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Lecture 25.odt

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Political Science
Course Code
Jeffrey Kopstein

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Final Lecture – Is there “truth” in Political Science? How do we know what we know? Theory in Political Science – To describe and explain (International Relations and Realism) – To predict (e.g. Power transition theory and the rise of China) – Use Theory To MakeArguments – Markets – Efficiency – Productivity – Equity (capitalist, trickle-down theory) – Democracy – Mobilization – Equity – End of history (compelled by the two previous theories) Healthy Democracies (2004) – Confront theoretical conventional wisdom – Conventional WisdomAbout Globalization: it would continue to expand capitalism and embedded liberalism would decline, and economic development was solely about plugging into the world market, and constituted a race to the bottom; growing levels of inequality, and welfare state would be repealed – Yet social spending in 1990s in Taiwan and South Korea increased, even socialized healthcare and continued to grow at 8% a year The Politics of Democratic deepening – Electoral incentives: providing social programs wins votes – Social movement mobilization: people began demanding the social programs – Cross-class consensus: rich people agreed to the programs – Universal health care: healthcare for everyone (redistributive: rich people pay bulk of costs) How did Wong Find Out? – Interviews with policy makers – Observation of Labour Protests – Surveys of bureaucrats Explaining Welfare – Democracy is key – Wong was wrong: democracy doesn't mean increased social spending (Chile is too poor to afford these programs) – Fiscal Capacity is also necessary – Wong was wrong again: China had political will and money for social programs but no social welfare state – Growth with equity – probably still wrong Political Science is about evolving arguments – truth is elusive The End of History?
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