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POLI 212- JANUARY 27- Conference Notes.docx

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Political Science
POLI 212
Hudson Meadwell

JANUARY 27, 2012: Conference Course themes:  Eastern and Western Europe and the divide and distinction between their societies (rational-legal vs. patrimonial)  The emergence and disappearance of political regimes in Europe (democracy, fascism, etc.)  Significant turning points in European political history (Westphalia, French Revolution)  The relationship between church and state, and the “party of order” and the “party of movement”  The development of the state system in Europe  Repercussions and results of Westphalia→ a critical juncture What is Europe and why Europe? Why has it had such an outsized influence on world history?  Europe as the crucible of the Western culture  European powers were colonizers, had influences on most parts of the globe, other countries felt the need to catch up with Europe and modernize  Europe as a place of monarchy and a place of resistance to monarchical rule.  What we think of Europe is what we think of with Christendom, but it has been secularized.  Mazower: democracy is not necessarily suited to Europe, which is counter-intuitive to what the traditional Western thought it today. Parliamentary system led to gridlock and couldn’t overcome the severe economic depression that occurred. The structural components that contributed to this were: proportional representation, which leads to the proliferation of small parties and makes it difficult to form stable coalitions. There was also a weak executive (out of fear of regression into monarchial rule).  He argued that the constitutions and institutions established in the interwar period were more suited to the 19 century values than the 20 century. Social question: How to accommodate the demands for basic standards
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