Competitive Exams: Political Science Study Material: Glossary E

Political Science Glossary: E

Electoral College

An electoral college is a group of people who have been specially appointed, nominated or elected in order that they should hold an election for a political office. It thus constitutes a way of making election to some significant position of power indirect rather than direct. The most important example of a modern electoral college is perhaps that which elects the American president. Lists of electors ties to particular presidential and vice-presidential candidatures appear on the ballot paper, and once the votes have been counted the list with the most votes on a simple plurality basis takes all that state's electoral college votes. The candidates with a majority in the electoral college become president and vice-president respectively.


It refers to imposing the restrictions on the movements of the ships of other countries by a country in her territorial seas and harbours. The Embargo is imposed during the war against the ships of the enemy country. There are specific rules of the International Law which regulate the imposition of Embargo.

Electoral Offences

Offences by the private individual or an authority against the electoral laws made by the Acts of the Parliament.

Electoral Malpractices

This is the violation of a code of conduct, fixed by the Election Commission, by an authority, social miscreants or a political party.

Emergency Powers

Emergency powers are special powers granted to a government or executive agency which allow normal legislative procedure and/or judicial remedies to be by-passed or suspended. In democracies such emergency powers are usually strictly controlled by the legislature and are permitted only for the duration of the emergency. Although the primary association of emergency powers legislation is with wartime, or a national security crisis of similar dimensions, governments in fact retain some such powers for domestic crises.


The diplomatic representative of a country in another country nominated for specific purpose for the time being is called Envoy.

Equal Protection

Equal protection is a term which describes the idea that the legal system should protect all citizens from arbitrary discrimination and guarantee them equal rights. Initially it seemed that this idea was very similar to the guarantees of procedural fairness and due process offered in many societies.


Ethnicity refers to a sometimes rather complex combination of racial, cultural and historical characteristics by which societies are occasionally divided into separate, and probably hostile, political families. At its simplest the idea is exemplified by racial groupings where skin colour alone is the separating characteristic.


It is a deliberate infliction of death to a patient, by a medical expert, who is terminally ill and cannot be revived. Euthanasia is done in order to relieve unbearable pain suffered by the patient before his/her death. Netherlands is the first country in the world where euthanasia has been legalised.


The 18th-century French political theorist Montesquieu divided the political system into three distinct elements: The legislature, the judiciary and the executive. The executive is defined as the part of a governmental system which takes decisions as opposed to making laws, although modern political systems in fact allow their executives to legislate both in the sense of determining which laws ought to be passed and, as in France, allowing them some autonomous law-making capacity.


Extradition is a legal arrangement between the two countries under which an accused is sent to another country for the purpose of prosecution, where such person is accused of committing some crime. Extradition is possible only if the countries have entered into an agreement to that effect under the rules of the International Law. The purpose of extradition is to facilitate the prosecution of a person in a country where he is accused of committing some crime.