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PLS100 Lecture 1

5 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
PLS 100

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The Logic of American Politics Social Choice *Choices breed conflict -conflicting interests -conflicting values -conflicting ideas on how to allocate limited resources Politics *Politics is how people attempt to manage conflict -What happens when politics fails? Anarchy, Civil War *Formal definition: the process through which individuals and groups reach agreement on a course of collective action, even as they disagree on the intended goals of that action *Bargaining and compromise *Preferences are givens Institutional Design *Effective political institutions -Set of rules and procedures for reaching and enforcing collective agreements -Institutional design is a product of politics Constitutions and Governments *Constitutions -set of rules and procedures institutions follow to reach collective agreements *Governments may assume various forms: -Monarchy -Representative democracy -Theocracy -Dictatorship Power vs. Authority dissimilar *Offices *Power: the actual ability to influence the outcome of events *Authority: the acknowledged right to use your power to make a decision Institutional Durability *Institutions tend to be stable and resist change *Reasons: -Persist longer than office holders -People ale plans expecting no change to status quo -Disagreement over alternatives Political System’s Logic *Core values embedded in our institutions: -Popular rule -Protection of individual liberties -Principles Collective Action Problems *May involve: -Comparing preferences -Agreeing on a course of action -Implementing and enforcing the choice *Coordination: everyone in the group can realize mutual gains but only if they make mutual decisions -Problems grows with size of group -Solutions *Prisoners dilemma: acting in own self interest leads to mutually worse off situation for all participants -Free riding: (contributing to produce good) -Tragedy of commons: large number of participants are encouraged to not cooperate in a common good (way people consume a good that already exists) -Solutions: give incentives for doing good,
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