POLI 222 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Theories Of Political Behavior, Institutional Theory, Dependent And Independent Variables

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Regionalism in Canada 18:07
Region is about space and geography, political culture is how we think and
ideas which doesn’t actually denote anything spatial, but in terms if
geography.
Section 36: stated commitment, as part of our constitutional commitments
in 82, that bind us is the commitment to decrease regional disparities. Key
among that, is the wording in section 36 that says that the federal
government is commited to providing equalization grants. Spreading money
to decrease regional disparities in the ability to raise money. The
equalization transfer program.
Regionalism:
A politics of territory
The territorialization of politics
Key questions:
How are regions defined?
Natural boundaries- like climate politics- is it related to your geography in a
natural way, are meaningful political boundaries just overlaying naturally
occurring boundaries. Why would a topography lead to a particular politics?
Doesn’t make much sense… why would their be a prairie politics?
Political constructions- if there is nothing natural to a space that creates a
politics, how is it that humans create these regions in a political way.
Regionalism is important because political institutions create them.
Playing the region card- do we think of some as being special, that
specialness/particularity is perpetuated because political institutions are
designed to do this. Going forward as long as these institutions stay the
same, we should expect people to act and think in a particular cohesive way.
How are regions perpetuated politically?
In Canada: region as a source of cleavage or diversity in this country, that
must also be managed.
How is it that some spaces become politically distinct, it could be because of
a point of unity that may have nothing to do with politics. Makes us think of
what makes region important, how we start thinking of that.
We assert that regionalism, is a reality in Canadian politics, you are saying
there is a politics of territory, a specialization of politics.
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This leads to the key questions….
Canadian politics is regional, region is something we have to manage. It is a
cleavage and source of diversity that may be difficult to understand, but a
reality that Canadian politics must address.
Politics of territory: that territory matters, we must think of politics in a
territorial way- part of Canadian politics****
Regionalism: Underpinnings
Historical developments:
Sense of a common or shared historical past
Often, but not always, regional history corresponds with a provincial history-
different politics because of distinct historical pasts. Different historical
touchstones are envoked in comtemporary politics to recreate a common
political heritage in this particular space and often but not necessarily, a
regional history corresponds with a provincial history.
Building a regional sentiment, corresponds with province building but that
isn’t true either… it is not just provinces that are important in the concept of
region. Some politically important regions are conglomerates of provinces or
within particular provinces like “the west”-particular geographically and
politically
EXAMPLE:How do you define the west? The prairies, oil. Some may think it
includes British Columbia.
EXAMPLE: The East, conglomeration with a political meaning- differential
policy impact… some idea that there is places where policy is made, and
places where the impact of the policy’s are differentially felt.
Different dynamic in regional politics because of spacial distribution
Atlantic or maritimes: conception of regionalism-
-How one conceives of differences in politics is anchored into this place, we
get to the root through immigration. Is it important because they had
different political views(like Horowitz says) or is it just about political
institutions?
Understanding of Ontario(varies), Quebec- New france: the long history and
institutions of new france, being strengthened by another institution that
was politically powerful till the revolution(roman catholic church). A story
about ideology, religion and culture and place.
The east as being distinctive perhaps because of caltic routes, acadia, story
of different economies which may be why geography matters. It creates
different economies, like petroliam type west, uranium in Saskatchewan.
Resources extracted in the east, maritime, there is resources like lumber
and logging. Quebec as well(mining), there is all this stuff happening at the
same time.
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How do you pull it all a part?
Geographic and economic realities
Attitudinal/cultural differences
Elda Hendersen: Political culture: Explained or Explanation:
1. Culture(e.g language,ethnicity)
2. Region: somewhat defined
3. Political behavior(e.g vote choice)
4. Political culture/attitudes(deference to authority, efficacy)
All these are intertwined, can we untangle them and explain how they are
related? Can one explanation have an independent explanation, can you pull
apart the independent impact of being in a space from the culture of that
space or it’s immigration past or its demography?
This project is complicated and may/may not be successful.
Trying to see how it can be separately explained
Have people been successful in doing that
Political culture studies: trying to understand how all these things are
related, overlap, whether one has a disproportionate impact on another,
trying to tease them all apart.
Some authors will define/word it differently
Some may say their dependent variable is political behavior, and they want
to understand what effects it and moves it, what the independent variables
are. These are all the possible things, but im really interested in that little
thing
The challenge: set up question- what do I want to understand, what are
possible explanations, what do I think the answer is, how will I measure
this?- How will I measure political behavior
No one paper or project can answer all of that, it is a lifetime or generations
of work so when you look at literature, it is an entreprise of scholars, they
are all biting off little bits trying to understand how these things are
interrelated
Be cumulative- how did people in the past see it, can I add to their overall
debate
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