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Political Science
POLI 227
Rex Brynen

FEBRUARY 6, 2012  News Story: China and Russia vetoed the Un Security Council’s resolution on Syria. The Chinese headline read: “Chinese veto increases chances of Syrian peace.” The best way of ending the Syrian crisis would be escalating sanctions from the UN. Had the Russians abstained, the Chinese probably would have abstained as well (Chinese are hiding behind the Russian veto) and Russia is sending arms to the regimes. The Chinese don’t use their veto a lot, they and them and the Russians have an “allergy to interventionism and not a great fondness for democratization.”  News Story: There was a hang up between 2 Palestinian groups on who would be Prime Ministers. The 2 groups are working to compromise on who will have power. Will they agree on other cabinet members? Will the Israelis let them run the elections in the West Bank and East Jerusalem? Will they still agree by election time? The donors are not happy about a Hamas-Fatah joint government. And both sides recognize that the conflict and split between isn’t doing them any good. State Building:  Could be referring to the capacity of the state to administer, to consolidate, etc. Their buildings, staff, infrastructure, etc. Do they have autonomy?  State capacity: administration, bureaucracy coercion. State strength: autonomy from social groups  State penetration: to what extent does the state reach into the periphery (rural countryside, and presence where places are not geographically distant but are far from the capital→ ex. Slums, are there police, roads, etc.)  State extraction: To what extent can the state generate resources through taxation? In the development of state, they rely heavily on tariffs/custom duties because all they need is a police officer with a weapon at the border. It I the easiest method of taxing. They begin to introduce business taxes as they develop (production, at the cash) because it is more but still dealing with a limited member of the actors. The most complication taxation is income tax, with the largest number of actors and the greatest government profit. Taxes can be progressive (for redistribution), there are tax credits to encourage social behaviour, etc. Income taxation creates the ability to tweak the system to achieve other social or economic goals. Only sophisticated regimes use this.  State legitimacy: does the population regard the system as legitimate, and does it have a right to rule? Example: “Why do you stop at a red light in the middle of the night?” The notion that the government has a right to govern is an important aspect of legitimacy (they are viewed popularly, not with hostility). It is hard to tell if people accept the state because they approve of it, or if they can’t say otherwise because they are repressed (Syria).  Government involvement in the economy grows, through taxation, expenditure and regulation as they develop. The role of the state becomes larger (a larger economic pie) through taxation, expenditure, regulation, and in ways like regulations about driving, drugs, how to do taxes, post-secondary financing, etc.) The state becomes increasingly involved in providing health, education, etc. and social welfare. The State’s Economic Roles State Resources: the state is seeking to Economic Development: the state is expand resources. Taxation increases so trying to promote econ. Development and they can provide infrastructure, health strategically investing in key areas of care, etc. infrastructure to promote private sector growth, improving productivity, investing where they think they have comparative advantage, etc. EX) CANADA- the crow rate, the subsidy on grain coming out of the west, which was significant for Canada’s expansion and the West’s economic expansion. Political Tool: Elites use that involvement Redistribution: they may wish to move in the economy as a political tool. The resources from one group to another elites in power may strategically spend (from rich to power, from one ethnic money in certain parts of the country at group to another, etc.). election time to win votes. They may similarly punish political opponents by Ex) Land reform in Egypt in the 1950s→ certain taxation policies and not spending due to small farmers with more land being more productive, wanting to money in certain areas as well. They can redistribute wealth and part of it was that use state economic policies to their advantage. Nasser had support from the people his land was going too. Ex) SYRIA, may of the minority have benefited from the state security effort to maintain the loyalty of that minority. Ex) Land redistribution in Zimbabwe, giving land taken from white landowners as a way to mobilize support and coerce people. Economic resources reward supporters. Ex) Libya- Ghaddafi threw more resources at Sirte and Tripoli and gave fewer resources to the east of the country where he had less support to weaken his opponents.  Regime consolidation (maintaining t
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