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PSC 1001 - Introduction to Comparative Politics Week 6

by: Caroline Jok

PSC 1001 - Introduction to Comparative Politics Week 6 PSC 1001

Marketplace > George Washington University > Political Science > PSC 1001 > PSC 1001 Introduction to Comparative Politics Week 6
Caroline Jok
GPA 3.8

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PSC 1001 Political Science Dr. Jennifer Oetken Rome 206 Introduction to Comparative Politics The George Washington University In-Class Notes, & Notes on Assigned Readings
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Jennifer L. Oetken
Class Notes
Comparative Politics, american politics, Assigned Readings, gwu, PSC 1001, political science
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Caroline Jok on Sunday February 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 1001 at George Washington University taught by Jennifer L. Oetken in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 58 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Comparative Politics in Political Science at George Washington University.

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Date Created: 02/21/16
WEEK 6 Introduction to Comparative Politics Professor JPSC 1001 Caroline E. Jok The George Washington University Class 9 ~ Are there Meaningful differences across developed democracies? What are post communist states that are developing democracies • Poland • Czech • Slovakia • Slovenia Current Developed Democracies • Japan • South Korea • Taiwan • Israel • United States • Canada… etc. What are the common characteristics that developed democracies share • Capitalist economic system • Rule of law • Promotion of participation of the people • Participation, competition, and liberty are guaranteed / actively promoted. o How does participation vary in developed democracies? • The rates in which people come out to vote vary • In Australia it's compulsory to vote. • Variations in types of liberties • Institutionalized democratic procedures and practices • High Level of economic development and prosperity • Changing of Values Changes in Developed Democracies • Ingleheart: world Values survey o Modern/Material values vs. Post -modern values o Post Material: Quality of Life; environmen talism… Surrendering State sovereignty through regional integration (ex: European Union) • • Devolution of politician power to local and regional governments Modern Values of progresses and innovation giving way to qualify love (post materialists) • • Post-industrialism: larger percentage of economy is industry than agriculture. Why do some democracies redistribute national wealth more than others? • Greater Levels of wealth equality • Stronger working class and labor movements • Ideological Differences: o Left leaning governments and societies will redistribute less. Inversion and Soskice • PR Systems = More redistributive government • Majoritarian Electoral systems will need to do less than redistributive government. How do electoral institutions shape the beh avior and preferences of political parties and the electorate • The author assumes that class structures determine political preferences. • What are the preferences of the upper class, middle class, and lower class with respect to wealth redistribution. o Sub structures Electoral Institutions and Party Systems • Proportional Representation --> Multi-party systems o PR System means there is also a prime minister o Coalition government o Etc. • Majoritarian electoral system --> Two-party systems o Middle class can form coalition with the left and tax the rich o Middle class will vote for the center right party • Why are you doing to see governments that redistribute more wealth? Party Systems and wealth redistribution • Why under a multi -party system, would the government be m ore likely to spend more on social welfare? • Does the PR system allow for more negotiation? *Theoretical • Question: where doe the middle class go? • The structures are what are determining the preferences of the electorate • Under a majoritarian electoral syst em, why would the government be more likely to spend on social welfare? Synopsis • Majoritarian: middle class will vote for the center right part to ensure that the upper and the middle class are not taxed and that wealth is redistributed to the poor • PR system: middle-class can form a coalition with the left party and agree to tax the rich only and redistribute wealth to the lower and middle class. Reading Notes ~ Electoral Institutions and the Politics of Coalitions Question: Why do some countries redist ribute more than others? • Meltzer-Richard: the voter with the median income is also the decisive voter • Right skewed distribution of income o Median voter pushes for redistributive spending o Redistribution is greater in democracies o Inegalitarian redistribute more than egalitarian. • Argument 1: power of working class and left political parties varies across countries. o Redistribution is a function of government policies o Partisanship explains cross national differences in redistribution • Assumed to reflect the le vel of working class mobilization § Really mainly determined by differences in coalitional dynamics. § Electoral formula affects coalition behavior and leads to systematic differences o Why are some democracies left and others right? o Two majoritarian system: c enter right is more likely to win, redistribute less than o Multi party PR system allied left. • Test: o Partisanship and electoral system (explanatory variables accounting for redistribution differences) • Center of gravity of the cabinet: § Average of three ex pert classifications of government parties on placement on a left-right scale § Decimal share of cabinet portfolios • How can we be sure that partisan effects are due to differences in who governs vs. differences in voter preferences: • Electoral system affects the party composition of governments and policies, not that electorates in different countries want different governments and policies • Use the ideological position of the median voter. o Partisanship as the dependent variable • Variables that are commonly assumed to affect redistribution o Pretax and transfer inequality • More inequality leads to more distribution • Measured as earnings of workers in the 90th percentile o Constitutional veto points • Composite measures of federalism, presidentialism, bicameralism, f requency of referenda, veto points o Unionization • Power resource theory • High union density should lead to more political pressure for redistribution and stronger left o Voter turn out • Is voter non turnout concentrated among the poor? • High turnout = less redis tribution o Unemployment • Higher unemployment is linked to more redistribution o Real Per Capita Income • Demand for social insurance is income elastic o Female Labor Force Participation • Entitles some women to benefits for which they would otherwise be ineligible • Women tend to be lower paid: increases support for the left and for redistributive policies • Findings: o Redistribution • Inequality of pretax and transfer earnings: negative effect on redistribution • Effect of inequality reverses when controls for the politi cal institution are included § Left governments cause an increase in redistribution and reduce inequality • Right partisanship has a strong and negative effect on redistribution • Multiple veto points reduce redistribution • PR has a positive effect on redistribution • Conclusion: o Redistribution is the result of electoral systems and the class coalitions they engender. o Essential to understand that policies are multidimensional and groups have to form partisan coalitions to grow.


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