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Pols 328. Week 1 Lecture and Reading

by: Abby Kienle

Pols 328. Week 1 Lecture and Reading Pols 328

Abby Kienle
Cal Poly
GPA 3.5
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About this Document

These notes cover the first lecture we had on the 39th of March as well as the first reading we are supposed to do in Professor Arceneaux's book; chapter 1. I hope this helps!
Politics of Developing Nations
Professor Arceneaux
Class Notes
politics. developing nations, political science




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Abby Kienle on Sunday April 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Pols 328 at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo taught by Professor Arceneaux in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 60 views. For similar materials see Politics of Developing Nations in Political Science at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.


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Date Created: 04/03/16
Latin America - Historical Background Tuesday, March 29, 2016 Perception and Reality Why is Latin America so much more underdeveloped than other democratic states like the U.S.? Perceptions:  Latin America is mostly rural  They are too socially unjust  Poverty rates are too high  No diversity Reality:  Latin America is one of the most urban places in the world, more so than Europe  Moves to legalize gay marriage were made earlier than in the United States  Poverty rates have been decreasing  High level of diversity Politics and Baseball in Latin America Certain select countries in Latin America and around the world have a huge emphasis on baseball Dominican republic produces the most major league baseball players in the US. Why is baseball more popular in some countries and not others? US influence plays a huge role in why some countries have a popularity for baseball and why some don’t Countries who have had US exposure tend to have more of an affinity for baseball Why would these countries readily embrace baseball from the United States?  Culturally, it can act as a distinguisher.  Creates a separate sort of identity Diversity in Baseball and its impact on US Culture '  Latin American population is increasing  Asian population is increasing  Caucasian and African American Population significantly declining Cuba Sugar is very important to Cuba, as it has a huge impact on their economy However, sugar can only be grown half the year, and so laborers had nothing to do in the offseason This worried the government, and baseball was promoted to give the laborers something to do to reduce the chance of uprisings and instances of being overthrown Arceneaux- Chapter 1 Reading Sunday, April 3, 2016 2:14 PM  Institutions and the Study of Democratic Politics o When studying institutions and democracies comparatively, it is important to remember that there are multiple ways of doing democracy  What is an Institution? o Humanly devised constraints that shape human interactions  They lay out the rules and procedures we must follow if we are to achieve our goals o Informal institutions: social conventions, how we have trained ourselves to act socially o Formal institutions: explicit, look to a third party for reinforcement o Political Institutions: a subset of all institutions that shape the scope of human interaction that expressly revolves around questions of power  Government institution: differs from a political institution in the way that the aw grants them to ability to act on behalf of everyone else  Democratic government institution: the law emerges from a process of popular consent  Institutional Approach to Politics o Since institutions set for rules, we can use them to predict how political actors will behave and the consequences coming from them o Rational Choice Institutionalism: a school of thought that emphasizes how institutions affect the behavior of calculating, self-interested political actors  A political actor has a goal; takes note of the institutional setting he/she is in, and acts accordingly  Institutional setting greatly affects the behavior chosen to achieve a political goal o Historical Institutionalism: second school of thought that holds that institutions can create the motivations that initiate our behavior in the first place  Institutions have staying power and can often outlast their creators  They become ingrained into the culture and society and it is hard to modify, amend, or change o Institutions give insight into the past and the present  In LA, we can see the resemblance of Spanish and Portuguese rule, ideologies form the American and French Revolutions, indigenous practices, and more  Also give insight into what political problems are important in that region at the present time o An institutional approach allows us to merge everyday politics with the history, culture, and traditions of a country  Democracy in Latin America o Democratic wave: a sweep of democratic ideologies through a given region, nation, or country  Most recent in Latin America in the 1890s, which crash in the 1970s when it succumbed to military rule  Democratic transition o Authoritarian rule begins to tradition when the "costs of suppression outweigh the costs of toleration"  Social protests cause economic and social turmoil, abuse causes international involvement, and brutal tactics cause fissures in authoritarian rule  Hardliners and softliner's interests often conflict  Hardliners do not see a need for reform while softliners see reform as the only way to get rid of the "costs of suppression"  Softliners play a crucial role in the beginning of transition as a mediator between the hardliners and the democratic opposition  Are kind of like a swing vote; can join the hardliners or step back and let the regime collapse o These dynamics take place in three stages  Liberalization: refers to early reforms made under the authoritarian regime  Transition: occurs the moment authoritarian leaders hand over the power after competetive elections, and signifies a transition to democracy  Consolidation: a long term process that sees the newly formed democratic regime gain support and power  Democracy o Now, most LA countries are democratic, although not all of them are as democratic as others o What is a democracy?  A democracy focuses on the political rights and civil liberties of the people  Elections are held, and people in power are mostly elected into office by popular vote o Freedom House: a U.S. based organization that studies democracies of many different countries  It is most known know for an annual "freedom" report, where it assesses the freedom and democratic ideals of a country and gives it a score on a scale from 1-7  1 = free  7= not free


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