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Political Science
POLI 227
Rex Brynen

POLI 227 – Lecture Notes February 11, 2013 Urban Class Structure -bourgeoisie  national/comprador/state? -petite-bourgeoisie/middle class  traders, artisans, shopkeepers  professionals  civil servants -industrial working class -urban marginal sector  informal economy -useful to think as class structure as position in the economy -tells you something about class interests -middle class: kind of ambiguous group with unclear boundaries -in some ways we just define them as those who aren’t the business class or the working class -the composition has changed significantly over time -civil servants: state employees -for the most part not the working class -middle class in the sense that they have a distinct orientation from the working class -notion of the middle class can be quite problematic due to the variety within it -industrial working class: people working in regular waged employment as workers for someone else -typically this class isn’t very large in developing countries where the industry isn’t big -significant number of the relatively poor in society who belong in urban marginal sector  not employed in regular waged employment -might be working part time, or in the informal economy -this sector and the informal economy are very important; absorb urban-rural migrants -e.g. selling soft drinks from door to door -in some societies there is quite a large gap between the rich and the poor -development can introduce inequality -e.g. Nicaragua -revolution and land reform -measure of income shows how much income is allocated to what percentage of the population -rural inequality exists as well (can use gini coefficient in terms of land holdings)  higher the number, greater the degree of land inequality -part of that can be for historical reasons; also might have something to do with geography -income-based gini coefficients Class inequality and politics -class inequality can be a major source of political grievance -however, there isn’t a clear relationship between inequality and protest or political mobilization  inequality and the Arab Spring  the importance of political framing -e.g. Latin America; source of political mobilization but not of violence anymore -see slides for chart on class inequality and politics -Egypt: worse than Sweden but better than Canada for income inequality -demonstrates that there is no correlation for levels of political protest -countries that have had popular uprisings do not show significant difference in income inequality to those who haven’t -is it possible that there’s more of a correlation in poorer countries? -democratic vs. non-democratic countries  could also be a cause -this issue is complicated, and there is no clear explanation -part of it has to do with when these arguments become framed in a political manner -Tunisia is below average in regards to co
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