ФЕДЕРАЛЬНОЕ АГЕНТСТВО ПО ОБРАЗОВАНИЮ
Нижегородский государственный университет им. Н.И. Лобачевского
Учебно-методическое пособие по английскому языку
Рекомендовано методической комиссией факультета международных отношений для студентов высших учебных заведений, обучающихся по специальностям 030201 «Политология», 032401 «Реклама»
Основы демократии: учебно-методическое пособие по английскому языку. Нижний Новгород: Нижегородский госуниверситет, 2008 – 35 с.
Составители: Ю.С. Бузуева
Рецензент: д.полит.н, профессор М.И. Рыхтик
Учебно-методическое пособие предназначено для работы по развитию навыков чтения профессионально-ориентированных текстов, совершенствованию коммуникативных навыков устной и письменной речи в рамках тем «Демократия», «Демократическое государство», «Конституция», «Система демократических выборов», «Политические партии».
УДК 42.8 (07)
© Нижегородский государственный университет им. Н.И. Лобачевского, 2008
Настоящее учебно-методическое пособие предназначено для студентов 1-2 курсов факультета международных отношений, обучающихся по специальностям «Политология» и « Реклама».
Пособие носит комплексный характер, включая в себя систему заданий по взаимосвязанному обучению всем видам речевой деятельности с учетом запрограммированного уровня лексико-грамматических навыков и речевых умений, направленных на овладение лексикой в области политологии; оригинальные профессионально-ориентированные тексты, взятые из британских и американских СМИ; работу по развитию навыков интенсивного (подробного) и экстенсивного (просмотрового) чтения и последующего их совершенствования.
Лексический материал разработан таким образом, что лексические единицы повторяются в текстах пособия, способствуя не только расширению запаса слов обучаемых, но и его закреплению. Весь текстовый материал активно прорабатывается и должен научить обсуждать проблемы в области политологии на английском языке и участвовать в дискуссиях на заданные темы: основы демократии, демократическое государство, система выборов, политические партии и т.д.
В пособие также включены задания на отработку грамматического материала, представляющего наибольшую сложность. Авторы сочли возможным включить тексты, вызывающие при переводе затруднения, в целях развития и закрепления навыков перевода текстов в сфере профессиональной коммуникации.
При отборе текстов учитывается не только их профессиональная направленность, но и другие параметры: доступность по содержанию, наличие изучаемых лексико-грамматических единиц, а также коммуникативный подход к обучению и творческая работа студентов, что составляет основную методологическую базу учебно-методического пособия.
Последовательность и полнота выполнения заданий может быть такой как она предложена в пособии, а может быть изменена по усмотрению преподавателя в соответствии с его методическими установками или конкретными условиями обучения в той или иной студенческой группе.
Данное пособие рассчитано на широкий круг людей, изучающих английский язык: студентов языковых и неязыковых вузов.
1. Unit I “Democracy” ………………………………..5
2. Unit II “Democratic government”…………………12
3. Unit III “Constitutions”…………………………....17
4. Unit IV “Democratic Elections”…………………...21
5. Unit V “Political Parties”…………………………..28
Read the head of the unit. Investigate the idea of democracy.
representatives of the people.
(Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture)
(American Heritage Dictionary)
(American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition)
(Meriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law)
Democracy is a powerful system for social and political organization, which has spread around the world and takes many different forms.
Basically democracies are divided into two main types, direct and representative.
In a direct democracy, all citizens, without the intermediary of elected or appointed officials, can participate in making public decisions. This system is only used with small numbers of people. It can be applied in a community organization, tribal council or the local unit of a labour union, where members can meet in a room to discuss issues and take decision by consensus or majority vote.
Ancient, the world’s first democracy, practiced direct democracy with an assembly of 5000 to 6000 persons. Modern society, with its size and complexity, can hardly practise direct democracy.
Today the most common form of democracy, whether for a town of 50 000 or nations of 50 million, is representative democracy. In this type of democracy citizens elect officials to make political decisions, formulate laws for the public good.
The system of elections for such officials is different.
On the national level legislators are chosen from electoral districts that each elects only one representative. Under a system of proportional representation, each political party is represented in the legislature according to its percentage of the total vote nationwide.
Provincial and local elections can be similar to these national models, or choose their representatives more informally through group consensus instead of elections. Despite the method used, public officials in representative democracy hold office in the name of the people and are accountable to the people for their actions.
All democracies are systems in which citizens freely make political decisions by majority rule. But rule by the majority is not democratic: no one would call a system fair if 51 per cent of the population are permitted to oppress the remaining 49 per cent in the name of the majority. In a democratic society majority rule must be together with guarantees of individual or human rights that serve to protect the rights of minorities (ethnic, political, religious).
Democracy is more than a set of constitutional rules and procedures that determine how a government functions. Democracy includes not only government but also different institutions, political parties, organizations. This diversity is called pluralism, and it assumes that the many organized groups and institutions in a democratic society do not depend on government for their existence, legitimacy, authority.
These groups represent the interests of their members in many ways. They support candidates for public office, debate issues, try to influence policy decisions. With the help of such groups individuals have an avenue for participation both in government and in their own communities. The examples of such organizations are charitable organizations, churches, environmental groups, business associations and labour unions.
Pronunciation and Spelling
Skim through the text and answer the following questions:
a. What are two main types of democracy?
b. What do the two types assume?
c. What is meant by majority rule and minority right?
d. What are the characteristic features of democratic society?
Демократия – форма правления государством или политическая система, при которой власть осуществляется через прямое народовластие (прямая демократия) либо через представителей, избираемых народом или какой-то его частью (представительная демократия).
Do the Russian citizens possess the above mentioned rights, freedoms and guarantees? Yes/ No, prove with examples.
In groups of three or four discuss the main features of democracy, its advantages and disadvantages, your personal attitude to it.
Answer the following question:
Pronunciation and spelling
The system of checks and balances is one of the most characteristic features of democratic government. The system is based on the belief that government is controlled and close to the people.
In general, checks and balances has two basic features: federalism and separation of powers.
Federalism is the division of government between national, state or provincial, and local levels. For example, the United States of America is a federal republic with states that have their own legal status and authority independent of the federal government. American states cannot be abolished or changed by the federal government. Although national power in the US plays an important role, states are still responsible for such spheres as education, health, transportation and law enforcement.
The second feature of checks and balances is separation of powers. It assumes that political power is not concentrated within a single branch of the national government.
Therefore, separation of powers is a misleading term, because the system is based on shared powers more than on separate ones. For example, legislative authority in the USA belongs to the Congress, but laws passed by Congress can be voted by the president. The Congress, in turn, must assemble a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate to ignore a presidential veto. The president nominates ambassadors and members of the cabinet, and negotiates international treaties – but all are subject to approval by the Senate.
Separation of powers provides an important protection against the potential abuse of power by government.
1. Skim through the text and continue the sentences:
1. What is the main goal of the checks and balances system?
2. What does the term checks and balances mean?
In groups discuss the following question:
Compare federal systems in Russia and the USA. Write an essay devoted to this aspect.
Every democratic state has its own constitution. This is the formal statement of its fundamental obligations, procedures and institutions. The constitution of the country is the supreme law of the land, and all citizens are subject to its provisions.
The constitution is usually a single written document. It establishes the authority of the national government, provides guarantees for fundamental human rights and sets forth the government’s basic operating procedures.
Despite the monumental qualities constitutions must be flexible for change and adoption. In general, constitutions consist of articles, amendments and statutes.
Actually, there are two schools of amending a nation’s constitution.
The first one is to adopt a difficult procedure, which requires many steps and large majorities. As a result, the constitution is changed. This is the model of the USA, whose constitution is a brief statement of the general principles, powers and limits of government.
A much simpler method of amendment is to provide that any amendment may be adopted by approval of the legislature and passed by the voters at the next election. If it is possible to change constitutions in this way, they can be quite lengthy, with specific provisions that differ little from the general body of legislation.
Consult a dictionary, check and train pronunciation of the words:
Skim through the text and say whether these statements are true or false:
Verb Noun Adjective
to approve approval approved
1. to specify _________ ________
3. to state ________ ________
4. _______ authority _________
7. to amend _________ _________
Answer the following questions:
Make up a summary of the text with the use of the words from Word-study exercises.
Discuss the following questions with other students:
Think of the role of a constitution in exercising power in a country and in life of ordinary citizens. Prepare a monologue devoted to this problem.
Is it necessary for a country and its citizens to have a constitution? Why? Sum up your ideas and write an essay devoted to this topic
Look up in a dictionary the words to make sure of their pronunciation.
1. What are elections? What kinds of elections are known to you? Have you ever taken part in any elections?
2. What is understood by “democratic elections”? What elections might be called “democratic”? What features should democratic elections possess?
Read the text and find the characteristic features of democratic elections. Compare the ideas given in the text with your own ones. Have all the features been mentioned by you?
Elections are the central institution of democratic representative governments because, in every democracy, the authority of the government derives from the consent of the people. Thus, free and fair elections, where popular opinion is expressed, are the basis of any democracy.
Democratic elections possess certain characteristic features.
1. They are competitive. Opposition parties and candidates must enjoy the freedom of speech, assembly and movement. All these rights must be observed to enable the opponents to voice their criticism of the government openly and to bring alternative policies and candidates to their voters.
2. Democratic elections are periodic. It presupposes that democracies don’t usually elect dictators or presidents-for-life. On the contrary, elected officials are accountable to the people, so they must return to their voters at certain intervals to seek their mandate to continue in office. The only possible exception from the rule is judges who may be appointed for life and removed only for serious improprieties in order to protect them from popular pressure and help to ensure their impartiality.
3. Democratic elections are inclusive. A large part of the country’s population must be able to take part in the elections. A government chosen by a small, exclusive group is not a democracy, no matter how democratic its activities are.
4. Democratic elections are definitive. They determine the leadership of the government. Subject to the laws and Constitution of the country, popularly elected representatives hold the reins of power.
5. Democratic elections are not limited to selecting candidates. Voters can also be asked to decide policy issues directly through referenda and initiatives that are placed on the ballot.
When the election is over, the losers accept the decision of the voters. If the incumbent party loses, it turns over power peacefully. Both sides agree to cooperate in resolving the common problems of the society. As the next election comes around, opposition party will again have the opportunity to compete for power. Besides those defeated at the polls are offered alternatives for public service outside government. They may continue either as a formal opposition party or participate in the wider political process and debate through writing, teaching or joining private organizations concerned with public policy issues. After all, democratic elections are not a fight for survival but a competition to serve.
1. Why are elections the central institution of democratic representative governments?
2. What is understood by the competitive elections?
3. Why must the freedoms of speech, assembly and movement be observed at the elections?
4. Should democratic elections be periodic? Why/ Why not?
5. Why may judges be appointed for life?
6. In what cases may judges be removed?
7. When can a government be called democratic?
8. What do democratic elections determine?
9. What are the other ways of deciding policy except the elections?
10. How must the losers behave after the elections?
11. What are the opportunities of the defeated of taking part in the political and social life of the country?
Authority, fair elections, possess certain characteristic features, competitive, opposition parties, candidates, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, voice criticism, presuppose, officials, be accountable to, be appointed for life, serious improprieties, protect from popular pressure, ensure impartiality, hold the reins of power, decide policy issues, referendum, losers, the defeated, incumbent party, turn over power, compete for power.
Честные выборы, соревновательный, кандидаты, свобода собрания, озвучивать критику, чиновники, быть назначенным на пост пожизненно, защищать от общественного давления, держать бразды правления, референдум, партия власти, бороться за власть, обладать определенными характерными чертами, власть, партии оппозиции, свобода слова, свобода передвижения, предполагать, быть ответственным перед…, непристойное поведение, обеспечивать беспристрастность, решать политические проблемы, проигравший(2), передавать власть.
1. authority a/ express in words
2. derive from b/ look for, search for
3. voice c/ indecent behaviour
4. seek d/ holding an official post
5. be appointed e/ try to win something
6. impropriety f/ come from, originate from
7. incumbent g/ power or right to control
8. compete h/ get the post of
Verb Noun Adjective
Compete --------- competitive
----------- --------- inclusive
Define --------- definitive
------------ opposition -----------
------------ ------------ accountable
Exclude ------------ exclusive
-------------- constitution --------------
-------------- legislature --------------
-------------- objections ---------------
-------------- alternative ---------------
Phenomenon – phenomena
analysis – analyses
crisis – crises
datum – data
referendum – referenda
2. Complete the sentences with the suitable form of the words given above
Discuss the following questions.
1. One of the greatest dramas of democracy through the history has been the struggle of excluded groups – whether racial, ethnic and religious minorities, or women – to win full citizenship, and with it, the right to vote and hold office.
Do you know any examples of a liberation movement?
2. Have you ever voted at any elections?
3. Do you know any cases when elections were considered undemocratic? In what cases can it happen?
4. When are referenda held? When was the last referendum held in Russia?
Prepare a monologue on the topic “Democratic Elections are the Basis of Democracy”.
Render the following text in Russian using a dictionary.
Electoral system is any set of rules whereby the votes of citizens determine the selection of executives and legislators. Electoral systems are divided into several groups: plurality, majoritarian and proportional systems. For national elections, plurality systems are found only in Great Britain and some former British colonies (including the United States and India). Majoritarian systems are found in France and Australia for legislative elections and in about half of the countries with directly elected chief executives. There are many proportional systems in the democratic world. They differ greatly.
Each system has a number of distinctive features. Plurality systems tend to concentrate the vote on the two leading parties except where there are concentrated regional parties. Majoritarian systems are appropriate for presidential elections, since there is only one president who ought to have majority support at least against the last rival left in the field. However, using a majoritarian system to elect a legislature can lead to severe distortions. The number of parties elected under a proportional system is a function depending partly of the size of district it employs (the more seats there are in each district, the more parties will tend to be represented), and partly of the underlying cleavages in the society.
Write an essay of 200 words on the topic “The Electoral System of the Russian Federation”.
Group1: You are the members of the political party that won the elections.
Group2: You are a group of independent observers who consider the elections undemocratic.
Discuss the situation, give arguments to support your viewpoint. Try to reach a consensus.
While discussing use the following phrases.
To say you agree:
To say you disagree:
To say you partly agree:
Look up in a dictionary the words to make sure of their pronunciation
Check you understand the meaning of the highlighted words below. Then discuss the questions in groups.
1. Do you know anyone who is a member of a political party?
2. What kinds of things do left-wing political parties believe in?
3. What are the main views of right-wing political parties?
4. What parties are called the centre?
5. Which party came to power in the last elections in your country?
6. Are any political parties banned in your country? Why?
7. What was the last political party to be set up in your country?
8. Have any parties in your country split over the last few years?
Read the text and say what functions political parties perform in the life of a country.
A political system cannot exist without political parties. The most common definition of a political party is that it is an organization that sponsors and supports candidates for office under its label.
The functions of political parties within a system are numerous. They recruit, nominate and campaign to elect public officials; draw up policy programmes for the government if they are in the majority; offer criticism and alternative policies if they are in opposition; mobilize support for common policies among different interest groups; educate the public about public issues; and provide structure and rules for the society’s political debate. In some political systems ideology may be an important factor in recruiting and motivating party members; elsewhere party members may be united by similar economic interests or social outlook.
There exist various types of party organizations. On the one hand, most of multi-party parliamentary systems in Europe are tightly disciplined organizations run by full-time professionals. On the other hand, in the two-party system of the USA, the two rival Republican and Democratic parties are decentralized organizations which function mainly in Congress and at the state level. This situation changes every four years when national Democratic and Republican party organizations coalesce to mount presidential election campaign.
The election campaigns that are conducted by different political parties are often elaborate, usually time-consuming, sometimes silly. However, the aim of any election campaign is to provide a peaceful and fair method by which the citizens of a democracy can select their leaders and have a hand in determining their own destiny.
Read the text again and answer the following questions.
1. What is the most common definition of a political party?
2. What factors can help in recruiting and motivating party members?
3. How do party organizations and systems vary in different parliamentary systems?
4. What is the most important function of election campaigns?
Read the following statements and say whether they are true or false
1. Political parties are not an integral part of any party system.
2. The functions of political parties within a system are numerous.
3. If a political party is on opposition it doesn’t play any role at all.
4. In some cases party members may be united by similar economic interests or social outlook.
5. Types of party organizations are various.
6. The USA has a peculiar party system.
Summarize the text in about 7-9 sentences.
Left-wing party, right-wing party, centrists, member of a political party, come to power, banned parties, set up a party, split, sponsor, support candidates for the office, recruit, nominate, campaign, party in the majority, draw up a programme, offer criticism and alternative policy, be in opposition, mobilize support, multiparty system, tightly-disciplined organization, be run by…, two-party system, rival, decentralized, coalesce, mount presidential election campaign, elaborate, have a hand in…
Партия правого толка, центристы, партия левого толка, член партии, прийти к власти, запрещенные партии, организовать партию, распадаться, спонсировать, поддерживать кандидатов на пост, набирать, назначать, проводить выборную кампанию, составлять программу действий, партия большинства, критиковать и предлагать альтернативную программу действий, представлять оппозицию, собирать голоса в поддержку, многопартийная система, организация со строгой дисциплиной, возглавляться, двухпартийная система, соперничающие, децентрализованные, создавать коалицию, проводить кампанию, сложная, принимать участие.
Complete these sentences with the correct form of do or make.
Speak about the party system in Russia. Compare it with the party systems of other countries.
Read the following joke and retell it.
A Republican and a Democrat
It is easy to go to Washington now. You can go there by plane from any large city of the USA. There are also fast trains and, of course, you can go by car. But in the old days people had to travel several days to get from New York to Washington. People went then by coaches driven by horses or went on horseback. They stopped at inns to have a rest or to eat there and sleep.
They tell a story about a new congressman who stopped at an inn one night and asked for a place to stay. The inn-keeper wanted to know whether he was a Democrat or a Republican.
-Why do you ask? – said the congressman.
-Well, - said the innkeeper, - I always want to please my guests and I have learned that a Republican likes to have good food and a comfortable bed while a Democrat is more interested in the care and feeding of his horse.
-Well, it so happens, - said the congressman, - that I’m a Republican, but my horse is a Democrat.
In groups of 3–4, you are going to set up your own political party. You will need to decide the following:
Decide on a name of your party and conduct an election campaign. Then organize a class election. Remember that you are not allowed to vote for your own party!
2. fair elections
3. possess certain characteristic features
5. opposition party
7. freedom of speech
8. freedom of assembly
9. voice criticism
12. be accountable to…
13. be appointed for life
14. serious improprieties
15. protect from popular vote
16. ensure impartiality
17. hold the reins of power
18. resolve policy issues
20. losers/ the defeated
21. incumbent party
22. turn over power
23. compete for power
1. Right-wing party
2. left-wing party
4. member of a political party
5. come to power
7. set up a party
10. support candidates for office
14. draw up a programme
15. party of the majority
16. offer criticism and alternative policy
17. be in opposition
18. mobilize support
19. multiparty system
20. tightly-disciplined organization
21. be run by smb
22. two-party system
26. mount presidential election campaign
27. conduct a campaign
29. have a hand in smth
Юлия Сергеевна Бузуева
Надежда Алексеевна Глазунова
пособие по английскому языку
Государственное образовательное учреждение высшего профессионального образования «Нижегородский государственный университет им. Н.И. Лобачевского»
603950, Нижний Новгород, пр. Гагарина, 23
Подписано в печать .Формат 60х84 1/16
Бумага офсетная. Печать офсетная. Гарнитура Таймс.
Усл. Печ. л. 1,2 Заказ № . Тираж 300 экз.
Отпечатано в типографии Нижегородского государственного университета им. Н.А. Лобачевского
603600, г. Нижний Новгород, ул. Большая Покровская, 37
Лицензия ПД № 18-0099 от 14.05.01