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Poli Sci 2300- Y Exam Prep Notes

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 2300Y
Peter Arthur
Study Guide

of 3
Friday, April 1, 2011
Exam Review:
Military, police and civil society
“Military as the subordinate to non-military government officials, are responsible for a)
defending the country and b) developing into a professional fighting force.” Looking at
the current developments worldwide, do we see these traditional roles as the pivotal
ones? Provide examples.
Ex. Middle East, countries covered in class.
Go over cases finished last term (political structure, institutions, etc.)
What role do military, police and civil society [may not get all three, but be prepared]
have in a country’s public policy making? Are they all effective in influencing the
government in any way? Giving examples of two countries, argue in favor of your
Hints – think of different categories of countries
Specific examples or choose own countries
“Although media content is influenced by cultural, social and economic factors, media
organizations have a high degree of independent influence on what we read see and
hear.” Do you agree with the statement? Answer the question giving examples from the
United States and India.
Try contradictory examples
May be open-ended
Citing appropriate examples, assess the strengths and weaknesses of media in the
established democracies, new democracies and authoritarian states.
Compare two examples
Liberal democratic with developing countries
“Media define what is normal and respectable in a society, what is debatable and what is
beyond discussion by decent, respectable citizens.” Do you agree with the statement?
Country cases…
All questions, will be asked to do comparative country cases
**No questions on political cleavages from Ehsan
Interest Groups
****[On the exam] Define interest group. What does an interest group do? Do they
contribute in public policy making in any substantial way? What are the constraints on
their participation in policy-making?
Hints – think of interest groups’ strengths and weaknesses in carious categories of
None of the questions will be just on theory
Look up – “Are interest groups useful or harmful” – Canadian Politics, 5th
Leadership and Political Participation
To what extent do the backgrounds and leadership styles of the current and past political
leaders explain the successes and failures of India and/or Iran?
Is good leadership the answer for connecting the elites with the masses in a given
country? What is more effective in connecting the masses with the elite – programmatic
representation or clientelism? Why do people choose to employ unconventional
techniques of political participation in less developed countries?
South Africa, Nigeria?
How would you define political culture? What are the components of political culture?
What are the similarities and differences among the political cultures in the United
States, Britain and Japan?
Political culture = political parties
Think of specific parties from each country
Does not have specific countries/questions for political parties
Public opinion pollsters routinely ask questions about whether people think their country
is heading in the ‘right direction’ or is on the ‘wrong track.’ If you were asked such a
question about the Middle Eastern countries (or the world on the whole) how would you
answer? Why did you reach this conclusion?
Impact of comparative politics?
If answering, marking will be very lenient
Monday, April 4, 2011
Final Exam Review
Date: Monday, April 11, 2011
Dalplex: 7pm – 9pm
Three sections in the Exam
Each section will have three/four questions
Choose TWO sections and answer ONE question from each section
There will be some overlap between sections
Questions will require knowledge across three main themes of the course (use
cases or knowledge of systems to strengthen answers in each section for instance_
In each section, students should be prepared to answer questions about each of the
four categories of countries: democracies, post-communist states, NICs and LDCs
Questions may ask for comparisons within or across categories or for a
comparison of two or more specific cases
Do not focus on only a few cases or country types
Section 1: Systems and Cases [Last semester]
Comparative politics defined
Categories, cases
Political development and institutions
System performance and policy outcomes
Section 2: Informal Institutions and Processes
Mass media
Interest Groups
Political Parties and Elections
Military and Police (Civil Society)
Section 3: Societies and Culture
Political culture and values
Class, ethnicity and gender
Political participation and leadership
Political development, democratization, and change