POLI 212 Lecture Notes - Petal, Indifference Curve, Ideal Point
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MARCH 12, 2012:
Majoritarian: it is not about
how to accommodate
differences/identities. It is
dominated by one issue.
Belgium and the
Netherlands are the
Liberal: about how class
comes to be expressed in
political regimes and public
not as well defined
inflection of the
The classic cases with
majoritarian and liberal
democracies are Anglo
democracies are a
Classic cases of
social democracy are
What is the connection between majoritarian and liberal? There is substantial overlap.
They could be called the Anglo American Cases. This is the case of the UK, settler
societies with a shared history with the British Empire. Cases like Great Britain, New
Zealand, Canada, Australia and the United States- they seem to be majoritarian (their
political institutions are) but in terms of welfare regimes it is the liberal type. What is it
that these cases share? One thing is the Westminster system (majoritarianism itself),
and they begin as dominions in the British Empire. The US does not fit as comfortably as
the other cases, because the others are power concentrated (to distinguish from
power-sharing) but the republican structure of the American government makes the
difference in how we should think about it- it doesn’t concentrate power but is not
designed to share power either. It divides power.
In terms of Esping-Anderson’s argument, they share a trade union movement that is
relatively weak. These are cases in which socialism or a social democracy party is
not really a second party in a two party system. The UK, and to some extent Canada,
do have a relatively powerful socialist party as the second party. The British case
may have an important degree of trade union organization, but the trade union
structure is still very peculiar in European terms. The labour movement in British is
more important than in other Anglo-American options. There is a tradition of craft
unions (activity/skill specific designations in the economic, no industrial unions).
The craft unions accord a lot of autonomy and power to the craft workers in the
Continental is catholic, social democracy (Scandinavia) is primarily Protestant.
In Canada’s case, it is a semi-consociation. This is an argument about Canadian
federalism. Federalism can be a consociational device- a set of institutions put in
place to accommodate cultural differences. Part of Canadian federalism is
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