Governments determine what rights if any are given to its citizens • Autocratic • Oligarchic • Democratic
autocratic • Ruler has absolute power to do as he wishes • Makes and enforces laws of his choosing • Citizens do not have any rights: • Cannot choose their leaders • Cannot vote on which laws are made • Little power to use against the gov’t if they disagree with decisions or laws • Saudi Arabia is a monarchy where the king has all the power. This is an example of an autocratic gov’t
oligarchy • Means “governed by a few” • A political party or small group of people takes over the gov’t and makes all of the major decisions • Citizens have little choice or power to make changes • Iran and Syria are oligarchies • Iran: • Small group of religious and political leaders make many of the important decisions
Democracy • Citizens play a greater role in deciding who the leaders are and what decisions are made • Means “demos” which means “people” in Greek • Goal is to leave as much individual freedom as possible but still have rules that organize society • Decisions are made by a majority vote • Citizens have power to ask gov’t for help when they feel their rights have been violated • Israel is a democracy • Iraq is hoping to establish a democratic gov’t
Summary questions • Who makes most of the important decisions in an autocracy? • Which Middle East country is an autocracy? • Who makes most of the important decisions in an oligarchy? • Which Middle East country is an oligarchy? • Why do citizens have more power in a democracy than in an autocracy or oligarchy? • Which Middle East country is a democracy?