POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - Nathan Glazer, Mancur Olson

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4 Feb 2011

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Political Science October 18th, 2010.
Problems of Modern Democracy
Reading: Nathan Glazer, “Democracy and Deep Divides, Journal of Democracy (Vol.
21, No. 2, 2010) pp.5-19
Ronojoy Sen, “The Problem of Corruption, Journal of Democracy (Vol. 20, No. 4, 2009)
Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action (Harvard University Press, 1965) pp.5-22,
Democracy and Equality
Rules of the game, e.g. how political parties function, legal voting age, human
rights protected by the constitution, democracy is above the rule of law
Managing diversity
Institutionalized uncertainty
Variations of democracy
Equality—the core of democracy
Democracies adhere to the norms of inclusion, .g. freedom of assembly
What makes democracy stable is there is a fare degree of uncertainty
Democracies vary worldwideevery democracy is structures by rules but b
different structures of rules
Eliminates the oppressiveness of the rule of man
(1)Equality of Opportunity
Political equality: all citizens are treated politically equally; all as citizens enjoy
equality in the application of political matters
Procedural democracy: the processes of democratic; the constitutional rules of the
Polyarchy (Robert Dahl) political scientists at Yale:
-Public Contestation – everyone as individuals have the ability to publically
-Inclusive Participation – everybody enjoys the rights equally to contest,
everybody (provided youre legal age) have the right to vote
(2)Equality of Outcome
Political-economic equity:does democracy matter? Does it matter at all in
providing fairness?” consequences of democracy
Procedural versus substantive democracy
Example: democratic welfare state
Challenge (#1)
1. Collective Action Problem
(i)Costs, e.g. learning about candidates, leaving work to vote; too high
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