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comparative politics (3 weeks)

by: Brevin Ismail

comparative politics (3 weeks) POSC270

Marketplace > University of Delaware > Political Science > POSC270 > comparative politics 3 weeks
Brevin Ismail
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These notes cover about a month of basic material for this course
Intro to Comparative Politics
Muqtedar Khan
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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brevin Ismail on Wednesday June 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POSC270 at University of Delaware taught by Muqtedar Khan in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Intro to Comparative Politics in Political Science at University of Delaware.


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Date Created: 06/22/16
                                                                                                                             Concepts and Arguments­ The building blocks of inquiry  Comparative politics­ the study and comparison of domestic politics across countries ­Topics include regimes, elections, culture, economic development  International relations­ the study of relations between countries • Reliable measures is easy to correct  • Validity­ how you turn your concepts to do political research, two types­ content and  face validity. (how you define your concept and what your concept actually is).  • A democracy is more than elections  • Reliability  • There are no right or wrong concepts, it depends on what you do.  • the research community determines who’s right and who’s wrong.  • economic development­GDP  • 1). USA 16 trillion      2). China 85 trillion       3). Japan       4). India 1.8 trillion        5). Sao Tome 263 million       6). Tuvalon 40 million       7). Qatar 109,000      8). Eritrea 700      9). DRC 400 • three level concepts  • Level (Base) Noun w/ adj • Level 2 (Def)  • Level 3 (Data) • What constitutes the basic level? Free press  • Freedom house­ use 23 questions  • Theory­ how two or more concepts relate  • Methods­ how you test how those things are related  • Ideals • The power to decide who gets what and when  • Vhina is about producing harmony and order in society                                                                                                                                   Key Concept: Power ­Political power ability to produce intended effects on other people (Lasswell)  ­“ability to influence other or impose one’s will on them”          ­Thus if “Politics is the competition for public power, and power is the ability to  exert one’s will.” O’Neil p. 5.  Methods Terminology  ­Independent Variable (the cause)  ­Dependent Variable (the effect/ outcome)          ­The value is dependent on the value of the independent variable  Methods Terms ­Deductive         ­From general to specific         ­Logical necessity         ­Formal Modals: Rational Choice  ­Inductive         ­From specific to general         ­No logical necessity         ­Stats  ­Hypothesis ­ an educated guess (based on theory) about how two or more variables  are related  ­Quantitive Analysis: uses statistics  ­Qualitative Analysis: Does not use statistics       ­Ex. Discourse analysis ­Often same data can be used for both quantitative or qualitative research  Rationality  ­Rational Choice uses formal modeling to predict or explain outcomes  ­Assumes people are utility maximizers  ­Game theory formal models that resemble games         ­Josh Nash instrumental in developing game theory (A Beautiful Mind)  ­Criticisms of Rat Choice          ­People aren’t rational  Fairness ­Ultimatum Game: two players interact to decide how to divide a sum of money that is  given to them. The first player proposes how to divide the sum between the two players, and the second player can either accept or reject this proposal. If the second player  accepts, the money is split according to the proposal.  The Comparative Method  ­Challenges comparative researchers face     ­Difficult to control variables     ­Multi causality     ­Endogeneity     ­Data­gathering limitations     ­Area studies overemphasize Europe     ­Selection bias  History of the Field  ­Early comparativists­ Aristotle and Machiavelli  ­Post­World War ll shift­ Modernization theory, behavioral revolution, critiques  Guiding Concept: Political Institutions  ­Definition: Organizations or activities that are self­perpetuating and valued for their  sake  ­Examples of Formal Institutions­ Citizenship, electoral systems, federal versus unitary  systems  ­Examples of Informal Institutions­ Legislative norms (U.S. Senate’s filibuster), Societal  rules and culture (Gender relations, neopatrimonialism)  Chapter 2: States  1. The Mexican Mafia  2. What is an institution?  3. The Mexican Mafia: A prison gang         ­Two puzzles about drug gangs in LA         ­Founded in 1956        ­Currently about 150­300 official members  ­Puzzle #1: Why so much influence?  ­Puzzle #2: Why are drug gangs so effective?  1. The State ­Definition from Max Weber    ­An organization that maintains a monopoly of violence over a territory  ­Key Elements of states     ­Possess sovereignty        ­The ability to carry out actions or policies within a territory independently from  external actors or internal rivals  ­State authority    ­Government: leadership or elite who run the state and make policies     ­Regime: fundamental rules and norms of politics that shape        ­Long­term goals regarding individual freedom and equality       ­Where power should reside        ­Use of that power  ­Some terms…    ­Country: State, government, regime, and the people who live within that political  system      ­Nation: A group of people bound together by a common set of political aspirations  (Well cover nationalism later in the semester.)  ­Institution: an organization or activity that is self­perpetuating  ­Examples of institutions:       ­Marriage, religious systems, languages, countries (in the geographic sense, as well  as in the political)  ­State: institutionalized authority in a country     ­Characteristics of states:          ­Authority­ citizens generally accept that states and their leaders have the right to  issue rules.          ­Sovereignty­ states can issue rules without much interference from competitors,  external or internal.          ­By definition, states have:                 ­A monopoly on force                  ­Recognized rights that other organizations don’ t.  3. Origins ­Why did people create rulers?     ­Two classical ideas:        1. Consensus           ­Thomas Hobbes (1588­1679)                ­Life without rulers is “solitary, nasty, brutish, and short”  ­Coercion      ­Jean­Jacques Rousseau (1712­1778)           ­Life without rulers is good  ­Question:      ­What is the nature of humanity?            A. People are inherently good. If left to themselves, unregulated, they will create  peaceful communities. In contrast, governments are inherently destructive.            B. People are inherently bad. If left to themselves, unregulated, they will destroy  everything. In contrast, governments are inherently necessary to keep the peace.  ­Why did people create rulers?       ­Two classical ideas; both are probably wrong       ­In fact, humans are inherently social and political; people and politics evolved  together.       ­The real question is: why states?  ­Middle ages in Europe      ­Authority is based on relationships between people, not territory       ­Multiple, overlapping lines of authority exist       ­Religious wars, Catholic vs. Protestant, lead to 1648 Treaty of Westphalia.  ­1648 Treaty of Westphalia       ­Ends a series of wars:               ­Kings recognize each other               ­Authority is bound by territory  ­Key consequences:               ­Kings get all revenues from their territory.               ­Gives kings incentives to regulate well.  ­Bur why states? One theory:       ­“War made the state and the state made war.”           ­Charles Tilly       ­States compete with each other through war       ­In the year 1500, there were over 1,000 independent political units  ­“War made the state”  ­Technological developments give an advantage to groups that can mobilize resources  on a large scale  ­Key developments are military:       ­Gun power (cannons wreck castles)       ­Longbows (peasants wreck cavalry)       ­Logistics (large armies wreck small domains)  ­Once established, states made more states      ­Example: Australia and New Zealand, early 1800s            ­Australian Aborigines:                    ­Decentralized bands, no single rulers                    ­British try negotiations but end with genocide  ­How do rulers stay in power?       ­Subjects consent when they obey rulers       ­Rulers lose consent when they overreach       ­Rulers know that there is a limit to what they can ask; if they push too hard, subjects will resist, or even rebel.       ­Mechanisms: Rulers can rule through:                   ­Fear: punish dissent                    ­Rewards: bribe supporters                    ­Legitimacy: the extent to which someone or something is recognized or  accepted as right and proper                    ­Why do people accept rulers as legitimate?  ­Max Weber (1864­1920)  ­Traditional legitimacy        ­Obey out of habit        ­Cultural value        ­Example:                    ­Hereditary monarch, Elizabeth ll and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi  ­Charismatic legitimacy:        ­Based on qualities of leader                    ­Tied to a specific person                    ­Example:                            ­revolutionary heroes                           ­Nelson Mandela  ­Rational­legal legitimacy:         ­Obey leaders who inhabit offices         ­Depersonalized         ­Example:                    ­Elected officials                    ­Barack Obama  ­Legitimacy adds to consent         ­If rulers have more legitimacy, they are more powerful  ­Centralized states have one national government  ­Unitary state: a single center of authority         ­A unitary state might have administrative regions, but these are still under the  control of the center  ­A federal state is made of smaller states joined together. The smaller states have their  own sources of consent, not just as extensions of the center.  ­Federalism: Some powers are held by regional institutions, and cannot easily be taken  back.  ­Consequences of federalism:          ­Regions and Center compete for power  ­Examples of unitary states:          ­France         ­Japan          ­China  ­Examples of federal states          ­USA          ­Germany          ­Russia          ­India          ­Canada          ­United Arab Emirates  ­Symmetric Federalism: all regions have the same powers.          ­Example:                  ­United States: each state has the same status  ­Asymmetric Federalism: different regions have different powers         ­Examples:                   ­Canada: Quebec has powers over taxation and health care that other  provinces do not.                   ­Russia: Oblasts (provinces) have less autonomy; Republics (intended for  ethnic minorities) have more  Phi Mu Alpha  Quiz Monday: All countries of South America (no capitals)           ­Identity and the State  ­Citizenship: An individual’s relationship to the state           ­Citizens swear allegiance to the state           ­The state, in turn, provides rights to its citizens  ­Conflict          ­Some countries forge consensus between different ethnic and national identities  (US)           ­Other countries experience seemingly irreconcilable conflict between groups  (Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish groups in Iraq)           ­Sometimes, previously peaceful countries suddenly erupt into violence (Bosnia:  Serbs, Croats, and Bosnia Muslims)  ­Conflict: All three sources combine to create conflict           ­Nigeria                  ­Extremem divisions                 ­Political exclusion and corruption                  ­Income inequality                  ­Conflict over oil revenues    ­How India has avoided major conflict             ­English and Hindi as national languages             ­Recognition of religious holidays for all major groups             ­Asymmetric federalism             ­Inclusive political system (Parliamentary, not presidential)  ­Why Hindu­Muslim conflict may be increasing            ­Rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)             ­Muslims feel disenfranchised             ­Corruption             ­Weak state capacity  ­Political Attitudes and Ideologies             ­Two different kinds of ideas                      ­Attitudes: Ideas about the necessary scope and pace of political change  ­How do the four different attitudes view institutions?             ­Radicals prefer large institutional change             ­Liberals prefer changes within institutions             ­Conservatives are skeptical of change and favor the status quo             ­Reactionaries seek to restore political, social, and economic institutions (real or  imaginary).  ­Radicals: Favor dramatic, often revolutionary change to the existing political, social, or  economic order and believe old institutions are broken and must be replaced  ­Liberals: Favor gradual, evolutionary change and believe that existing institutions can  create positive change.  ­Conservatives: Fear change will have unintended effects ­Reactionaries: View current oder as fundamentally unacceptable, seek to return to  “older” systems, sometimes imagine a fictional past, example: U.S. Tea Party ­One view: radicals are extreme liberals; reactionaries are extreme conservatives  ­Why, in the United States, “liberal” sometimes means “left­wing”  ­Different ideologies prioritize different goals          ­Liberalism: individual freedom          ­Communism: economic equality           ­Social democracy: balance of freedom and equality  ­Liberalism          ­Limit state’s role in politics, society, and economy           ­People, as individuals, pursue their own interests           ­Inspires liberal democracy                       ­A system of political, social, and economic liberties, supported by  competition, participation, and contestation                       ­Examples: the United Kingdom, the United States  ­Communism         ­Rejects idea that personal freedom will ensure prosperity for the majority          ­States role is to ensure wealth is shared                       ­No private property          ­Inspired twentieth­century communist states                       ­Examples: Soviet Union, China, Cuba  ­Social democracy          ­Balance freedom and equality                       ­Strong markets and role for private ownership                       ­Strong state to regulate industry and engage in social spending          ­Inspires many modern European states                       ­Example: Germany and the Scandinavian states  ­Fascism         ­Rejects ideas of freedom and equality        ­Believes all groups and individuals are either inferior or superior        ­Powerful state as instrument to express national will        ­Inspired Fascist regimes, including Nazi Germany  ­Anarchism        ­Views state as a threat to freedom and equality        ­Believes eliminating the state and private property would achieve both freedom and equality        ­Inspired­no states  ­Many ideologies as alternative for religion  ­A crisis of ideology­and a fundamentalist response?       ­Modern phenomena               ­Spiritual malaise        ­Unite religion and the state               ­Create a theocracy  6. Political Culture      ­Defined            ­Basic institutions and norms that define a society            ­Help determine the ideology that dominates a country’s political regime      ­Different cultural values (Inglehart)            ­Traditional versus secular­rational            ­Survival versus self­expression                 ­Physical security or social justice      ­Economic modernization shifts some societal values­but other social values are  more resistant to change  7. Government      ­Chief of State and Head of Government: Yoweri Museveni                1. Goods and Services  ­Political economy: the study of the relationship between states and markets  ­Critical components to all economies      ­Markets: interactions between the forces of supply and demand that allocates  resources  ­Private Goods:      ­Possible to exclude others from consuming      ­Consumption reduces availability      ­Example: sandwiches      ­Markets are effective at providing private goods  ­Public Goods:      ­Impossible to exclude others from consuming      ­Consumption does not reduce availability      ­Example: lighthouses      ­Markets are bad at providing public goods  2.   States and Markets  ­States shape the economy in many ways      ­Social expenditures      ­Taxation      ­Creating and regulating money      ­Regulating markets      ­Regulating international commerce  ­Creating and regulating money      ­Money is a medium of exchange             ­A store of value             ­A unit of account      ­Money has no intrinsic value            ­Printed and produced by states             ­Money is a social institution                 ­People accept value because they expect others to ­Money is often regulated through a central bank  ­States create money and distribute it to people, who then use it to buy things from each other  ­Problems to avoid: deflation        ­Or, the “liquidity trap”  ­Social Expenditures: the state’s provision of public benefits, such as education,  healthcare, and transportation      ­Commonly called welfare or the welfare state  ­Advantages      ­Provides “economic building blocks”      ­Insurance against economic downturns  ­Disadvantages      ­May discourage people from seeking work      ­Costly for governments to maintain  ­Taxation      ­Used to pay for social expenditures      ­Taxes com from a variety of sources            ­Income taxes            ­Corporate and payroll taxes            ­Value­added (or sales) taxes            ­Property taxes      ­Advantages            ­More government revenue            ­Some taxes (“sin taxes”) produce direct benefits      ­Disadvantages            ­May penalize work and investment            ­May distort markets and decrease competitiveness  ­Democratic Institutions      ­Legislature           ­The branch if government that makes laws      ­Legislatures can be              ­Legislatures can be                         ­Unicameral                                 ­Common in small, homogenous countries                         ­Bicameral                                 ­Common in larger, more diverse countries                                 ­Often related to federalism                                 ­Houses may be elected using different rules       ­Variation in how representatives are chosen              ­Direct election                      ­United States (House and Senate)                       ­France (Assembly)                       ­Germany (Bundestag)                       ­United Kingdom (Commons)              ­Indirect election                       ­France (Senate)                       ­Germany (Bundesrat)              ­Heredity and appointment                       ­United Kingdom       ­Judiciary               ­Maintains and upholds the rule of law                       ­Rule of law: all individuals and groups, including those in government, are subject to the law irrespective of their power or authority               ­Courts interpret applications of laws       ­Judiciary: constitutional courts               ­Possesses judicial review                       ­Abstract review                                  ­Political leaders can refer questions to a court, often before laws  are passed                                  ­Example: French Constitutional Council                       ­Concrete review                                  ­Citizens use court cases to challenge a law after its passage                                 ­Example: U.S. Supreme Court              ­Ninety percent of democracies have a constitutional court      ­Political parties               ­Promote                        ­Participate                        ­Competition                        ­Governance and policy making                        ­Accountability               ­Some countries have two parties and others have more                        ­Party systems are impacted by electoral systems       ­Executive Systems                ­How do the three branches of government relate to one another?                ­Three models                        ­Parliamentary systems                                     ­Legislative and executive branches are fused  ­Civil rights: promotion of equality  ­Civil liberties: promotion of freedom  ­Differences across states      ­Specificity of constitutional protections     ­Actions by courts to defend rights and liberties      ­Ideas about central role of state  Summary 1. Modern democracy is based on participation, competition, and liberty. It can be  practiced directly or indirectly.  2. Democratization is shaped by economic, political, social, and international forces.  3. While all democracies have these institutions, they differ in how their executive,  legislative, judicial, and political party systems are constructed.  4. Parliamentary, presidential, and semi­presidential systems offer different choices on  legislative­executive relations.  5. There are many different ways to elect representatives.  6. Democracies vary in terms of the specific rights and liberties in regards to the  constitution.  Chapter 8: Developed Democracies  1. Developed Democracies, Defined  2. Sovereignty Transformed: International Integration and Devolution  3. Emerging Identities and Values  4. Economic Change: Postindustrialism and the Welfare State  5. Summary  1. What is a “developed democracy”?        ­Institutionalized democracy        ­High level of economic development and prosperity 


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