PART A POLITICAL PROFILE OF A COUNTRY
WE AND THE WORLD COMMUNITY
Before starting the work on the presented material think over the possible answers to the following questions:
Ø What do people usually imply when they speak about politics?
Ø What definitions of the term ‘politics’ can you offer?
Ø Can you suppose why people are eager to live in a democratic society?
Ø In what way do democracy and freedom correlate in your opinion?
Ø What associations come to your mind when you think / speak about political system of a country?
Ø What international organizations can you name?
Ø What issues do the international organizations deal with first of all?
Ø What would you include in the list of burning issues of the 21st century?
Read the following text. You will learn about the different variations of the definition of the term ‘politics’. Why, do you think, there are so many definitions?
WHAT IS POLITICS?
Originally, “politics” comes from Ancient Greece, i.e. “polis, the city-state”. Politics is therefore “what concerns the state”.
The New Collins Concise English Dictionary defines politics as
Ø the art and science of directing and administrating states and other political units;
Ø any activity concerned with the acquisition of power.
So, politics is the activity through which people make, preserve and amend the general rules under they live. On the other hand, people recognize that in order to influence these rules or ensure that they are upheld, they must work with others. This is why politics is often portrayed as a process of conflict resolution. There are some other more specific definitions which can be broken into four categories:
a) politics as the art of government;
b) politics as public affairs;
c) politics as compromise;
d) politics as power.
Get acquainted with the following quotations. Try to match the quotation with one of the four categories of the definition of politics mentioned above.
1. “Politics is the most concentrated form of economics” Vladimir Lenin
2. “Politics is not a science … but an art” Chancellor Bismark
3. “Politics is the activity by which different interests within a given unit of rule are conciliated by giving them a share in power in proportion to their importance to the welfare and the survival of the whole community” Bernard Crick
4. “It is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal” Aristotle
(“Politics Review” volume 11, number 2, November 2001)
So you see now that while working on the material of this module you are offered to reflect on the above issues and make some conclusions if possible. By the end of the course you should be able
Ø to describe and compare political systems of three countries (Belarus, the UK, the USA);
Ø to explain the essence of the concepts of democracy and human rights and freedoms;
Ø to make presentations on the issues concerned political profiles of the countries;
Ø to describe the structure and activity of the two most influential international organizations (the UNO and the EU);
Ø to make presentations on the cooperation of Belarus with the international organizations;
Ø to take part in the discussions, press conferences, panel discussions, etc. on the issues under consideration;
Ø to make text analysis, specifying its topic and main idea, and spotting the rhemes/ key words;
Ø to make the summary of the text.
Try to work as a news presenter or an anchor. Start each class with the presentation of the most important national and international news to your group mates. You’d better observe the following recommendations:
Ø choose the most topical information (2 - 3) pieces;
Ø make your presentation brief and clear;
Ø make a list of personal or geographical names and some unfamiliar words for everybody understands you;
PART A POLITICAL PROFILE OF A COUNTRY
You can hear the term ‘globalization’ very often now.
Ø How do you understand this concept?
Ø What positive / negative features do you see in globalization?
Ø Do you think globalization is inevitable?
Task 1. You will hear a part of a radio interview about the phenomenon of ‘globalization’.
a) Listen to the recording, but first listen to the words and phrases that are used in the text:
ü individual - индивидуум
ü to maximize profits – максимально увеличивать прибыли
ü fair - справедливый
ü constrained - ограниченный
ü boundary - граница
ü to expand - увеличивать(ся) в объеме, развивать(ся)
ü to enter the foreign market – выходить на зарубежный рынок
ü blinkered - ограниченный
ü consumerism – защита интересов потребителя
ü economic entity – субъект хозяйствования
ü to challenge – бросать вызов, провоцировать
ü the notion of democracy – понятие демократии
ü to have power over sb. – иметь власть над кем-либо
b) Choose the most appropriate answer according to what you will hear.
1. globalization is a term which originated in
2. global trade
a) has always existed
b) has developed from more local trade
c) is only now beginning to affect us
3. The role of technology in globalization
a) has caused a lot of damage
b) has produced benefits for many parties
c) is not very important
4. Which best describes the relationship between governments and global companies?
a) Global companies are controlled by the governments.
b) Global companies sometimes hold more power than government.
c) Global companies dictate the directions of governments.
5. Which sentence best sums up the author’s view?
a) Globalization is generally bad.
b) Globalization is a positive force in our world today.
c) Globalization has its pluses and minuses.
Task 2. Reflect if your understanding of the notion of globalization coincides with the opinion of the lecturer you’ve just heard. What is your attitude to the regular anti-globalization demonstrations and marches which are organized in different parts of the world? Can you give any examples of such events from media?
Task 1. Match the words into synonymous pairs.
Task 2. Complete the word-building word chart.
Task 3. Complete the sentences with the proper word using the words from the chart of task 2.
1. The President of the USA as the head of the … power is assisted by the Vice-President and the Cabinet.
2. The House of …in the Republic of Belarus consists of 110 deputies.
3. The members of the Council of Republic are …at the meetings of the deputies of the local Councils.
4. According to … the head of the state is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the republic.
5. The Supreme Court in the USA comprises the Chief …and eight associate ….
6. In order to become a law a bill should be approved by the two chambers of the … body and should get the approval of the head of the state.
7. The …in the UK is independent but the courts are the Queen’s Courts.
8. A person can take part in …when he/she is a citizen of the country and has become of age.
Task 4. Can you explain the difference in the meaning of the following terms? Make the examples of your own to show this difference.
1) policy – politics
2) freedom – right
3) bill – law
4) vote – ballot
5) enforce –strengthen
6) appoint – adopt
7) elaborate – introduce
Task 5. Complete the text with the proper word from the box after it.