Briefly explain the significance of Citizens United v. FEC.
The Citizens United decision declared the ban on independent corporate expenditures in political elections unconstitutional based on the First Amendment. This decision has brought about unprecedented campaign funding and spending through the use of super PACs. Citizens United has brought to the forefront issues about the influence of money on political elections and the prevalence of special business interests in government institutions.
What is the social contract? Expain its relationship with democracy.
The social contract is the idea that people have given away some of their autonomy to a government, which in turn provides order and protection. It was put forth by enlightenment thinkers who promoted the idea of democracy as the ideal government structure. The democratic government is held accountable to the people who gave up their autonomy for its protection. The people can take back their autonomy at any time. In order for a government to function at its best, it needs to be cognizant of this exchange. Not being aware of the social contract leads to injustice and instability because the people will take their autonomy back if they don't believe the government is protecting their interests. In a democracy, the government is constantly aware of this contract through elections. The people can vote out government leaders if they believe it isn't protecting their interests.
What is the realism theory in international relations? Who are the main actors? Explain realist thought on international organizations.
Realists believe that the world is anarchic and every state is looking out for its own interests. The most powerful state keeps the peace as long as it serves its own interest. States are the main actors and policymakers. Realists do not believe peace is achieved through international organizations. Rather, states utilize their relative power through international organizations to achieve their policy interests.