Online poli 244 Notes on Readings.doc

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Political Science
POLI 244
Jason Scott Ferrell

The Tragedy of the Commons - Garrett Hardin 03/10/2011 19:17:00 Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” guiding self-serving actors toward an optimal equilibrium • Applied to population control o Herdsmen sharing a pasture for their cattle o After sustainable limit reached, each herdsman proceeds to maximize self interest o Marginal utility of adding one animal greater than marginal cost, as cost of overgrazing is shared by all o Each will increase herd without limit, ruining the commons for all – therein lies the tragedy • Pollution o Reverse, putting something into the commons o Costs of staying clean greater than tiny fraction of cost incurred by pollution How to solve • How to legislate o The morality of an act is a function of the state of the system at the time it was performed o Traditional law doesn’t take into account that morality is system-sensitive o Administrative law a solution, but makes a government of men, not laws o Need to have administrative law with corrective feedbacks to keep custodians honest • Freedom to breed o Used to be limits to number of children  If too many then can’t be fed, looked after  Most would die o Not anymore  Welfare state committed to provide and support  Over breeding as policy to aggrandize a particular group (religion, class, race, etc.) • Conscience is self-eliminating o Those who limit breeding will produce a smaller fraction of the subsequent generation, ad infititum o All appeals for restraint set up a selective system that works to eliminate conscience from race • Mutual coercion mutually agreed upon o Bracketing costs  Parking spaces  Free to park as long as you want, but gets prohibitively expensive o Taxation  No one likes them, but most agree that they are necessary • Recognition of necessity o Commons is justifiable with low population density o As density increases, aspects of the commons must be abandoned  First pastures, farmland, hunting areas  Then waste disposal, sewage  Ideally auto emissions, factories, pesticides, etc o Each closure infringes on personal liberty  But freedom from certain ruin is more important  “Freedom is the recognition of necessity Demography, Environment, and Civil Strife - Colin H. Kahl 03/10/2011 19:17:00 Poverty • Impoverished individuals forced to go to marginal areas because cheaper • Often driven to overexploit resources and environment • Poverty leads to environmental degradation, which worsens poverty The Demography–Environment–Civil Strife Connection • Deprivation and failed states (Neo-Malthusian) o Rapid population growth, environmental degradation, resource depletion, and unequal resource access combine to increase poverty and income inequality o Weakens states’ authority, increasing risks of violence/rebellion o Increased economic costs for state  Welfare  Development projects  Subsidies  Urban demands  Increases expenditures while decreasing revenues o Increases risk of elites oppressing population to retain power • Honey Pots and the Resource Curse (Neoclassical) o Resource abundance can also lead to instability o Honey pot effects  Incentives for rebel groups to form and seize local resources  Regional warlords to cleave territory and use proceeds to purchase weaponry and escalate  Diamonds in Sierra Leone o Resource Curse  Economic  Focus on resources increases costs in other sectors which slows their maturity, harm competitiveness, and inhibits diversification  Reliance on raw resource exports make nations vulnerable to declining terms of trade and the volatility commodity prices  Prone to economic shocks  Lower rates of economic growth  More unequal income distribution  Political  These “Rentier States” accrue significant revenue from natural resource exports that they directly control  Prone to develop corrupt, narrowly based authoritarian governments  Few incentives to legitimize and develop diverse tax schemes  Wealth used to maintain rule  Increases risk of violent revolt o Evaluating the Debate  Scarcity versus Abundance  Both views compatible across different levels of analysis • Troublesome resources are abundant locally, but scarce internationally • Global scarcity is what makes them valuable  Abundance of one resource (usually non- renewable) can lead to scarcity of another (usually renewable) • Oil production in one area of a country can compromise health, agriculture, etc. in other areas, leading to unrest and oppression.  Emerging scarcity and imbalance will cause conflict between abundant and scare regions • Sudan  Resource dependence, rapid population growth, environmental degradation and emerging scarcity conspire to threaten political stability.  Different Resources, Different Risks  Both sides of debate are generally talking about different resources  Neo-Malthusian • Environmental degradation and emerging scarcities of renewable resources o Agriculture, forestry, fishing • Employs more than non-renewable resources • Arable land and clean water vital to poor individuals • More people affected  Neoclassical • Non-renewable o The prize to be captured in violent conflict International Cooperation on Climate Change: Numbers, Interests and Institutions - David G. Victor 03/10/2011 19:17:00 • The effectiveness of an international agreement is limited by the commitment level of the of the least interested party The Demand for Cooperation • Four aspects o Increasing ability to “climate proof”  Irrigation, dikes, etc. o “The richer are safer”  Developing nations loathe to sacrifice growth and the ability to adapt to future climate change o Some countries want warmer weather  Russia, Canada – economies would benefit o Everyone wants to avoid catastrophic, abrupt change  Traditional security threat  Ocean levels, etc. • No shared objective: different assessments of danger, opportunity, risk, thresholds • No one wants to invest unless everyone else is The Supply of Cooperation • Too many countries with very diverse interests • Need to have enough to matter and to have leverage and legitimacy, but not too many that it becomes impossible to agree • Victor believes 12 is the ideal number, but still problems • Agreements need to start out smaller and more focused Organizing Cooperation: The Role if Institutions • Past problems dealt with using binding treaties • Nonbinding treaties more effective o More flexible, less prone to be concerned by non-compliance o Countries can make ambitious commitments o But need to have institutions that measure national performance • Harmony to Simple Coordination to Deep Collaboration to Deadlock • Most treaties and agreements are symbolic and useless o Symbolic costs of not reaching agreement advance treaties to harmony or simple coordination phase o Lots of “framework” agreements o High costs prevent further advancement • Through non-binding agreements, governments can make ambitious targets, then agree to binding commitments once they know what they can deliver • Should be bottom up rather than top down Toward a New Synthesis • Conventional wisdom not effective • Proposed L20 would be good • Developed nations need to provide alternate, cleaner routes of development to developing nations o Better tech o Natural Gas in China instead of coal What Is Terrorism? - Bruce Hoffman 03/10/2011 19:17:00 • Terrorism: violence, or the threat of violence, used and directed in pursuit of, or in service of, a political aim • Terrorist: any one who attempts to further his views by a system of coercive intimidation • Is planned, calculated and systemic • Terrorists never see them as such, always the “reluctant warrior” • Terrorism has connotations that are inherently negative o The label depends on point of view • Generally want to be seen as soldiers, with protections as such o However, they don’t follow the laws of war The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism - Robert A. Pape 03/10/2011 19:17:00 • Suicide terrorism increasing since early ‘80s o Not limited to religious groups o No profile for individual attacker • Five principles of suicide terrorism o Strategic  Occur in clusters as part of a larger campaign by an organized group to achieve a political goal  Timing not random o To coerce modern democracies to make concessions to a national self-determination movement  Withdrawal of target’s military from terrorists’ homeland  Against democracies because more vulnerable to coercive punishment, seen as “softer” o Increasing because it works  Groups have been able to get more concessions with it o There are limits  Target states willing to surrender modest goals, but unwilling to sacrifice national wealth or physical security  Israel, Sri Lanka  National governments respond aggressively to ambitious suicide terrorist campaigns o Best way to contain is to reduce attackers’ confidence in their ability to carry out attackers  Border defenses, homeland security • Three types of terrorism o Demonstrative  To gain publicity to recruit more members, to gain attention for grievances from opposing soft-liners, and to gain attention from third parties that could pressure target.  Avoid doing serious harm to maintain sympathy o Destructive  Inflict real harm to coerce target while mobilizing support o Suicide terrorism  Pursuing coercion at the expense of losing support among the terrorists’ community  Meant to inflict maximum damage, coercion is paramount objective • The Coercive Logic of Suicide Terrorism o Goal to inflict enough pain to force target government to concede or be overthrown by revolt o Very destructive  Very likely to acco
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