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Chapter 3

by: Elise Herenton

Chapter 3 PLSC 2013

Elise Herenton
GPA 3.0

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Nations and Societies
Intro to Comparative Politics
Jeffrey Ryan
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Elise Herenton on Wednesday September 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PLSC 2013 at University of Arkansas taught by Jeffrey Ryan in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Intro to Comparative Politics in Political Science at University of Arkansas.


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Date Created: 09/14/16
Chapter  3:  Nations  And  Societies   v Social  Organizations   Ø Society  refers  to  collections  of  individuals  who  are  bound  by  shared  institutions  that  define  how  human   relations  are  conducted.   § Societies  in  every  country  view   themselves  and  their  place  in  a  distinct  way.   Ø What  institutions  produce  societies?   § Ethnicity  and  national  identity  are  the  most  basic  ways  of  distinguishing  between  societies.   Ø Yet  the  presence  of  these  institutions  raises  additional  questions:     § What  role  do  ethnicity  and  national  identity  play  in  creating  societies?   § How  profound  is  their  impact?   Ø Ethnic  Identity   Ø Ethnicity  refers  to  a  specific  set  of  institutions  that  connect  individuals  through  a  common  culture .   § These  institutions  create   shared  identities  that  are  passed  on  from  parent  to  child.   § Ethnicity  almost  never  changes  over  the  course  of  a  lifetime.   Ø Shared  ethnic  identity  can  have  profound  impact  on  a  society.   § Ethnicities  with  a  high  level  of  cohesion  may  be  more  willing  to   sacrifice  resources  for  other  members  of   their  community.   • Ex.  Israel;  Military  service -­‐  it’s  our  responsibility  to  protect  our  homeland   Ø Ethnicity  is  a  social  identity,  not  a   political  identity.   § Ethnicity  does  not  lead  to   specific  ideas  and  politics  or  political  life .   § Ethnicity  may  not  be  a  relevant  political  concept  in  the   presence  of  positive  political  conditions .   v Ethnic  Identity,  cont’d.   Ø How  ethnic  groups  distinguish  themselves   varies  between  groups.   § Ethnic  groups  may  be  defined  along   hereditary  lines,  or  according  to  religion,  language  or  even  diet  and   occupation.   § Ex.  Balkan:  different  religions  determine  ethnicity;  Rwandan  ethnicities:  Hutu  vs  Tutsi -­‐  inner  culture  conflict   Ø Ethnic  groups  lack  a  single  origin.   § An  ethnicity  is  considered  to  exist  when   it  acknowledges  itself  as  different  and  when  others  also   acknowledge  the  distinction .   v National  Identity   Ø A  nation  refers  to  a  group  of  people  that  either  enjoy  or  desire  self -­‐governance  through  an  independent  state .   § The  concept  of  a  nation  is   entirely  political  in  nature.   § When  this  group   shares  common  political  aspirations  or  values ,  a  national  identity  is  created.   § National  identity  is  usually  developed  from  an   ethnic  identity  and  the  two  may  intertwine  in  complex  ways .   (Ex.  Scotland)   Ø National  identity  can  also  lead  to   nationalism,  or  a  pride  in  one’s  people  and  the  belief  in  their  own  sovereign   political  destiny.   § Nationalism  may  also  be  based  ethnic  background ,  but  not  always.   Ø National  identity  and  pride  can  develop   through  of  civil  institutions.  (Ex.  The  United  States-­‐  Americans)   v Citizenship   Ø Citizenship  can  be  defined  as  the  relationship  between  those  who  swear  allegiance  to  a  state  and  the   obligations  of  a  state  to  provide  rights  to  its  population,  or  to  the  members  of  the  group .   § Citizenship  is  an  exclusively   political  identity.   § Citizenship  can  be  conferred  at  birth,  and  may  also  contain   obligations  to  the  state  or  an  extension  of   benefits.  (Ex.  Military  service -­‐  obligated  to  spend  2  years  in  military  (Switzerland  and  Israel)  or  Healthcare.)     Ø Citizenship  is  also  a  more   flexible  concept  than  is  ethnicity.   § Citizenship  may  be  granted  or  awarded  to   individuals  not  born  within  a  state.   § Some  states  may  allow  their  citizens  to  hold  dual  citizenship.   v Patriotism   Ø Patriotism  refers  to  one’s  pride  in  their  state .   § This  may  be  pride  in  ethnic  or  national  identity  or  pride  in  a  political  systems .   § Thus,  patriotism  can  be  an  expression  of  national  identity.   Ø States  that  are  weak  or  failing  will  have  difficulties  cultivating  patriotic  values.   § Patriotism  can  be  considered  a  by -­‐product  of  by-­‐product  of  legitimacy.   v Ethnic  and  National  Conflict   Ø Ethnic  Conflict  refers  to  conflict  between  ethnic  groups  who  struggle  to  achieve  specific  political  or  economic   goals  at  the  expense  of  the  other .   § Typically  one  (or  both)  sides  of  a  conflict  attempt  to  incr ease  their  influence  by  attempting  to  gain  control  of   political  institutions.   § Ethnic  conflict  therefore  involves  a  struggle  for   control  of  an  existing  state.   Ø National  Conflict  refers  to  conflict  between  2  ethnic  groups  who  are  attempting  to  create  an  indep endent  state   for  a  specific  ethnicity.   § National  conflict  may  also  include  attempts  to  prevent  an  ethnic  group  from   creating  state  and  gaining   independence.   § Such  conflict  is  more  common  when  a  state   does  not  posses  legitimacy,  leading  an  ethnic  group  to  resort  to   violence.   v Political  Attitude  and  Political  Ideology     § Political  attitude-­‐  how  quickly/  how  far  change  should  go?  Political  ideology -­‐  addressing  concerns   Ø National  and  ethnic  identity  is  (in  part)  supported  by  individual  beliefs  about   the  need  of  political  change  and   political  ideology.   § These  values  are  identified  as   political  attitude  and  political  ideology.   Ø Political  attitudes  represent  a  range  of  responses  to   changes  in  a  state  or  a  society .   • Not  what  you  think  the  government  should  do  but  how  the  qui ckly  to  resolve  the  issue   • Ex.  Immigration:  How  do  we  address  it?   Ø Political  ideology  represents  the   basic  assumptions  that  one  holds  about  the  goal  of  political  action .   • What  are  you  trying  to  accomplish?   • Help  us  understand  how  we  want  the  government  organiz ed   Ø National  identity  and  ethnicity  may  influence  attitudes  and  ideology,  but   they  are  not  directly  linked.   § Attitude  and  ideologies   are  frequently  similar  across  national  and  ethnic  lines .     v Political  Attitudes   Ø Political  attitudes  refer  to  one’s  views  about  the  appropriate  pace  and  slope  of  change  in  laws  that  balance   freedom  and  equality.   • Everyone  feels  different  about  different  situations .   § Political  attitudes  can  be  broken  down  into  radical,  liberal,  conservative,  and  reactionary  perspectives.   Ø Radical  attitudes  prefer  dramatic,  revolutionary  change  to  an  existing  social  or  political  order .   • Violence  is  an  option.   § Radical  attitudes  assume  the  current  socio -­‐political  system  is  beyond  repair  and  must   be  entirely  replaced.   • Society  is  so  screwed  up  it’s  not  worth   saving,  so  “sweep  up”  and  start  over.   Ø Liberal  attitudes  favor  a  slow  evolution  of  the  existing  system  as  a  way  to  introduce  positive  changes .   • Not  same  thing  as  political  liberalism   • Best  way  to  change  society  is  to  it  slowly.   • Ex.  right  to  vote   • Not  always  revolutionary   § A  liberal  attitude  tends  to  be  skeptical   of  attempts  to  rapidly  replace  or  change  society.   • going  to  take  years  for  people  to  be  comfortable  with  final  change.   • work  with  what  we  can  and  introduce  new  things  slowly  so  the  public  can  have  time  to   adjust   v Attitudes,  cont’d.   Ø Conservative  Attitudes   doubt  if  significant  changes  are  necessary  in  the  existing  political  order.   § Conservatives  attitudes  are  skeptical  of  any  socio-­‐political  change,  believing  it  to  be  unnecessarily  disruptive,   and  capable  of  producing  unintended  consequences .   • Changing  things  can  mess  up  order   • Things  are  fine  the  way  they  are  now.  There’s  no  need  to  change  because  things  have  been  working  for   us  in  the  past.   Ø Reactionary  attitudes  seek  to  receive  a  traditional  or  political  order .   § Reactionaries  believe  previous   social  systems  were  superior  to  current  circumstances  and  seek  to  recreate   these  conditions.   § Some  reactionaries  do  not  even  seek  to  recreate   a  specific  historical  period   but  rather  to  create  an  idealized   version  of  the  past.  (Ex.  Trump-­‐  “Make  America  Great  Again”)   Ø Political  attitudes  do  not  refer  to  the  same  values  as  political  ideologies .   § Ex.  Conservative  attitudes  in  China  value  different  priorities  than  conservative  attitudes  in  the  US.   v Understanding  Political  Attitudes   § Violence-­‐  radicals  and  reactionaries   § Non  violence-­‐  liberals  and  conservatives   § For  change-­‐  radicals  and  liberals   v Political  Ideology   Ø Political  ideology  refers  to  defined  set  of  political  values  regarding  the  fundamental  goals  of  politics .   § All  political  ideology  expresses  the  ideal  balance  between  freedoms  and  equality,  and  explains  how  political   institutions  may  create  these  conditions.   § Ideologies  are  thus  universal  and  may  applied  in  many  political  contexts.   • Liberal  democracy-­‐  US,  Brazil,  South  Africa   Ø There  are  five  basic  ideologies  that  currently  exist  in  the  global  community.   § These  include  liberalism,  communism,  anarchism,  fascism,  and  social  democracy.   • (classical)  liberalism-­‐  freedom   • communism-­‐  equality   • anarchism-­‐  extreme  approach  to  equality  and  liberty   • fascism-­‐  idea  of  freedoms  isn’t  natural   • social  democracy-­‐  middle  ground,  liberalism  and  communism   Ø All  five  ideologies  propose  a  specific  balance  between  freedom  and  equality.   § Thus,  each  ideology  also  suggests  that  it  is   the  ideal  formula  for  social  harmony .   v Ideologies,  cont’d.   Ø Classical  Liberalism  places  a  high  priority  on  the  political  and  economic  freedoms  of  an  individual .   § As  such  they  favor  a  government  with  low  levels  of   autonomy  and  capacity,  believing  that  frequent  public   and  civic  interaction  with  the  s tate  keeps  its  authority  in  check.   • Prevent  the  state  from  becoming  too  powerful   § This  ideology  serves  as  a  basis  for   liberal  democracy,  or  a  system  of  political,  social,  and  economic  liberties   that  are  supported  by  participation  (such  as  voting).   Ø Communism  rejects  the  idea  that  individual  freedom  creates  prosperity  or  equality .  Instead  it  attempts  to   develop  both  through  state  control  of  economic  resources .   • More  wealth  =  more  opportunities  to  enjoy  freedom   • Resources  are  owned  by  individuals  (Ex.  cost  of  EpiP en-­‐  people  need  them,  producers  can  charge  more   and  consumers  are  likely  to  pay  whatever  they  choose  to  charge)     § State  ownership  eliminates  (in  theory)  opportunities  for   economic  exploitation  and  promotes  equality  for   the  average  citizen.   • High  level  of  autonomy  and  capacity  in  order  for  it  to  work;  equality  comes  at  the  cost  of  independent   liberties  or  freedoms.   v More  ideologies   Ø Social  democracies  accept  the  need  for  individual  liberties  and  for  a  dynamic  marketplace,  but  also  uses  state   authority  to  promote  equality.   § Social  democracy  represents  a  middle  path  between   classic  liberalism  and  communism.   • Social  democracy  society-­‐  free  elections,  government  has  more  authority  to  take  things  away  from  you   because  you  selected  them   • Ex.  Bernie  Sanders-­‐  have  freedom  to  do  what  you  want  to  do  with  your  resources  is  too  much   Ø Fascism  suggests  that  individuals  can  be  grouped  into  categories  of  superior  and  inferior  divisions.   § Based  on  this  principle,  fascists  view   society  as  an  organic  whole,  and  consider  a  government  or  the  state  in   general  to  be  an  expression  of  national  or  ethnic  will .   § To  fully  realize  the  will  of  the  people,   state  autonomy  and  capacity  must  both  be  high ,  and  democratic   participation  must  be  eliminated .   • Descent  isn’t  supported.   v Anarchism   Ø Anarchists  reject  the  concept  of  the  state  entirely.   • They  think  the  state  itself  is  the  source  of  most  of  the  problems;  these  problems  extend  from  the  fact   that  property  is  own  privately  (agreed  with  communism);  private  property  is  theft.   § Anarchists  believe  that   privately  held  property  promotes  inequality ,  but  doubt  the  ability  of  a  state  to  solve   the  problem.   § Individuals  are  truly  free  in  the  absence  of  a  state  to  enforce  socio-­‐political  restrictions.   Ø Anarchy  has  never  been  fully  realized.  It  is  also  generally  rejected.   v Ideology  and  Religion   Ø Ideology  began  to  regulate  political  values  during  the  18  and  19  centuries  and  began  to  rival  religion  in  regard   to  placing  requirements  on  society .   § Ideology  and  religion  share  many  features:  arguments  about  the  essential  nature  if  humanity  and  society,  as   well  as  promises  of  a  utopian  reward .   Ø This  ultimately  confined  religious  influences  to  private  life.   § This  is  also  referred  to  as  the   privatization  of  religion ,  or  the  removal  of  faith  from  the  public  sphere  and  its   restriction  to  private  life.     Ø However,  ideologies  have  recently  been  scrutinized  after  failing  to  deliver  their  promised  benefits .   § This  is  particularly  salient  in  the   developing  world,  as  Western  ideologies  did  not  lead  to  consistent   economic  development.   v Fundamentalism   Ø Modern  political  ideologies  have  not  helped  developing  states  achieve  growth  or  maintain  a  stable  society.   Ø This  had  led  to  a  partial  resurgence  of  religion  as  guiding  principle  in  place  of  ideology .   § However,  this  has  sparked  the  emergence  of   fundamentalism,  or  an  ideology  that  attempts  to  fuse  religion   with  the  state,  and   to  create  a  theocracy.     • The  state  embodies  religious  values.     • Political  leaders  are  also  religious  leaders.   § Fundamentalism  should  be  distinguished  from  piety :  The  belief  that  religion  should  play  a  greater  role  in   society  does  not  equate  to  calls  for  a  theocracy.   Ø Fundamentalists  wish  to  restructure  society  to  make  faith  the  foundation  of  a  modern  regime  (rather  than   reintroduce  a  traditional  society).   • Tempting  to  reestablish  a  more  traditional  society   § Thus,  Fundamentalism  partially  exhibits  a  reactionary  political  attitude.   • Ex.  Theocracy-­‐  Iran   v Fundamentalism,  cont’d.   Ø Fundamentalism  also  exhibits  characteristics  of  a   radical  political  attitude.   § Fundamentalism  advocates  violence  to  demolish  the  current  system .  (Ex.  ISIS)   § Yet  it  also  seeks  to  develop  an   idealized  version  of  the  past.     • Things  work  better  when  politics  were  inferior .   Ø Fundamentalism  is  not  a  specific  ideology,  but  a  pattern  in  several  religions,  each  producing  a  specific  ideology.   • Ex.  Christian  Fundamentalism   v Conclusions   Ø Recall,  society  refers  to  a  collection  of  individuals  who  are  bound  by  shared  institutions .   § Yet  how  these  societies  are   formed  varies,  and  may  incorporate  a  variety  of   institutions  from  ethnicity  to   ideology.   Ø Various  institutions  contribute  to  society  in  different  ways.   § Ethnicity  provides  a  sense  of   group  identity,  while  national  identity  creates  distinct  political  aspirations.   Sometimes  these  concepts  overlap.   Ø Within  a  group,  values  are  also  shaped  by  political  attitudes  and  ideology.   Ø Thus,  political  life  in  any  state  represents  a   complex  array  of  factors  that  gbehavior .      


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All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.