"Essentials of Comparative Politics" by Patrick O'Neil Reading Summary
Chapter 1 Introduction.
The author mentions that definition of state evolved over centuries and at the beginning of the XX century the concept of social state has been introduced. According to the statements of its proponents, the state should take care of those who are in trouble and who cannot ensure one’s well-being alone. The latter actually includes those families who hardly try to make ends meet; older people who due to the weak financial status or healthy despair, could not take care of themselves; the homeless or jobless etc. The aim of state in such cases is to ensure that the people who are in need will receive the necessary help. Indeed, no one knows what is ahead of him and we all might become victims of the coincidences and accidents, crimes or economic crises. I consider that the majority of the families living in the USA could not afford education given at private institutions and therefore send their children to the public schools which are in turn also financed by the state. The state creates and supports the system the main goal of which is to provide the services for the people who need them. In order to support that system we need to make some kind of money flows. They are as well included in taxes. That is why the state levies them. From the other point of view, bringing the balance into social life the state removes the reconciliations that might occur among different social groups because of the difference in incomes.
Chapter 2 States.
One of the state’s goal is to ensure the well-being of its citizens. In order to meet this requirement, it creates different state bodies the aims of which include the oversight of the specific companies, organizations; assistance in various matters; protection of citizens’ rights etc. The subdivisions of U.S. Department of Labor existing in every state are also specifically designed to protect the citizens from various abuses in employment-related issues as well as to provide them and employers with various kind of assistance. ). The federal system of the USA as a state is not entirely centralized. However, it is in charge of the most essential areas such as defense, economy, public expenditures, taxation etc. The decisions of the states are often influenced by the central government, as the latter assigns the funds for particular purposes of each state. Moreover, central government remains to hold a lot of power mainly due to the initiatives of framers who have constrained the powers of the states. The author asserts that the protecting mechanisms of constitutional democracy vary a lot in their scope and impact. Nevertheless, the systems of check and balances and the separation of powers are definitely watchdogs of the state ensuring that all procedures are in accordance with the law. The presented paper aims to analyze these concepts and their role in keeping …