citizens are politi­cally and legally equal
Entitled to freedom:
Yes. Thought, opinion, belief, speech, and associ­ation
Equally command sovereign power over public officials
Refers to the primacy of the rights and role of the indivi­dual.
Types of democracy
Originates in a consti­tution that protects individual freedoms and liberties. Elected reps hold ultimate soveri­gnty, but must act in peoples interests. Officals rep voters. US, Japan
3 or more parties govern. Leadership can not legislate without neg with oposition. Canada, Germany, Ital, Israel
Citizens elect reps to a leg branch called parliament
Applies democratic means to power transition from Capitalist to Socialism. Giv regs capitalism to control tendancy towards injustice. Norway. Sweden.
Third Wave of Democr­ati­zation
number of democr­acies doubled in two decades
Engines of Democracy
failure of totali­tarian regimes to deliver economic progress, Improved commun­ication tech, economic dividends offered by increasing political freedom
Democr­acy’s retreat
Only 26 democr­acies are full democr­acies.
A government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Political risks

Political risk refers to the risk that political decisions or events in a country negatively affect the profit­ability or sustai­nab­ility of an investment
Systemic, procee­dural, distri­butive, catast­rophic

Map of Political Freedom, 2010

Trends in legal systems

Rule of man (total­itarian )
Legal rights derive from the individual who commands the power to impose them
Rule of law (democ­ratic)
Systematic / objective laws applied by public officials who are held accoun­table for their admini­str­ation

Implic­ations for managers

Strategic issues
Country of origin and local content
Market­place behavior
Product safety and liability
Legal jurisd­iction
Intell­ectual property
Uncert­ainty of law challenges decision making. Few developing countries have decent legal systems.

Operat­ional Concerns

Starting business, contracts, hiring and firing, closing the business
Rich = less, poor = more


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