POLI 1P95 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Agnosticism, Consociationalism, Pierre Trudeau
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January 19: Levels of Analysis
1. Overview of poli sci subfields
2. Three levels of analysis
a. Research traditions exist at each level
3. Case study of Quebec-Canada
What is poli sci?
● Empirical political science is about understanding/explaining objective political
● Normative poli sci is about how politics should be don
● Empirical political science:
○ Comparative politics (CP): Why is there more ethnic conflict in Zambia than
Ghana? They have similar histories, yet
■comparative politics is the study of the domestic politics, political institutions,
and conflicts of countries. It often involves comparisons among countries and
through time within single countries, emphasizing key patterns of similarity
○ International Relations: (IR)
○ Levels of analysis approach bridges CP and IR
● Elites as cause of conflict
○ personal rewards- resources
○ Ethnic Outbidding: “I am the best protector of this ethnic group”. Ethnic Elites
make claims to be the true representative of an ethnic group.
○ Instrumentalism and Institutionalism.
○ Group cohesiveness: elites are a driver of cohesiveness, why do the masses
■ Instrumentalism: elites have personal rewards at stake, but why do
people buy into this?
● Elites and conflict resolution:
○ moderation and co-optation
(1): causes Structural factors
● State weakness/strength
● Intrastate security dilemma
● Ethnic geography
● Domestic actors
● Interests, power, and organization
● ‘Rules of the game’ à formal institutions
Domestic level (2): responses
● Hegemonic state
○ ‘illiberal’ democracy leads to separation or assimilation
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