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POL 2104 C - Intro to Comparative Politics - Emily Regan Wills - 19 Mar. 10.docx

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Political Science
Mark Salter

POL 2104 C - Intro to Comparative Politics - Emily Regan Wills - 19 Mar. 10 The Political Economy There is no “just” economics • Economic decisions are made by actors who are a part of social and political life, whether they are politicians, business owners, workers, or consumers • That means that if we consider economics in social context, we have to think about political forces that constrain or encourage action in different ways. • It also means that we have to take into account a broad range of factors exogenous to ‘the market’ or ‘the economy’ when we think about economics in contemporary politics. What is a “market?” • A metaphor for the exchange of goods and services, at any possible scale • Derived from empirical markets (places where people exchanged goods & services) • Developed as a conceptual term in the 1700s, through the work of early political economists, especially Adam Smith What do we need? What does the State provide? • Public Goods - Things that all people would benefit from having, or that benefit the community as a whole - Cannot be ‘owned’ by 1 person, or fully provided by 1 person - Are most equally/universally provided by states • Social Expenditures - Benefits provided to people by the state, to achieve desirable outcomes for those individuals or society as a whole - Sometimes provided universally, sometimes provided to specific individuals Non-Regulation is also Policy • Regulations are policies actively created by the government in order to try to shape the market, whether for economic reasons (encouraging growth in certain areas, encouraging a particular kind of economic expansion or contraction) or for other reasons (environmental protection, safety, benefits to a particular social or ethnic group) • Choosing not to regulate something is also a policy choice, and it has clear consequences in the economics of a country or a place, as well as in the public goods available to citizens of that country Political Economic Ideologies • Individual policymakers & state bureaucracies use ideological frameworks to decide what the best policies to make are (including non-policies) • The majority of these frameworks aim to balance between equality between individuals & individual freedom & autonomy in economic life • These beliefs may coincide with similar beliefs about equality & autonomy in political & social life as well (or people may hold different beliefs for different spheres). Liberalism • Emphasis on political & economic freedom (=liberty, hence liberali
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