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PSCI 1014: Week 1

by: Hardy Notetaker

PSCI 1014: Week 1 1014

Hardy Notetaker
Virginia Tech

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About this Document

Covering the basics when it comes to collective dillemmas, in other way -- solving a problem as a group of people not as individual.
U.S Gov and Politics
Caitlin E. Jewitt
Class Notes
Collective Action Problems, collective
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hardy Notetaker on Saturday September 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 1014 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University taught by Caitlin E. Jewitt in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see U.S Gov and Politics in PSCI at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


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Date Created: 09/03/16
8/25/2016  Americans prefer low taxes and balanced budgets. BUT Americans also support programs and policies that create deficits.  How can this contradiction be explained?  A framework for understanding and examining US Policies o People and society face collective dilemmas and can have conflicting interests o Political institutions matter  What is politics: o The process of making collective decisions about resource allocation. o Involves creating and enforcing societal rules. o Given competing interests, politics is often conflictual o Reaching a collective decision is difficult  Collective Dilemmas o A collective dilemma is a situation that arises when goals of one individual conflict with those of the group o The type of institution through which a collective dilemma is resolved affects the outcome. o Government can help solve collective dilemmas  Types of Collective Action Problems o Collective Action Problems  People want to see public good provided, but individuals have no incentive to provide it.  Individuals have an incentive to free ride  Effective enforcement is required to solve the problem o Prisoner’s Dilemma Situations  Strategic interaction where each actor is better off with cooperation but each is incentivized not to cooperate o Conditional Problems  The group wants to act in common, but cannot agree on a solution  Repeated interactions can also help solve this problem o Unstable Institutions  Collective agreements can be undermined in the face of competition.  There are incentives for shifting coalitions  Agenda setters can help by restricting options  Principal Agent Problems o Technically not a collective dilemma o One actor, the principal, contracts another, the agent, to act on his behalf o Principal cannot be sure that the agent is acting faithfully  Institutions o Institutions exist to help solve collective action problems o Institutions are rules that determine how collective decisions are made, but these institutions have consequences for the outcome. o Institutions can be endogenous or exogenous o Political Institutions  Branches of government  Organizations  Rules and procedures  Types of Government Institutions o Authoritarianism  Dictatorships  Monarchies  One-party states o Democracies  Direct democracy  Republic


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