Sociology is the scientific study of society, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, culture of everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about social order and change or social evolution. While some sociologists conduct research that may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, others focus on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro-sociology level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure; the different traditional focuses of sociology include social stratification, social class, social mobility, secularization, sexuality and deviance. As all spheres of human activity are affected by the interplay between social structure and individual agency, sociology has expanded its focus to other subjects, such as health, economy and penal institutions, the Internet, social capital, the role of social activity in the development of scientific knowledge.
The range of social scientific methods has expanded. Social researchers draw upon a variety of quantitative techniques; the linguistic and cultural turns of the mid-20th century led to interpretative and philosophic approaches towards the analysis of society. Conversely, the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s have seen the rise of new analytically and computationally rigorous techniques, such as agent-based modelling and social network analysis. Social research informs politicians and policy makers, planners, administrators, business magnates, social workers, non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, people interested in resolving social issues in general. There is a great deal of crossover between social research, market research, other statistical fields. Sociological reasoning predates the foundation of the discipline. Social analysis has origins in the common stock of Western knowledge and philosophy, has been carried out from as far back as the time of ancient Greek philosopher Plato, if not before.
The origin of the survey, i.e. the collection of information from a sample of individuals, can be traced back to at least the Domesday Book in 1086, while ancient philosophers such as Confucius wrote about the importance of social roles. There is evidence of early sociology in medieval Arab writings; some sources consider Ibn Khaldun, a 14th-century Arab Islamic scholar from North Africa, to have been the first sociologist and father of sociology. The word sociology is derived from both Greek origins; the Latin word: socius, "companion". It was first coined in 1780 by the French essayist Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès in an unpublished manuscript. Sociology was defined independently by the French philosopher of science, Auguste Comte in 1838 as a new way of looking at society. Comte had earlier used the term social physics, but that had subsequently been appropriated by others, most notably the Belgian statistician Adolphe Quetelet. Comte endeavoured to unify history and economics through the scientific understanding of the social realm.
Writing shortly after the malaise of the French Revolution, he proposed that social ills could be remedied through sociological positivism, an epistemological approach outlined in The Course in Positive Philosophy and A General View of Positivism. Comte believed a positivist stage would mark the final era, after conjectural theological and metaphysical phases, in the progression of human understanding. In observing the circular dependence of theory and observation in science, having classified the sciences, Comte may be regarded as the first philosopher of science in the modern sense of the term. Comte gave a powerful impetus to the development of sociology, an impetus which bore fruit in the decades of the nineteenth century. To say this is not to claim that French sociologists such as Durkheim were devoted disciples of the high priest of positivism, but by insisting on the irreducibility of each of his basic sciences to the particular science of sciences which it presupposed in the hierarchy and by emphasizing the nature of sociology as the scientific study of social phenomena Comte put sociology on the map.
To be sure, beginnings can be traced back well beyond Montesquieu, for example, to Condorcet, not to speak of Saint-Simon, Comte's immediate predecessor. But Comte's clear recognition of sociology as a particular science, with a character of its own, justified Durkheim in regarding him as the father or founder of this science, in spite of the fact that Durkheim did not accept the idea of the three states and criticized Comte's approach to sociology. Both Auguste Comte and Karl Marx set out to develop scientifically justified systems in the wake of European industrialization and secularization, informed by various key movements in the philosophies of history and science. Marx rejected Comtean positivism but in attempting to develop a science of society came to be recognized as a founder of sociology as the word gained wider meaning. For Isaiah Berlin, Marx may be regarded as the "true father" of modern sociology, "in so far as anyone can claim the title."To have given clear and unified answers in familiar empirical terms to those theor
Punishment is the imposition of an undesirable or unpleasant outcome upon a group or individual, meted out by an authority—in contexts ranging from child discipline to criminal law—as a response and deterrent to a particular action or behaviour, deemed undesirable or unacceptable. The reasoning may be to condition a child to avoid self-endangerment, to impose social conformity, to defend norms, to protect against future harms, to maintain the law—and respect for rule of law—under which the social group is governed. Punishment may be self-inflicted as with self-flagellation and mortification of the flesh in the religious setting, but is most a form of social coercion; the unpleasant imposition may include a fine, penalty, or confinement, or be the removal or denial of something pleasant or desirable. The individual may be a person, or an animal; the authority may be either a group or a single person, punishment may be carried out formally under a system of law or informally in other kinds of social settings such as within a family.
Negative consequences that are not authorized or that are administered without a breach of rules are not considered to be punishment as defined here. The study and practice of the punishment of crimes as it applies to imprisonment, is called penology, or in modern texts, corrections. Research into punishment includes similar research into prevention. Justifications for punishment include retribution, deterrence and incapacitation; the last could include such measures as isolation, in order to prevent the wrongdoer's having contact with potential victims, or the removal of a hand in order to make theft more difficult. Of the four justifications, only retribution is part of the definition of punishment and none of the other justifications is a guaranteed outcome, aside from obvious exceptions such as an executed man being incapacitated with regard to further crimes. If only some of the conditions included in the definition of punishment are present, descriptions other than "punishment" may be considered more accurate.
Inflicting something negative, or unpleasant, on a person or animal, without authority is considered revenge or spite rather than punishment. In addition, the word "punishment" is used as a metaphor, as when a boxer experiences "punishment" during a fight. In other situations, breaking a rule may be rewarded, so receiving such a reward does not constitute punishment; the condition of breaking the rules must be satisfied for consequences to be considered punishment. Punishments differ in their degree of severity, may include sanctions such as reprimands, deprivations of privileges or liberty, incarcerations, the infliction of pain and the death penalty. Corporal punishment refers to punishments in which physical pain is intended to be inflicted upon the transgressor. Punishments may be judged as fair or unfair in terms of their degree of reciprocity and proportionality to the offense. Punishment can be an integral part of socialization, punishing unwanted behaviour is part of a system of pedagogy or behavioral modification which includes rewards.
Various philosophers have presented definitions of punishment. Conditions considered necessary properly to describe an action as punishment are that it is imposed by an authority, it involves some loss to the supposed offender, it is in response to an offence and the human to whom the loss is imposed should be deemed at least somewhat responsible for the offence. Introduced by B. F. Skinner, punishment has a more technical definition. Along with reinforcement it belongs under the operant conditioning category. Operant conditioning refers to learning with either punishment or a reward that serves as a positive reinforcement of the lesson to be learned. In psychology, punishment is the reduction of a behavior via application of an unpleasant stimulus or removal of a pleasant stimulus. Extra chores or spanking are examples of positive punishment, while removing an offending student's recess or play privileges are examples of negative punishment; the definition requires that punishment is only determined after the fact by the reduction in behavior.
There is some conflation of punishment and aversives, though an aversion that does not decrease behavior is not considered punishment in psychology. Additionally, "aversive stimulus" is a label behaviorists apply to negative reinforcers, rather than punishers. Punishment is sometimes called moralistic aggression. One criticism of the claim of all social animals being evolutionarily hardwired for punishment comes from studies of animals, such as the octopuses near Capri, Italy that formed communal cultures from having, until lived solitary lives. During a period of heavy fishing and tourism that encroached on their territory, they started to live in groups, learning from each other hunting techniques. Small, younger octopuses could be near the grown octopuses without being eaten by them though they, like other Octopus vulgaris, were cannibals until just before the group formation; the authors stress tha
Culture is the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture is considered a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies. Cultural universals are found in all human societies; the concept of material culture covers the physical expressions of culture, such as technology and art, whereas the immaterial aspects of culture such as principles of social organization, philosophy and science comprise the intangible cultural heritage of a society. In the humanities, one sense of culture as an attribute of the individual has been the degree to which they have cultivated a particular level of sophistication in the arts, education, or manners; the level of cultural sophistication has sometimes been seen to distinguish civilizations from less complex societies. Such hierarchical perspectives on culture are found in class-based distinctions between a high culture of the social elite and a low culture, popular culture, or folk culture of the lower classes, distinguished by the stratified access to cultural capital.
In common parlance, culture is used to refer to the symbolic markers used by ethnic groups to distinguish themselves visibly from each other such as body modification, clothing or jewelry. Mass culture refers to the mass-produced and mass mediated forms of consumer culture that emerged in the 20th century; some schools of philosophy, such as Marxism and critical theory, have argued that culture is used politically as a tool of the elites to manipulate the lower classes and create a false consciousness, such perspectives are common in the discipline of cultural studies. In the wider social sciences, the theoretical perspective of cultural materialism holds that human symbolic culture arises from the material conditions of human life, as humans create the conditions for physical survival, that the basis of culture is found in evolved biological dispositions; when used as a count noun, a "culture" is the set of customs and values of a society or community, such as an ethnic group or nation. Culture is the set of knowledge acquired over time.
In this sense, multiculturalism values the peaceful coexistence and mutual respect between different cultures inhabiting the same planet. Sometimes "culture" is used to describe specific practices within a subgroup of a society, a subculture, or a counterculture. Within cultural anthropology, the ideology and analytical stance of cultural relativism holds that cultures cannot be objectively ranked or evaluated because any evaluation is situated within the value system of a given culture; the modern term "culture" is based on a term used by the Ancient Roman orator Cicero in his Tusculanae Disputationes, where he wrote of a cultivation of the soul or "cultura animi," using an agricultural metaphor for the development of a philosophical soul, understood teleologically as the highest possible ideal for human development. Samuel Pufendorf took over this metaphor in a modern context, meaning something similar, but no longer assuming that philosophy was man's natural perfection, his use, that of many writers after him, "refers to all the ways in which human beings overcome their original barbarism, through artifice, become human."In 1986, philosopher Edward S.
Casey wrote, "The word culture meant'place tilled' in Middle English, the same word goes back to Latin colere,'to inhabit, care for, worship' and cultus,'A cult a religious one.' To be cultural, to have a culture, is to inhabit a place sufficiently intensive to cultivate it—to be responsible for it, to respond to it, to attend to it caringly." Culture described by Richard Velkley:... meant the cultivation of the soul or mind, acquires most of its modern meaning in the writings of the 18th-century German thinkers, who were on various levels developing Rousseau's criticism of "modern liberalism and Enlightenment". Thus a contrast between "culture" and "civilization" is implied in these authors when not expressed as such. In the words of anthropologist E. B. Tylor, it is "that complex whole which includes knowledge, art, law and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society." Alternatively, in a contemporary variant, "Culture is defined as a social domain that emphasizes the practices and material expressions, over time, express the continuities and discontinuities of social meaning of a life held in common.
The Cambridge English Dictionary states that culture is "the way of life the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time." Terror management theory posits that culture is a series of activities and worldviews that provide humans with the basis for perceiving themselves as "person of worth within the world of meaning"—raising themselves above the physical aspects of existence, in order to deny the animal insignificance and death that Homo sapiens became aware of when they acquired a larger brain. The word is used in a general sense as the evolved ability to categorize and represent experiences with symbols and to act imaginatively and creatively; this ability arose with the evolution of behavioral modernity in humans around 50,000 years ago, is thought to be unique to humans, although some other species have demonstrated similar, though much less complex, abilities for social learning. It is used to denote the co
Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution. Committed group members attempt to resolve group conflicts by communicating information about their conflicting motives or ideologies to the rest of the group and by engaging in collective negotiation. Dimensions of resolution parallel the dimensions of conflict in the way the conflict is processed. Cognitive resolution is the way disputants understand and view the conflict, with beliefs, perspectives and attitudes. Emotional resolution is in the way disputants feel about the emotional energy. Behavioral resolution is reflective of, their behavior. A wide range of methods and procedures for addressing conflict exist, including negotiation, mediation-arbitration and creative peacebuilding; the term conflict resolution may be used interchangeably with dispute resolution, where arbitration and litigation processes are critically involved. The concept of conflict resolution can be thought to encompass the use of nonviolent resistance measures by conflicted parties in an attempt to promote effective resolution.
The dual concern model of conflict resolution is a conceptual perspective that assumes individuals’ preferred method of dealing with conflict is based on two underlying themes or dimensions: concern for self and concern for others The leviathan of trap & release models. According to the model, group members balance their concern for satisfying personal needs and interests with their concern for satisfying the needs and interests of others in different ways; the intersection of these two dimensions leads individuals towards exhibiting different styles of conflict resolution. The dual model identifies five with number four being the target to complete the cycle & illuminate the issue at hand. Conflict resolution styles/strategies that individuals may use depending on their dispositions toward pro-self or pro-social goals. Avoidance conflict style Characterized by joking, changing or avoiding the topic, or denying that a problem exists,Strong dislike for following the rules the conflict avoidance style is used when an individual has withdrawn in dealing with the other party, when one is uncomfortable with conflict, or due to cultural contexts.
During conflict, these avoiders adopt a. By neglecting to address high-conflict situations. Yielding conflict style In contrast, yielding, “accommodating”, smoothing or suppression conflict styles are characterized by a high level of concern for others and a low level of concern for oneself; this passive pro-social approach emerges when individuals derive personal satisfaction from meeting the needs of others and have a general concern for maintaining stable, positive social relationships. When faced with conflict, individuals with a yielding conflict style tend to harmonize into others’ demands out of respect for the social relationship. Competitive conflict style The competitive, “fighting” or forcing conflict style maximizes individual assertiveness and minimizes empathy. Groups consisting of competitive members enjoy seeking domination over others, see conflict as a “win or lose” predicament. Fighters tend to force others to accept their personal views by employing competitive power tactics that foster intimidation.
Conciliation conflict style The conciliation, “compromising”, bargaining or negotiation conflict style is typical of individuals who possess an intermediate level of concern for both personal and others’ outcomes. Compromisers value fairness and, in doing so, anticipate mutual give-and-take interactions. By accepting some demands put forth by others, compromisers believe this agreeableness will encourage others to meet them halfway, thus promoting conflict resolution; this conflict style can be considered an extension of both “yielding” and “cooperative” strategies. Cooperation conflict style Characterized by an active concern for both pro-social and pro-self behavior, the cooperation, confrontation or problem-solving conflict style is used when an individual has elevated interests in their own outcomes as well as in the outcomes of others. During conflict, cooperators collaborate with others in an effort to find an amicable solution that satisfies all parties involved in the conflict. Individuals using this type of conflict style tend to be both assertive and empathetic.
By seeing conflict as a creative opportunity, collaborators willingly invest time and resources into finding a “win-win” solution. According to the literature on conflict resolution, a cooperative conflict resolution style is recommended above all others; this resolution may be achieved by lowering the aggressor's guard while raising the ego. There are many examples of conflict resolution in history, there has been a debate about the ways to conflict resolution: whether it should be forced or peaceful. Conflict resolution by peaceful means is always a better option; the conflict resolution curve derived from an analytical model offers a peaceful solution by motivating conflicting entities. Forced resolution of conflict might invoke another conflict in future. Conflict resolution curve separates conflict styles into two separate domains: domain of competing entities and domain of accommodating entities. There is a sort of agreement between targets and aggressors on this cu
A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. Hierarchy is an important concept in a wide variety of fields, such as philosophy, computer science, organizational theory, systems theory, the social sciences. A hierarchy can link entities either directly or indirectly, either vertically or diagonally; the only direct links in a hierarchy, insofar as they are hierarchical, are to one's immediate superior or to one of one's subordinates, although a system, hierarchical can incorporate alternative hierarchies. Hierarchical links can extend "vertically" upwards or downwards via multiple links in the same direction, following a path. All parts of the hierarchy which are not linked vertically to one another can be "horizontally" linked through a path by traveling up the hierarchy to find a common direct or indirect superior, down again; this is akin to colleagues. Organizational forms exist that are both complementary to hierarchy.
Heterarchy is one such form. Hierarchies have their own special vocabulary; these terms are easiest to understand. In an organizational context, the following terms are used related to hierarchies: Object: one entity System: the entire set of objects that are being arranged hierarchically Dimension: another word for "system" from on-line analytical processing Member: an at any in a Terms about Positioning Rank: the relative value, complexity, importance, level etc. of an object Level or Tier: a set of objects with the same rank OR importance Ordering: the arrangement of the Hierarchy: the arrangement of a particular set of members into. Multiple hierarchies are possible per, in which selected levels of the dimension are omitted to flatten the structure Terms about Placement Hierarch, the apex of the hierarchy, consisting of one single orphan in the top level of a dimension; the root of an inverted-tree structure Member, a in any level of a hierarchy in a dimension to which members are attached Orphan, a member in any level of a dimension without a parent member.
The apex of a disconnected branch. Orphans can be grafted back into the hierarchy by creating a relationship with a parent in the superior level Leaf, a member in any level of a dimension without subordinates in the hierarchy Neighbour: a member adjacent to another member in the same. Always a peer. Superior: a higher level or an object ranked at a higher level Subordinate: a lower level or an object ranked at a lower level Collection: all of the objects at one level Peer: an object with the same rank Interaction: the relationship between an object and its direct superior or subordinate a direct interaction occurs when one object is on a level one higher or one lower than the other Distance: the minimum number of connections between two objects, i.e. one less than the number of objects that need to be "crossed" to trace a path from one object to another Span: a qualitative description of the width of a level when diagrammed, i.e. the number of subordinates an object has Terms about Nature Attribute: a heritable characteristic of in a level Attribute-value: the specific value of a heritable characteristic In a mathematical context, the general terminology used is different.
Most hierarchies use a more specific vocabulary pertaining to their subject, but the idea behind them is the same. For example, with data structures, objects are known as nodes, superiors are called parents and subordinates are called children. In a business setting, a superior is a supervisor/boss and a peer is a colleague. Degree of branching refers to the number of direct subordinates or children an object has a node has. Hierarchies can be categorized based on the "maximum degree", the highest degree present in the system as a whole. Categorization in this way yields two broad classes: branching. In a linear hierarchy, the maximum degree is 1. In other words, all of the objects can be visualized in a line-up, each object has one direct subordinate and one direct superior. Note that this is referring to the objects and not the levels. An example of a linear hierarchy is the hierarchy of life. In a branching hierarchy, one or more objects has a degree of 2 or more. For many people, the word "hierarchy" automatically evokes an image of a branching hierarchy.
Branching hierarchies are present within numerous systems, including organizations and classification schemes. The broad category of branching hierarchies can be furt
Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to "lead" or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. Specialist literature debates various viewpoints, contrasting Eastern and Western approaches to leadership, United States versus European approaches. U. S. academic environments define leadership as "a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". Studies of leadership have produced theories involving traits, situational interaction, behavior, power and values, intelligence, among others. Sanskrit literature identifies ten types of leaders. Defining characteristics of the ten types of leaders are explained with examples from history and mythology. Aristocratic thinkers have postulated that leadership depends on genes. Monarchy takes an extreme view of the same idea, may prop up its assertions against the claims of mere aristocrats by invoking divine sanction.
On the other hand, more democratically inclined theorists have pointed to examples of meritocratic leaders, such as the Napoleonic marshals profiting from careers open to talent. In the autocratic/paternalistic strain of thought, traditionalists recall the role of leadership of the Roman pater familias. Feminist thinking, on the other hand, may object to such models as patriarchal and posit against them attuned and consensual empathetic guidance, sometimes associated with matriarchies. Comparable to the Roman tradition, the views of Confucianism on "right living" relate much to the ideal of the scholar-leader and his benevolent rule, buttressed by a tradition of filial piety. Leadership is a matter of intelligence, humaneness and discipline... Reliance on intelligence alone results in rebelliousness. Exercise of humaneness alone results in weakness. Fixation on trust results in folly. Dependence on the strength of courage results in violence. Excessive discipline and sternness in command result in cruelty.
When one has all five virtues together, each appropriate to its function one can be a leader. — Sun Tzu Machiavelli's The Prince, written in the early 16th century, provided a manual for rulers to gain and keep power. In the 19th century the elaboration of anarchist thought called the whole concept of leadership into question. One response to this denial of élitism came with Leninism, which demanded an élite group of disciplined cadres to act as the vanguard of a socialist revolution, bringing into existence the dictatorship of the proletariat. Other historical views of leadership have addressed the seeming contrasts between secular and religious leadership; the doctrines of Caesaro-papism had their detractors over several centuries. Christian thinking on leadership has emphasized stewardship of divinely provided resources—human and material—and their deployment in accordance with a Divine plan. Compare servant leadership. For a more general take on leadership in politics, compare the concept of the statesperson.
The search for the characteristics or traits of leaders has continued for centuries. Philosophical writings from Plato's Republic to Plutarch's Lives have explored the question "What qualities distinguish an individual as a leader?" Underlying this search was the early recognition of the importance of leadership and the assumption that leadership is rooted in the characteristics that certain individuals possess. This idea that leadership is based on individual attributes is known as the "trait theory of leadership". A number of works in the 19th century – when the traditional authority of monarchs and bishops had begun to wane – explored the trait theory at length: note the writings of Thomas Carlyle and of Francis Galton, whose works have prompted decades of research. In Heroes and Hero Worship, Carlyle identified the talents and physical characteristics of men who rose to power. Galton's Hereditary Genius examined leadership qualities in the families of powerful men. After showing that the numbers of eminent relatives dropped off when his focus moved from first-degree to second-degree relatives, Galton concluded that leadership was inherited.
In other words, leaders were born, not developed. Both of these notable works lent great initial support for the notion that leadership is rooted in characteristics of a leader. Cecil Rhodes believed that public-spirited leadership could be nurtured by identifying young people with "moral force of character and instincts to lead", educating them in contexts which further developed such characteristics. International networks of such leaders could help to promote international understanding and help "render war impossible"; this vision of leadership underlay the creation of the Rhodes Scholarships, which have helped to shape notions of leadership since their creation in 1903. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, a series of qualitative reviews of these studies prompted researchers to take a drastically different view of the driving forces behind leadership. In reviewing the extant literature and Mann found that while some traits were common across a number of studies, the overall evidence suggested that people who are leaders in one situation may not be leaders in other situations.
Subsequently, leadership was no longer characterized as an enduring indivi
In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote in parliament called an indirect initiative or via a direct initiative, the latter being dubbed a Popular initiated Referendum. The initiative can be rejected by the parliament, but it can be forced to see the proposition put to a referendum; the initiative may take the form of a direct initiative or an indirect initiative. In a direct initiative, a measure is put directly to a referendum after being submitted by a petition. In an indirect initiative, a measure is first referred to the legislature, put to a popular vote only if not enacted by the legislature; the vote may be on a proposed federal level, constitutional amendment, charter amendment or local ordinance, or to oblige the executive or legislature to consider the subject by submitting it to the order of the day. It is a form of direct democracy. A direct initiative is when an initiative measure, either an initiated state statute or initiated constitutional amendment, is placed directly on the ballot for voters to reject or pass.
The measure is not first submitted to the legislature. An indirect initiative refers to a process where after sufficient signatures are collected, the measure is voted on by a parliament. In Brazil, a popular law initiative requires two conditions be met before it is sent to the National Congress: signatures from at least 1% of national registered voters and at least 0.3% of the people allowed to vote from each of at least five of the 27 federal unities. If both conditions are met, Congress is obliged to vote on holding the initiative; the Canadian province of British Columbia has a citizen initiative law known as the Recall and Initiative Act. The original proposal was put to voters in a referendum held in October 1991 and was supported by over 83% of voters, it was subsequently put into force by the incoming NDP government. Since it came into force in 1995, several attempts have been made to hold an initiative, but until the fall of 2010, none had succeeded in reaching the first of the thresholds, securing signatures of 10% of registered voters in each riding throughout British Columbia.
The first referendum was held under this legislation on September 2011 on the subject of repealing the Harmonized Sales Tax. Details of its use in BC are available on the Elections BC website; the rejected Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe included a limited indirect initiative right. The proposal of introducing the European Citizens' Initiative was that 1,000,000 citizens, from minimal numbers of different member states, could invite the executive body of the European Union, the European Commission, to consider any proposal "on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Constitution." The precise mechanism had not been agreed upon. Critics underlined the weakness of this right of initiative, which did not entail any vote or referendum. A similar scheme under the same name, European Citizens' Initiative, has been put forward in the now ratified European Lisbon Treaty, enabling a limited indirect initiative right, it follows similar rules to the ones outlined in the European Constitution, requiring the signatures of 1,000 000 European Nationals.
These citizens would thereby obtain the same right to request the Commission to submit a legislative proposal as the Council has had since the establishment of the European Communities in 1957. This, does require that the signatures come from a "significant number" of Member States, it is suggested that this significant number will need to be around a quarter of member states, with at least 1/500 of the citizens in those member states supporting the initiative. With the variety of languages within the European Union, this creates a significant hurdle for people to navigate; the treaty makes it clear that right of initiative should not be confused with the right to petition since a petition is directed to Parliament while a citizens' initiative is directed to the Commission. In 2013 the subjects of ongoing open initiatives of the European Citizens' Initiative are e.g. about "water and sanitation as a human right", "30 km/h - making the streets liveable!", "Unconditional Basic Income", or to "End Ecocide in Europe".
It remains to be seen if the ECI evolves into a full initiative or remains in its present state of a de facto petition. Since March 1, 2012, groups of at least 50,000 Finnish citizens with suffrage have had the constitutional right to send a citizens' initiative to the Parliament of Finland. A limited, indirect form of local initiative was added to the French Constitution on 28 March 2003 as part of decentralization reforms. However, the only power these "local referendum initiatives" confer on citizens is the ability to add propositions to their local assembly's meeting agenda; the decision as to whether to submit citizen propositions to a popular vote rests with the local assembly. A citizens' initiative referendum was proposed by the yellow vests movement. All German states have the right to initiative