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Lecture 6

POLS 1101 Lecture 6: Logic of Collective Action

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University of Georgia
Political Science
POLS 1101
Tony Madonna

POLS 1101 Logic of Collective Action What is Politics? People think of calculating behavior meant to influence others in order to get something or attain a goal Process through which individuals and groups reach agreement on a course of common, or collective action even as they may continue to disagree on the goals that action intended to achieve Does not distinguish between good or bad behavior Institutional Design Institutions: set of rules proscribing a process for reaching and enforcing collective agreements, help ensure agreements are not reneged on and decisions are reached fairly. Institutional design is the product of politics When people dont understand how institutions operate and why they are designed, they are likely to conclude that the product is not fair Constitutions and Governments Organizations are governed by rules and procedures for making and enforcing agreements. For nations, the governing institutions and the set of rules and procedures these institutions must (and must not) follow to reach and enforce collective agreements are by their Constitutions Government: consists of these institutions and the legally prescribed process for making and enforcing collective agreements Constitutions and governments Authority: the acknowledged right to make a particular decision Power: the actual influence with other officeholders Institutional Durability Authority is generally assigned to the institution so it lasts past the office holder It can lead to status quo bias If a policy isnt resolved it may revert back to the originally problematic situation Coordination Problems Collective action is coordinated group action designed to achieve a common goal that individuals acting on their own could not otherwise obtain. Coordination problems increase with the size of a group and arise from uncertainty and incomplete information Focal point: targets the groups actions toward a common purpose Alternative method for dealing with collective actions problems is to give authority to a leader The most important duty of the leader determining the priority in which goals are pursued Delegations brings with it its own pitfalls and problems
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