POLI 211 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Uria, Aleppo, Federalisation Of The European Union
Course CodePOLI 211
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Kopstein + Lichbach-
• Comparative Analysis is about objective, comparative analysis; focused on what happens within countries. (All scientists can learn a lot
-Comparativists are interested in the origins and impact of different “regime types.”
-Comparativists disagree on how best to evaluate determinants of regime types.
1) Interests (Material) We assume individuals are rational, have preferences, objectives and constraints. Collective action
problems exist. Interests are often grouped by “class.”
2) Identities (Set of values or ideas that define one’s interests, e.g., religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation,
environmental concerns and other social ethics like “I am my brother’s keeper”) People can have several competing
3) Institutions (Long-term authoritative rules and procedures that structure power flow and political life, in a variety of
political dynamics, e.g., elections, use of force, judicial procedures and leadership structure)
-State is an institution, whose strength is determined by two factors: Autonomy and Capacity.
-Elections can take the form of “Single-member constituency” (First-past-the-post) or “Multi-member
constituency” (Proportional Representation)
-When comparativists develop an explanation that works well in a wide variety of cases, it is termed a “theory.”
-To understand a regime, one must understand its development. There is no single path to the modern world. Kopstein + Lichbach
perceive world-historical contingencies that distinguish Early, Middle, Late and Experimental Developers. The world is a
laboratory, countries engage in developmental experiments. Development is measured in terms of power.
• Political Feedback Network, and Path Dependency: (Influence = “->”)
The global context and (according to Sabetti, for example) indigenous phenomena -> Domestic interests, identities,
institutions -> Developmental paths to the modern world -> Comparative politics feedback effects on domestic interests,
identities, institutions -> International relations feedback effects on the global context.
-Recent Historical Context: Western values represent the dominant challenge, namely in the form of democratic capitalism. Most
important global event in modern history is Industrial Revolution of 1780-1850. Britain gains power, forces responses.
(Globalization increases role of global forces.)
-First stage: Nations + states develop in response to the experiences and challenges of other states. Challenges generate demand for
economic development, which generates competition between domestic interests and identities to create a developmental path.
Global challenges and competition force countries to adopt a developmental path.
-Second stage: Domestically, governments pursue Extracive policies, Distributive policies, Regulatory policies, and Foreign
policies. Domestic and foreign policy choices combine to create a “Grand” or “Developmental” strategy. Competing domestic
interests and identities, represented by state-society coalitions are the direct formulators and executors of this strategy. The outcome
of the grand strategy influences domestic identities and interests, a process called Comparative Politics feedback.
-Third stage: The outcomes of grand strategies create domestic environments that in turn, affect the global context of all nations.
This phenomenon is called International Relations feedback.
-Path Dependency: Where a state goes depends on where it has been.
• Summary: “Regime types” are determined by the role of “Interests, Identities and Institutions” within a “Political Feedback Network”
affected by “world-historical context” and ultimately, “Path Dependency.”
•Methods of Comparative Analysis: Question: What is the basic logic of each system? Does it encourage/discourage certain things?
-Inductive vs. Deductive Logic
-Inductive Logic: Starts with observing, more objective.
-Deductive Logic: Starts with implied theoretical roadmap, often in the form of models or abstract reasoning.
-Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research
-Micro vs. Macro Analysis
-Starting with the individual vs. starting with nature of the macro-context.
•Notes on Development:
-If Italian cities flourished so much (Venice) then why didn’t Italy develop early?
-The success of these cities undermined the possibility of Italy becoming a modern state.
-What accounts for British and French “success”?
-French and British cities were taken over by monarchs and larger entities. This did not happen in Italy or Germany. There
were also factors that contributed to the expansion of power of the monarchies in particular. Venice couldn’t be
conquered, served as model. Many inferior Italian cities were under Spanish and French colonial rule. Also Venetian
constitution provided block for development into nation-state. Hereditary principles of rule elsewhere allowed large
political entities to form.
Mark Sproule-Jones- (Framework for Analysis + Evaluation)
• Principles applicable to all political societies:
-Rules, Goods, and Individuals:
-Rules: Norms of behavior that people follow (in the form of laws or social agreements). Multiple interacting rules in a
given context form “Rule Configurations.” Acceptance of these configurations by individuals is necessary for rules to
influence actual behavior. Rule configurations affect policy outcomes and impacts, though not necessarily in the intended
ways. Rules can have both intrinsic/symbolic and instrumental value. British system operates under many informal rules,
in that they can be adapted.
-Rules in Use: Having operational relevance; enforced or enforceable.
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-Rules in Form: Have no impact on behavior.
-Formal Rules: Strictly adhered to
-Informal Rules: Adaptable
-Goods: Interchangeable with “public policies”- contexts determine how they are instituted and conceptualized.
-Public Goods: Supplied by governments, to everyone.
-Private Goods: Obtained by market mechanisms, exclusive.
-Common Property Resources: “Res Nullius” like air, oceans and animals. Subject to tragedy of commons.
-Individuals: Ultimate constituents of the world.
-Decisions made about rules, and decisions made within rules about goods. (e.g, elections or court cases)
-Policy Outcomes and Impacts:
-Policy Outcomes: Policies that are formulated within decision situations.
-Policy Impacts: The results or effects of policy implementation within a society.
-Time and Place Contingencies:
-The impact of historical and geographical circumstance on decisions and human events.
The Framework: The basic ingredients of our analysis- rules, goods, and individuals- shape multiple decision situations, which produce
policy outcomes and impacts that are subject to time/place contingencies. These policy impacts and time/place contingencies, affect, in turn,
all the basic ingredients.
• Ontological Assumptions about policy analysis framework and Constitutive Principles of a governance system
-Regarded differently in different political systems
-Make decisions on basis of imperfect information, so under conditions of uncertainty.
-Rational- can rank alternatives
-Rules: -“Dignified” part, and “Efficient” part (Walter Bagehot)
-Can be instituted as laws, and institutions regulate the fulfillment of rule configurations
-Don’t have fully predictable outcomes or impacts.
-Basic Logic: Refers to the predictable set of consequences of rules if they are working as they are intended to.
-Community of Understanding: The acknowledged beliefs existing within any governance system about the basic logic of
its rule configurations.
Policy Analysis: The “Constitutive Principles” of any governance regime consist of its basic logic and its community of understanding. The
constitutive principles provide a paradigm or method for evaluating rules and their consequences in terms of public policy outcomes.
Peter T. Leeson- (Pirate Democracy)
• The Paradox of Power and the Pirate Democracy
-Paradox of Power: The incentive for an authoritarian to abuse his power.
-Without a solution to the Paradox of Power, pirates couldn’t profit through criminal organization, so they used
democratic “one pirate one vote” (universal and equal suffrage) “separation of power” (Quartermaster) and “checks an
balances” (Sword of Damocles= Pirate opinion, Deposition-Impeachment) institutions.
-Pirates didn’t suffer from a Principal Agent problem because the democratic institutions in place, and the fact that all the
members were as much principals as they were agents created an incentive to work efficiently and equitably. (No absent
Herbert Kitschelt- (Postcommunist Regime Diversity)
-East Europe and Central Asia= Most politically diverse region on earth
Full explanations for political phenomena are very difficult to formulate because:
Complexity: As in Earthquake prediction, social scientists cannot explain singular events due to the complexity of causes, and the
fact that we have difficulty weighing each factor in importance. Therefore we cannot make accurate point predictions with a high
level of certainty. Difficult to distinguish between necessary and sufficient causes of events.
Reflexivity: The phenomenon precipitating self-fulfilling or self-destroying prophecies.
Actor Uncertainty: A result of the fact that interpretations are made based on imperfect information. These interpretations contain
systematic and random components. Systematic components can be flawed in that they attempt to be systematic and fall prey to the
trappings of “analytic narrative.” Random components are inherently flawed in that they are subject to phenomena like
psychological idiosyncrasy of actors within contingent social networks.
-Causal Mechanisms: The temporal aspect of “process tracing” necessitates the search for causal mechanisms: the forces that represent the
causal relationship between two events.
-Methodological Individualism: The idea that causal mechanisms rely on human action. (This despite the fact that each action may be
constrained by collective and aggregate phenomena.) Human action is only intelligible if it is based on the assumptions that humans act on
defined preference schedules, and that their calculations toward risk are empirically sound (which they often aren’t). Their behavior, in the
context of institutions and rules determine social outcomes.
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