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Lecture 3

POLA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Identity Politics, Savings Account, Secret Ballot


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLA01H3
Professor
Renan Levine
Lecture
3

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Wednesday Jan 21, 2015
Isaac Osei
Vice-President of Napasei Taxi Management Corporation (NYC) aka Nana Gyensare V, a
chief of the Akwamu people (Ghana)
Wife is the president
Nana Gyensare V
Chief of the Akwamu people (Ghana) aka Isaac Osei, Vice-President of Napasei Taxi
Management Corporation (NYC)
Kinship
Kinship ties are both rational for individual and efficient way for society to organize.
Bates argues that they do not trap people.
Kin identities/loyalties can be flexible & mutable.
Elaborate sets of customs often accompany (or reinforce) kinship ties.
Arising in agrarian economies, these ties can and have adapted to new economic & social conditions
Urbanization
Industrialization
Industrial countries are wealthier then non industrial countries
Review
What is risk?
Measure of future uncertainties.
What is an example of capital?
Investment in education, building a factory.
What is an example if collective good?
Health care, roads and highways. Freedom of speech and religion.
What type of situation does the prisoner dilemma illustrate?
Where your self-interests provide you with a set incentive to not cooperate with others.
What is an example of principle-agent problem?
Even if they’re wrong they still know more then you.
Managing risk
Risk is the range (or variance) of different outcomes that can result from an investment.
Savings accounts at banks pay a small amount of interest.
There is little risk since your money is insured – only potential downside is that inflation or
exchange rates may make money worth less.
Riskier investments include precious metals (gold), stocks, or expensive art work.
You may lose much/all of your investment.
Annually, the money you make will fluctuate.
Stocks, on average, increase in value 6-8% a year, but some years investors make a
lot more and some years investors lose a lot more.
Risk and diversification
Investments can lose value due to:
Natural and other exogenous forces.
Acts of man (war, theft, mismanagement).
Changing market conditions or consumer tastes.
Has a substitute gotten cheaper or more expensive?
Can one no longer deliver goods to market?

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Investors manage risk by diversifying their holdings in hopes that if one investment loses value, other
investments will do well.
oOwn stock, nice paintings, mortgages, cars on loan.
Kinship allows for managing risk
Bates argues it’s a way for people to diversify and manage risk.
Different members of family or clan engage in various forms of economic activity.
Some herd livestock.
Some grow coffee, bananas and yams.
Some grow beans and vegetables.
If a virus kills the livestock , the herders will expect to receive food and shelter from coffee-growers.
If hail wipes out the banana crop , the banana famers will expect to receive food and shelter from the
bean farmers or the herders.
Agrarian societies know things like war, monsoons, droughts, etc can effect their work but they have
someone to rely on incase of tragedies.
What if someone steals the livestock?
Kinship provides security
Numerous kin will avenge the theft.
Members of your family will avenge the theft like you would for them
Studies of Nuer showed that this was effective, and different clans coexisted peacefully.
Solution to prisoners dilemma: expect to play the game again and again, and you will cooperate (for
long term gains) rather than defect for a short-term gain.
They have a situations where they have a self-interest makes them to cooperate.
Half the story?
Bates argues that peace-through-kinship is only half the story.
Rash moves by disaffected youth would have to be defended/avenged.
Private security is a disincentive for investment.
If there’s always a chance that someone will do something wrong which will make
everyone take revenge for something why bother?
Why invest if you may be dead soon either because of foreign actions or because of
your obligations to respond to foreign attacks? High risk makes it undesirable to
invest in future.
Use them or lose them
Kinship ties evolve to be ever useful.
If not, they would be discarded (Scottish clans).
Bates describes how kinship ties in modern times are a source of capital, raising funds to send young
people to school, or to cities to earn money.
Modern state vs. the family
What happens when kinship ties exist within a modern state?
Where are people’s primary loyalties?
In kinship-based societies, one often has obligations to kin to give them favorable treatment.
It is customary and expected to look after your friend(s).
Office holder, even democratic office-holder, may be expected to bias his/her own group.
Elections may be understood as being us vs. them; even when economic issues may
divide people differently.
Clients and Kin
Clientelism - is when a superior or patron provides some scarce good (money, security, housing) in exchange for
support.
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Carrots to support a system of government.
Benefits may be allocated to clearly identified ethnic/religious/class/occupational groups.
As a result, clientelism is often discussed in the context of kinship-dominated polities.
Key questions
If a society is marked by strong kinship ties, and those ties create expectations of favorable treatment…
Is that wrong?
Are such ties/expectations likely to lead to poor governance or political/economic outcomes?
What are legitimate – and illegitimate- methods of distributive politics?
Every polity allows politicians to give some form of assistance to population.
Distributive politics
Ways politicians offer material inducements for political support:
Vote Buying
Pork Barrel Politics
Patronage
Voting Buying
Paying for votes/participation
This category may be broadened to include payments for participation in protests.
Thought to be widespread before secret ballot, but very difficult to enforce at individual level since introduction of
secret ballot.
Uniform groups in concentrated areas might be able to make such transactions.
Illegal, but not always easy to distinguish from legal forms of patronage/clientelism.
Giving benefit like promising to do something after the party wins
Vote buying and Kin
In areas dominated by one party it is common to find ballot stuffing.
Kin (or other loyalty) mapping onto party realizes that maximizing our votes is a great strategy for us vs them
politics.
Easiest way to spot: were more votes cast then # of registered voters?
Election monitors (independent or opposition) are effective, but typically, parties just move voters to unmonitored
polling place.
Pork Barrel
Collective goods targeted to a particular constituency for partisan gain.
Promising to do something that the country or place desperately needs
May not be obviously partisan, as governments often appear to use a rational, unbiased formula for allocation.
Considered to be clientelistic when a political leader identifies him/herself with the goods given to constituency.
Patronage
Receiving some good, like a government job in exchange for political support.
Exploitation of a politician’s needs to appoint their own, loyal staff.
oEveryone wants to put someone they can work well with.
oPicking people of their choice. Family or friends.
Often discussed as an example of one variety of clientelism.
Jobs for political support?
Patronage is legal (for the most part, pretty much everywhere).
But number of jobs may never be high enough to mobilize enough supporters to win competitive elections in poor
countries.
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