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.
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
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
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
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
Regime consolidation (maintaining t