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POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - Cuban Missile Crisis, Liberal Democracy, Universal Health Care

Political Science
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April 4th, 2011
Is there Truth in Political Science?
How do we know what we know? Revisiting Huntington and Fukuyama
Format: choose 2 of 3 essay questions, 20 multiple-choice questions (lectures &
Big Themes of the Class:
What is liberty? Concepts
Is the world moving towards greater freedom & democracy, or a clash of
Benjamin Constant ancient liberty (freedom from domination of foreigners,
collective freedom) modern liberty (individual concept, rights-based order)
What happens when you have a political order designed to preserve these rights?
Liberalism and its Challengers
Communism, Fascism
Fundamental problems of the liberal democratic order
Cuban Missile Crisis, Power-transition theory, rise of China explicate different
theories of international relations (Liberalism, Constructionism why is it that
states relate to each other in the ways in which they do)
What explains the relations between states: Theories and Cases
Why do some countries become more powerful and what is the impact of that?
The Rich and the Poor
Why do some stay poor, while others become rich?
Nationalism, Conflict, and Genocide
Governance Beyond the State
We need theories, thats why we believe conspiracies
What I like about Political Science:

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We ask big questions: wealth or poverty, democracy or dictatorship, life or death
Huntington: Civilizations have bloody borders
Earlier conflicts were about ideology and territory, now they are entering phase of
conflict over big cultural systems
I wanted to know more about this…and entered a hall of mirrors (are civilizations
destined to clash?
Sub-Question: Prelude to the Holocaust
What are the conditions under which neighbours may scare or riot against their
neighbours of ethnic groups?
Poland June and July 1941: Jedwabne
Pogroms (massacre) actually happened in about 300 places
Poland only about 2/3 Polish
Poles, Ukrainians, Romanians, Lithuanians massacred, robbed, raped their
Jewish neighbours
We live in a multicultural society: want to know the conditions under which
civilizations clash
Use the Tools of Social Sciencebut we always operationalize our concepts
Dependent Variable:
What happened? How do we knowtestimonials biases, it happened so long
ago, perpetrators dont talk. (And had to learn Polish: lesson learn languages
Independent Variables:
Who lived in each village: census (what is a Pole, a Ukrainian or a Jew)
What were the people like? Elections an imperfect indicator
Two pieces of information: how much can we know?
Why were some towns more toxic than others?
Only happens in 300 out of 3000 towns. So clash is not universal
War (but how can that beit was everywhere)
Previous Soviet occupation & Communism (same problemit was everywhere)
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