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FSU / Political Science / POS 2002 / What treats culture as objective and inherited?

What treats culture as objective and inherited?

What treats culture as objective and inherited?


School: Florida State University
Department: Political Science
Course: Introduction to Comparative Politics
Professor: Quintin beazer
Term: Fall 2015
Cost: 50
Description: CHAPTERS 7-12
Uploaded: 11/05/2016
14 Pages 11 Views 12 Unlocks

Chapter 7: Cultural Determinants of Democracy 

What treats culture as objective and inherited?

∙ Primordialist arguments treat culture as objective and inherited.  

 Imply that democracy is not for everyone.

∙ Constructivist arguments treat culture constructed or invented.  

 Cultures are malleable and not fixed.  

 Cultures are socially constructed.

Cultural Arguments

∙ Cultural Modernization Theory: argues that socioeconomic development does not  directly cause democracy; instead, economic development produces certain cultural  changes and it’s these cultural changes that ultimately produce democratic reform.

Problem 1: What is it about culture that matters?

What are constructivist arguments?

∙ The specifics are vague. Don't forget about the age old question of mesa cc nursing

∙ Are particular morals incompatible? Are certain customs problematic? Most theorists point  to non-cultural things that matter as well, such as development.

∙ If culturist arguments are to have any explanatory power, they must distinguish and  specify what it is that matters.  

Problem 2: What is the causal relationship between cultural, economic, and political factors?

 Does culture cause democracy? Does it also cause economic development? Or does  democracy and development cause culture?

Civic Culture

A civic culture is a shared cluster of attitudes that includes things like:

 a high level of interpersonal trust,  

What is civic culture?

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 a preference for gradual societal change,

 a high level of support for the existing political system,  

 and high levels of life satisfaction.

Three types: 

 Parochial: suitable for traditional system of African tribes.

 Subject: suitable for centralized authoritarian systems.

 Participant: suitable for democracy. 

Religion and Democracy

∙ Huntington claimed that certain cultures are incompatible with democracy.

∙ All religions have doctrinal elements that make them seem both compatible and  incompatible with democracy.

∙ Growing evidence that cultures are invented, constructed, and malleable rather than  primordial, inherited, and unchanging. If you want to learn more check out bm 328

∙ Often depends less on the content of religious doctrine.

∙ All religions have historically been compatible with a broad range of political institutions.

∙ Most arguments that particular religions are incompatible with democracy are implicitly  based on observations of the world at a particular point in time.

Experiments and Culture

Ultimatum Game 

∙ The Set-up

 Players–there is a “proposer” and a “responder.”

 The proposer is given a divisible pie: money.

∙ The Procedure

 Step 1: The proposer offers some of the pie to the responder.

 Step 2: The responder knowing the offer and size of the pie has to accept or reject  the offer.

∙ The Outcome

 If the responder accepts, she gets to keep the offer and the proposer keeps the  rest.

 If the responder rejects, then neither player receives anything.

 If the players are self-interested we would expect the proposer to offer ε, where ε is close to  zero, and keep the rest (1 - ε) for himself.

 We would expect the responder to accept this offer because ε > 0.

Dictator Game 

∙ The Dictator Game is exactly the same as the Ultimatum Game except that the  responder is not given an opportunity to accept or reject the offer.Don't forget about the age old question of login arcee

 The proposer (dictator) merely dictates the division.

 Test of fairness (as opposed to the ultimatum game)

 If the players are self-interested we would expect the proposer to offer zero and keep  everything for himself.

 Subjects play anonymously. 

 Stakes of the game denominated in money. 

∙ Self-interested model is not supported in any society studied

∙ Proposers nearly always make positive offers.  

 Mean offer is 44 percent. Modal offer is nearly 50 percent.  

 Responders reject a lot of positive offers, especially if they are low.

 Offers of less than 20 percent are rejected with 40-60 percent probability.

Chapter 8: Democratic Transitions 

1. External imposition: External forces impose democracy.

2. Bottom-up transition: Citizens overthrow an authoritarian regime in a popular  revolution. 

3. Top-down transition: The dictatorial ruling elite introduces liberalizing reforms that  ultimately lead to transition.

1. External Imposition Don't forget about the age old question of math 166 iowa state

∙ Intervention may promote temporary democratic reform, but also leads to political  instability.

∙ Studies of U.S. intervention find that it does not typically lead to democracy. ∙ Intervention by the UN or dictatorial states leads to a reduction in democracy.

∙ Intervention by democracies produces the trappings of democracy, such as  elections and legislatures, but fails to meaningfully increase the level of democracy.

2. Bottom-Up Transitions

Collective Action Theory

Collective action theory focuses on forms of mass action or “collective action,” such as the  protests in East Germany.

∙ Strikes, elections, fraternities and sororities, and so forth.

∙ Typically, collective action concerns the pursuit of “ public goods ” by groups of  individuals.

A public good has two characteristics:

 Non-excludable: If the good is provided, everyone gets to enjoy it. Nobody can be  excluded from it.

 Non-rivalrous: If someone consumes the good, there is still just as much for everyone  else to consume.

∙ Certain incentives discourage individuals from using collective action to achieve their  common interests.

∙ Known as the “collective action problem” or “free-rider problem.”

 Individuals have little incentive to contribute to the provision of a public good that will  benefit all members of a group.

 Group of N individuals.

 If K people contribute, then the public good is provided, and all members benefit (they  receive B).

 If a group member contributes, then she pays a cost, C.

 Because the public good provides more benefits than the cost of participating, we’ll assume  that B > C.

Two possible equilibria:

Equilibrium 1: No one participates.

∙ No one will want to participate because they will pay the cost of participating but the one person rally will be a failure.

Equilibrium 2: Exactly K people participate.

∙ If exactly K people participate, all participants are critical to the rallies success, while  none of the non-participants will want to participate, because the rally is successful  without them.

Top-Down Transitions

∙ Many democratic transitions are the result of a negotiated settlement that inadvertently  leads to democratization.

∙ Liberalization is a controlled opening, i.e. permission of political parties, holding  elections, writing a constitution, opening a legislature, establishing a judiciary, etc.

∙ Liberalization results from a split in the dictatorial elite.

 “Soft-liners”: aim to broaden the base of the dictatorship.

The Game

∙ Complete information is when each player knows all the information that there is to  know about the game.

∙ E.g. the soft liners know without a doubt whether they are dealing with a weak or  strong opposition. Accordingly, decide to liberalize or not.

∙ Incomplete information means the players are uncertain about key aspects of the  game.

∙ E.g. the regime doesn’t know the true strength of the opposition.

Transition Game with Incomplete Information

∙ We model incomplete information by incorporating an actor called “Nature”, who  determines probabilistically which game the soft-liners are playing.

∙ Soft-liners know that Nature chooses a weak opposition with probability p, and chooses a  strong opposition with probability 1 - p.

∙ Expected utility (expected payoff): payoffs associated with each outcome, multiplied by  the probability with which each outcome occurs.

Example with two possible outcomes:

∙ EP(Choice) = Pr1*Payoff1 + Pr2*Payoff2.

Some conclusions

∙ We are likely to see liberalized dictatorships only when the authoritarian elites  believe that the opposition is weak.

∙ Democratic transitions from above are not possible under complete information.  They can occur only when there is uncertainty. In effect, top-down transitions to  democracy occur only because someone makes a mistake


Types of Dictatorships 

∙ Monarchy: relies on kin and family network to come to power and stay in power

∙ Military dictatorships: often ruled by committee, or junta. (The executive relies  on the armed forces)

 Last a shorter time

 Are more likely to produce competitive elections

∙ A civilian dictatorship: relies on regime parties or personality cults to stay in  power. Two types:

1. A dominant-party dictatorship: one party dominates office and control  over policy (quite stable)

2. A Personalistic dictatorship: the leader controls all policy decisions and  selection of regime personnel (quite stable)

 Weakens others to prevent challenges:

 Weak parties, weak military, weak press

 Strong secret police, arbitrary use of force

∙ Electoral authoritarianism: leaders hold elections and tolerate some pluralism,  yet democratic norms are violated

 Hegemonic electoral authoritarian regime: the leader's party wins with  overwhelming majorities

 Competitive authoritarian regime: opposition parties win substantial  minorities

 Politically closed authoritarian regimes: no opposition party is granted legal  space in the political arena

Personality Cults 

∙ Personality cults: help leaders hold on to power by altering citizens’ beliefs.  Prevents leader from knowing true levels of societal support.

 Public belief of outrageous stories represents credible signals of support Selectorate Theory 

∙ Assumes that political leaders are motivated by the desire to gain and maintain  office.

 Even if they have other goals, political competition forces them to pursue  and maintain office.

 Whether we observe that competition or not–someone always wants leaders’ position.

 Office-seeking explains much of leaders’ behavior.

What explains the variation in the performance of political leaders?  Some environments encourage leaders to behave in a way that benefits society

 Other environments encourage them to behave in a way that benefits only  themselves and a few others.

 The crucial trait of this environment is how the leader is “selected.” ∙ This theory characterizes governments by:

1. Size of the Selectorate.

2. Size of their winning coalition.

1) The selectorate (S) is the set of people who can play a role in selecting the  leader.

2) The winning coalition (W) includes those people whose support is necessary for  the leader to stay in power.

 To stay in power, leaders must keep members of their winning coalitions  happy.

 Leaders can do this by distributing (a) public goods and/or (b) private goods. a. Public goods can be consumed by everyone.

b. Private goods are consumed only by members of the winning coalition. Size of the Winning Coalition 

∙ As the size of the winning coalition increases, the share of the private goods going  to each member declines.

∙ If W gets big enough, this share of the private goods becomes really small

 At that point, members of W would get more value if the dictator was  providing public goods.  

∙ When W is small, leaders will want to provide private goods rather than public  goods.

∙ When W is large, leaders will want to provide public goods rather than private  goods.

 When divided among lots of people, private goods are not worth much to  each individual.

Loyalty Norm 

∙ Individuals in W who are disgruntled must weigh the costs and benefits of  defecting.

∙ Individuals who defect have no guarantee that they will be in the next leader’s  winning coalition.

 Thus, individuals who defect risk losing access to the private goods that go  to members of the winning coalition.

∙ The risk that a member of W faces when thinking about defecting is captured in  the ratio of W/S.

 W/S represents the probability that a member of the selectorate will be in the winning coalition.

 As a result, it indicates the probability that someone who defects will be in  the next leader’s winning coalition.

∙ W/S generates a loyalty norm.

 When W/S is small, members of the winning coalition will be extremely  loyal to the leader = rigged election dictatorships

 When W/S is large, members of the winning coalition will be less loyal =  democracies, monarchies, and military juntas

∙ The loyalty norm affects the performance of leaders

∙ Government performance should be better in large W/S systems than small W/S systems.


 Good things happen when W is large and W/S is large.

 Middling things happen when W is small, but W/S is large.

 Bad things happen when W is small and W/S is small.  

 Leaders like to set up political systems with small W and small W/S.

 Members of the winning coalition like to set up political systems with small  W and large W/S.

 Members of the selectorate and residents in general like to set up political  systems with a large W and a large W/S.


∙ We assume that all individuals are rational.

 By rational, we mean individuals’ preferences are complete and  transitive.

∙ An actor has a complete preference ordering if she can compare each pair of  elements (call them x and y) in one of the following ways:

 She prefers x to y,  

 She prefers y to x,  

 or she is indifferent between them.  

∙ An actor has a transitive preference ordering if for any x, y, and z in the set of  outcomes the following must be true:

 if x is preferred to y

 and y is preferred to z

 then x must be preferred to z

Preferences of Committee Members 

∙ Condorcet winner: option that beats all other options in pairwise comparisons.  ∙ Condorcet’s paradox: A set of individuals’ rational preferences aggregate to a  rational preference ordering via majority rule.

Majority Rule is problematic 

How are stable outcomes achieved?

 When the group’s preferences cycle then there is either no stable outcome or the  outcome is determined by an agenda setter.  

What do we mean by agenda setter?

 An agenda setter decides the order of the voting by deciding which options are  compared first.

Power of the Agenda Setter

∙ Policy may be more stable than we would expect because some actors have the  ability set the agenda.  

∙ If this is true, then stability has been achieved at the sacrifice of fairness, the  agenda setter is effectively a dictator.

Chapter 12: Parliamentary, Presidential, and Semi-Presidential  Democracies 

Classifying Types of Democracy 

∙ Presidential democracies: the executive does not depend on a legislative  majority.

∙ Parliamentary democracies: the executive depends only on a legislative  majority.

1. The government comprises a prime minister and the cabinet.  

2. The prime minister is the political chief executive and head of the  government.

3. The cabinet is composed of ministers whose job it is to be in the cabinet and head the various government departments.

∙ The legislature can remove the government coalition with a vote of no  confidence.

∙ Losing a confidence vote means the government is removed from office,  though parties may still stay in the legislature.

1. A vote of no confidence is initiated by the legislature; if the government does  not obtain a legislative majority in this vote, it must resign.

2. A constructive vote of no confidence must also indicate who will replace the dismissed government. (Ex: Germany, Belgium, Spain)

3. A vote of confidence is initiated by the government; if the government does  not obtain a legislative majority in this vote, it must resign.

Making and Breaking Governments: Parliamentary Democracies ∙ New governments form in two circumstances:

 Following elections.

 Following the resignation of the current government.

∙ Government coalition is negotiated by a small group of senior legislative  politicians, party leaders.

∙ A formateur is the person designated to form the government; often the PM  designate.

 The leader of the largest legislative party.

∙ The ability to nominate cabinet members is one of the most important powers held by the PM (or formateur).

 A vote taken at the beginning of a governmental or legislative term in which the  legislative majority ratifies a proposed coalition government is called an  investiture vote. (May begin a government)

 Said government is free to rule until (a) there is an election or (b) it loses a vote of (no) confidence. (May bring an end to a government)

Models of Government Formation 

∙ Office seeking

 Politicians/parties are interested in the intrinsic benefits of office; want to  maximize ministerial portfolios.

 Formateurs will not want more parties in government than are necessary to obtain a legislative majority.

 A minimal winning coalition (MWC) is one in which there are no parties that  are not required to control a legislative majority.

 They will choose the smallest coalition possible, or “least minimal winning  coalition.”

 The least MWC is the MWC with the lowest number of surplus seats. ∙ Policy seeking

 Policy-seeking politicians/parties, care about ideology.

∙ Gamson’s Law (Proportionality Norm): Cabinet positions are distributed  among government parties in proportion to the number of seats that  each party contributes to the government’s legislative majority.

Pure Office-Seeking World

∙ Smaller parties are overrepresented and larger parties are overrepresented.

∙ Though smaller parties get more portfolios, they may not be the more powerful  ones (like PM or finance)

∙ Larger parties are buying the support of smaller parties to prevent them from  leaving the coalition

∙ A connected coalition will form amongst parties that are proximate in the  ideological space.

 Combining this consideration with the minimal winning argument generates the  connected least MWC.

  Surplus Majority Governments 

∙ A surplus majority government is one in which the cabinet includes more  parties than are strictly necessary to control a legislative majority.

∙ Surplus majority governments may be common in times of crisis. ∙ Surplus majority governments may be required to change the constitution.

 These coalitions may look “oversized” but they are no larger than legally  necessary in these circumstances.

Minority Governments 

∙ A minority government occurs when governmental parties do not jointly  command a majority.

∙ A minority government can exist only as long as the opposition chooses not to  bring it down.

∙ Every time we see a minority government, there must be an implicit majority in the legislature that supports it.

∙ Minority governments seem to be more likely when

 The opposition parties are strong

 There is a corporatist interest group tradition

Minority governments seem to be less likely when

 There is an investiture vote  

Duration of Governments: Formation and Survival 

Governments can end for two types of reasons.

∙ Technical reasons–things beyond the control of the government such as a  constitutionally mandated election or the death of the PM.

∙ Discretionary reasons–political acts on the part of the government or the  opposition such as a vote of no confidence, calling early elections, and the  like.


1. private goods 

2. public goods 

3. A fireworks display 

4. When W is large 

5. When W/S is small

6. $4000

7. 0 

8. 0.005 

9. $1333 

10. 0.75 

11. Democratic Consolidation > Continued Dictatorship > New Religious  Dictatorship 

12. Democratic Consolidation > New Religious Dictatorship > Continued  Dictatorship 

13. New Religious Dictatorship > Democratic Consolidation > Continued  Dictatorship 

14. (hold elections; pursue moderate policy) 

15. (cancel elections; pursue radical policy)

16. Continued Dictatorship

17. 20

18. 5+20p 

19. 0.75 

20. Be indifferent

21. Hold elections 

22. Cancel elections

23. Moderate

24. Moderate 

25. Because the announcement is not credible

26. Opposition parties, China

27. Personalistic dictatorship  

28. Military dictatorships 

29. Monarchy, Saudi Arabia 

30. Dominant Party dictatorship, Mexico 

31. The surge in democratic transitions since 1974

32. Brazil

33. A bottom-up transition to democracy 

34. The "Arab Spring" 

35. An actor is said to be rational if she has a preference ordering over  alternatives which is both complete and transitive. 

36. A transitive preference ordering

37. She prefers x to y, y to x, or is indifferent between them 38. Each finalist wins 1 pairwise contest, there is no Condorcet winner 39. Irish folk song

40. Heavy metal vs. Irish Folk

41. Tango vs. Irish Folk 

42. Irish folk dance 

43. Tango vs. Fox Trot

44. Yes

45. We have reasons to be inherently skeptical of any majority rule decision  making process, even those that are ostensibly fit the criteria of ``fairness''. 46. So long as their preferences are rational, individuals can adopt any  preference ordering over the alternatives.

47. Non-rivalrous means the value of a good does not diminish with others'  consumption. 

48. The ideal point of the median voter will beat any alternative in pairwise  majority rule, assuming an odd number of voters, single-peaked preferences and  sincere voting. 

49. Voter D, 4

50. P_1=4, P_2=3, policy moves to position 2 

51. 5.99, to win the support of the median voter while not compromising on  their ideology. 

52. Party 1 would win, move policy to position 4

53. Position 3

54. Position 5

55. Slightly to the left or the right of position 5, P3 wins 3 votes and the other  parties split the remaining 4 equally

56. false

57. false

58. yes, this can occur in parliamentary democracies 

59. a no confidence vote

60. an investiture vote 

61. government is responsible to the president but not the legislature 62. mixed 

63. presidential 

64. In this particular election, four right-wing parties ran as a pre-electoral  coalition and together won a majority of the seats. Since they had pledged to

govern together if successful, it made sense to give the leader of the largest  coalition party the position of formateur 

65. True 

66. government is responsible to the president but not the legislature 67. social christian party 

68. Policy would move to point 3 with no agency loss

69. Policy would move to point 3 with 4 units agency loss

70. Policy would move to point 6 with 1 units agency loss 

71. –C 

72. When exactly 74 people have already contributed 

73. Three people will protest; the protest will fail to topple the regime. 74. Eight people will protest, and the protest will fail to topple the regime. 75. Seven people will protest; the protest will fail to topple the regime. 76. Liberals

77. No; the Social Democrats were given fewer portfolios than they should have  received under Gamson's Law.

78. The Greens 

79. Liberals and Social Democrats 

80. Social Democrats, Liberals, and the Liberal Alliance 

81. It makes it more likely 

82. There is a negative effect, but it is not statistically significant.

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