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ASU / Humanities / HUM 350 / Why are poor countries poor?

Why are poor countries poor?

Why are poor countries poor?

Description

School: Arizona State University
Department: Humanities
Course: Comparative Politics
Professor: Koehler
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: POS350, Studyguide, Politics, comparative, Global Comparative Politics, Comparative Politics, pos, ASU, and notes
Cost: 50
Name: POS 350 EXAM 2 STUDY GUIDE
Description: Why are poor countries poor? Why is East Asia rich? Democracy throughout the world? This study guide covers notes for chapters 4-6.
Uploaded: 10/20/2016
10 Pages 15 Views 13 Unlocks
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POS 350 Thursday, October 20th **EXAM 2 STUDYGUIDE**  


Why are poor countries poor?



Why are Poor Countries Poor? 

The World Bank identifies poor countries based upon the percentage of a  country living on less than $1 or $2 per day which allows us to determine  whether poverty is increasing or decreasing in specific countries or in the  world.

The United Nations Development Program defines poverty of multiple  dimensions with the Human Poverty Index (HPI) which includes factors such  as life-span, level of education, access to public resources, access to private  resources, etc. which leads to slightly different country poverty rankings  compared to the World Bank definition.

How do societies break a “cycle of poverty”? 


What is a free-rider problem?



- They need to break the individual and collective constraints that lead  poor people to make individually rational, but collectively irrational  decisions.

- Like providing social safety nets for the elderly (so they don’t have as  many children)

- Protecting poor farmers in times of crop failure (so they don’t “scatter”  plots)

∙ This relates to the strength of states and their ability to provide public goods and infrastructure conducive to economic development  (roads/schools/water/electricity/clean air/national security/domestic  security/order)

Free Rider Problem: 

- If individuals think they can benefit from a public good without  voluntarily contribution to it, then rationally, they won’t contribute. - But if most people think/act this way, then the public good will either  disappear or won’t come about in the first place


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- Need a strong organization or institution (state/government) to compel  involuntary participation

Neoliberal Counter-argument: 

- Economic Development thrives under less state intervention/control - Let free market principles “do their thing”

- However, many states throughout the world show that some degree of  state-based coercion is necessary for national economic development - If a country doesn’t have strong and effective public institutions, then  the necessary foundations for a free market to exist and function in the first place are absent

Culturalist Explanations: 

- Begin with the assumption that culture is at least somewhat separate  from social, political, and economic forcesWe also discuss several other topics like The buying and selling of products and services through a computer network is called what?

- If culture wasn’t somewhat separate, then we would just look at those  forces instead of culture

- Also seen as interactive with these types of forces

Modernization Theorists: 

- Poor countries are poor because they lack the appropriate cultural  values and practices that make sustained economic development  possible If you want to learn more check out what is rem rebound in psychology

- Cultural values are divided into modern and traditional

Modern Values: rationality and science (over emotionalism and  superstition); independence/individualism, personal achievement, etc. Traditional Values: Basically the opposite: religious, not  individualistic, etc.

Oscar Lewis argued that people in poor communities share a common set  of values, beliefs, and practices that keep them poor. If you want to learn more check out calculus chapter 3 notes

- Apathy, fatalism, hedonism, illiteracy, violence, lack of participation in  societal institutional (even banks, etc.) and social movements etch. - He argued that these views and behaviors were adaptations and  reactions of the poor, in the face of their marginal position in capitalist  society and these views and behaviors are reproduced and keep them  in poverty

- He also argues that the culture of poverty is due to an overarching  culture of capitalism which channels wealth into the hands of the  few and creates sharp class distinctions and thus cultural differences

Rationalist Explanations: 

- Poor people wouldn’t choose to be poor

- National poverty is the result of individuals acting rationally, in their  own self-interest but these individually rational decisions generate,  collectively, irrational outcomes that perpetuate poverty

- Individual decisions can be constrained (material constraints,  institutional/organizational constraints)

- This disjuncture between what is individually good and what is  socially/collectively good is very important**

Example: Poor people tend to have more children which helps provide more  labor in agricultural societies, etc. and greater likelihood of care and support  for the parents when they age. However, it also helps keep families in  poverty and perpetuates a cycle of poverty which is collectively irrational as  their resources become stretched further with more children. We also discuss several other topics like utep login

Structuralist Explanations: 

Life & Debt

- Structural explanations look at the nature of the system in which states interact

- They generally argue that poor countries are poor because rich  countries control the global economic system

- Rich countries made and keep poor countries poor for their own  advantage

Exceptions are possible

- Some poor countries might become better off but generally do not - Social mobility would be seen largely as a myth

- Structuralists would argue that class distinctions are an inherent part  of the capitalist system

- Thus, economic development among poor countries (or people), must  be the exception to the rule

Dependency Theory: 

- A prominent structural explanation  

- First really developed to explain economic underdevelopment in Latin  America  

- Through colonialism and unfair trade, the West developed at the  expense of the Third World (these blocks of countries came to be  known as the Core and the Periphery) If you want to learn more check out because of the respect that people had for the apostle paul his message of jesus christ was accepted by almost everyone who heard him.

- The periphery has trouble moving out of poverty because the Core  controls the rules of the game by exploiting the periphery for cheap  labor and cheap, raw resources

- The core uses cheap labor and cheap raw resources to produce goods - Periphery countries could attempt to move into producing finished  goods but the Core typically designs and sells the machinery needed to turn raw resources into useable items

- The poorest countries are usually technologically disadvantages and  Periphery countries would typically need loans from the Core countries  which would keep them in their debt

- In the real world, Periphery countries looking to develop economically  must rely upon the core for credit and technology, as well as markets  for their own goods (whether raw resources or even more finished  goods).

Why is East Asia Rich? 

- Today many important and high tech goods come from East Asia - Cars, high-end consumer electronics etc.

- Before developing, products stamped with “Made in Japan,” for  instance, were seen as low quality and inferior to American goods. - Now Japan leads the world in many industries

- East Asian economies have grown greatly since the end of WWII

Historical Factors

- Important to all three theoretical explanations of East Asia’s economic  success

- Factors include: Confucian Culture, Western (and Japanese) Colonialism The Cold War and East Asian countries’ “special” relationship with the US

The Cold War

- After the end of WWII (and in the post-colonial age), Japan, South  Korea, and Taiwan were seen as anti-communist allies

- This was important for many reasons such as balancing against the  Soviet Union and as Economic Markets 

Rational Choice Explanation: 

- To start, what is unique or unusual about Japan, South Korea and  Taiwan?

- There are many possibilities, but one glaring feature stands out: the  presence of very strong, effective states

**Remember from our discussion of poverty and poor countries** - Some rationalists argue that Strong States are necessary for economic  development 

- They can compel individuals to contribute to collective/public goods  and can implement economic policies conducive to growth

∙ Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were what we would today call  Developmental States (not to be confused with “developing” states  (i.e. the Third World)) 

- All three cases had very strong states 

- Their leaders, largely due to fears of vulnerability, had rational  incentives to pursue national economic development 

- The governments in these three cases are often described as being  highly interventionist in their own domestic economics 

In each of the 3 countries:

- Political Legitimacy was strongly tied to National Economic  Development

- Staying in power was contingent upon maintaining broad support and  cooperation and doing so by improving the economics  

- Leaders felt a strong sense of vulnerability

Cultural Explanation: 

- Avoid simplistic cultural explanations!

- Confucianism, for example is important to Japan, South Korea and  Taiwan.

- Some argue that maybe this similarity explains these three countries’  economic development

- But a detailed look at Confucianism in each society shows that it  influenced things differently in each case

- while Confucian culture was important in both cases

- It was important for opposite reasons

- In Taiwan, it actually led to a backlash against Confucianism and  traditional values

The “old Confucian” argument

- East Asian countries emphasized self-sacrifice, moral governance,  deference to the government, respect for elders, and, very importantly, education

- This led to amazing economic development

- Sounds reasonable- but this explanation is overly generic (and  superficial, unidirectional, etc.) 

Structural Explanation: 

- We shouldn’t just look at internal or domestic factors in explaining East Asia’s economic development

- Must consider the bigger picture that each fits into

Global Capitalism 

- Structuralists tell us that the system-wide dynamics of global  capitalism are far more determinative of national economic success  than culture, strong states, or a ration domestic economic environment

- We need to identify the dynamics, logic, and “needs” of global  capitalism

- Identify the position and role of the various units (countries, such as  the system as a whole)

- Identify the position and role of the various units in relation the  dominant units (the hegemon) namely, the US

- Finally, consider the attributes of individual units (for example,  consider whether the individual unites have “strong states”)

World Systems Theory explanation

- Basic logic: Capitalism is driven by the constant need for  accumulation and expansion; to do this, capitalism requires strong  centers (and inequality) throughout the globe

- Role of Units in System: Hegemon requires to police and stabilize  system; certain “core” units are needed to serve as regional centers of  capitalism, and each core requires subordinate units to maximize

capital accumulation; these subordinate units are part of the semi periphery or periphery

- Role of Units in Relation to Dominant Unit: Close relationship to  dominant unit (the hegemon) ensures economic stability and growth; if subordinate units occupy favorable position in the global system, this  relationship may be key

- Individual (state-level) attributes: Can play a marginally important role in the developmental path as a system occasionally “allows”  subordinate units to take advantage of opportunities for upward  mobility

Hegemony 

- The Hegemon’s (global or regional power’s) actions allow what would  otherwise be subordinate units to “move up” economically or militarily - Thus, the Cold War Compelled the US to build a center of capitalism in  East Asia and allow/invite countries like Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan to develop

Criticism of this explanation

- All three cases did develop, but did so differently

- Also, while they were “chosen” for development, Japan, South Korea  and Taiwan all became strong competitors to and economic rivals of  the US and US domestic economic interests in many ways

Democracy Throughout the World 

In political science, democracy is often defined “formally,” in terms of:  procedures, Constitutional Provisions and Principles. 

Anthony Giddens offers one such definition:

“I would say democracy exists where you have a multiparty system with  political parties competing with one another, free and non-corrupt voting  procedures to elect political leaders, and an effective legal framework of civil liberties or human rights that underlie the mechanisms of voting processes.”  (add universal suffrage)

Substantive Definitions of democracy

- Formal democracies might exist in name, but might not be very  democratic in practice or in reality

- Substantive definitions look more at the quality of political life within  countries/societies in order to define democracy

- Include factors like individual and social freedom, social equality,  human welfare and public deliberation

Researchers do adopt Formal Definitions

- Sometimes they offer greater specificity and are easier to work with  even if they might not be perfect

- If they let us accurately distinguish between actual democracies and  autocratic or authoritarian regimes, they can be useful 

- When defining democracy, we also need to Operationalize it - We need to define it in a way so that it can be measured - This includes stating the features of democracy we find important  which might be simple yes/no distinctions 

- We need to look at the degree to which different features of democracy exist

In explaining democratization, we need to ask: Who does democracy favor? - Democracy doesn’t necessarily benefit everyone equally and isn’t  always necessarily in the interest of everyone

- Particularly important consideration from a Rational Actor perspective  

Opponents of Democracy

- Historically, Landowners have been seen as the class most opposed to  democratization because they depended highly upon the labor of  oppressed lower classes

Supporters of Democracy

- Anyone who might benefit from a greater political voice and greater  political equality 

- Usually identified as: middle class, working class, the petite  bourgeoisie, intellectuals (university students and academics) Structuralism 

- Structuralists view democratization as shaped by broader structural  changes in a state or society 

- Changes that reorder the balance of power among different classes - Subordinate classes need to have enough power to challenge the elites or dominant classes

- But how do they get the power to do so?

- Subordinate classes get power, Structuralists argue, as a byproduct of  the Capitalist Development

- Capitalism gives subordinate classes the capacity to Self-Organize - It brings these lower classes together in cities and factories - Instead of being spread out, they can communicate and share ideas  

faster and easier and more easily organize themselves to oppose the  dominant classes

- Capitalism also creates a highly dependent society 

- The Capitalists or dominant class relies upon the work of the lower  classes

- It also creates a tension within the dominant class between landowners and industrialists

- In many ways, capitalism shifts wealth and power to those who own  factories and produce manufactured goods

- Generally, Structuralists view capitalist development as they  underlying process which democracy emerges 

- Which might somewhat help explain why Democracy is basically a 20th century phenomenon: capitalism has really only become prevalent  over the last 100 years

- Democracy is basically an unintended outcome of capitalism

Singapore is an exception 

- Highly authoritarian, but also a highly developed, capitalist country

Rationalism 

- People make democracies, not invisible, or inert structures - Capitalism isn’t the key process in Democratization

- Subordinate classes do matter, but many rationalists tend to put  greater emphasis on the interests and actions of the elites - Don’t like to focus on underlying economic structures. Instead they see democracy as possible in any economic context

- Elites matter most and are they key actors/agents/ for others,  subordinate groups are the key agents of political change

- Democratization is the result of negotiations among the Elites, called  Pacting (and thus democratization is deliberate and cooperative). - Which happens when there are splits within the elite

- Others argue that: Democratization is non-cooperative and is the  product of coercion

- Authoritarian leaders leave office when facing the possibility of violent  opposition from lower groups

Democratization from Above: Elite based / cooperative 

Democratization from Below- Non-Cooperative / based on actions of  subordinate classes 

Non-cooperative explanations:

- Democracy is the product of people who want it and are willing to risk  their lives for it

- This changes the strategic environment for elites and political leaders - It changes their choices and what decisions are rational - Attempting to stay in power might no longer be rational if elites face a  strong/serious, violent opposition

Both the Cooperative and Non-Cooperative explanations have Empirical  Support

- Latin American cases of Democratization generally support the Elite  Centered explanation

- Post-Communist cases (Easter Europe) support the Bass Based  explanation where democratization wasn’t entirely top-down

Rationalism 

- People make democracies, not invisible, or inert structures - Capitalism isn’t the key process in Democratization

- Subordinate classes do matter, but many rationalists tend to put  greater emphasis on the interests and actions of the elites - Don’t like to focus on underlying economic structures. Instead they see democracy as possible in any economic context

- Elites matter most and are they key actors/agents/ for others,  subordinate groups are the key agents of political change

- Democratization is the result of negotiations among the Elites, called  Pacting (and thus democratization is deliberate and cooperative). - Which happens when there are splits within the elite

- Others argue that: Democratization is non-cooperative and is the  product of coercion

- Authoritarian leaders leave office when facing the possibility of violent  opposition from lower groups

Democratization from Above: Elite based / cooperative

Democratization from Below- Non-Cooperative / based on actions of  subordinate classes

Non-cooperative explanations:

- Democracy is the product of people who want it and are willing to risk  their lives for it

- This changes the strategic environment for elites and political leaders - It changes their choices and what decisions are rational - Attempting to stay in power might no longer be rational if elites face a  strong/serious, violent opposition

Both the Cooperative and Non-Cooperative explanations have Empirical  Support

- Latin American cases of Democratization generally support the Elite  Centered explanation

- Post-Communist cases (Easter Europe) support the Bass Based  explanation where democratization wasn’t entirely top-down Authoritarian Regimes 

- Military Regimes: Dominated by military leaders that came to power  through coups

- Personalist Regimes: Charismatic leaders who individually dominate  the political process (dictators, etc.)

- Single Party Regimes: Highly disciplined and organized single-party  structure (opposing political parties are not tolerated)

- Amalgam Regimes: some combination of the above

- (can be an independent variable)

∙ Military Leaders are often seen as most concerned with the survival  and efficacy of the military and not so much concerned with political  power and governing a country

Thus they often return to the barracks and give up control over a  country after an acceptable new regime can take over which may help  Democratization

∙ Personalist Leaders have an over-riding interest in remaining in  power

Typically rule very harshly and face severe consequences if they’re  overthrown (exile, imprisonment, death). Thus, they are unlikely to  give up power.

∙ Single Party Leaders also have an over-riding interest in remaining  in power but are usually more stable than Personalist Regimes and can  also often co-opt opposition and bring them into their Single-Party

- Military regimes are seen as the most likely to break down or  give up power since militaries are usually not interested in  political power or governance, they don’t want divisions to  develop that might threaten the military

- Personalist and Single Party regimes are both more resistant to  breakdown and have leaders that have more to lose and often fight  strongly to maintain power (non-cooperative) and their grip on power is so strong that serious opposition doesn’t have the chance to form

- Due to this, exogenous shocks (like invasions by other states) are one  of the primary ways personalist and single party regimes can be  overthrown

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