PSCI 231 Midterm: Midterm Review

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Key Guiding Questions
What is/has been the role of the state in modern industrial and democratic
society?
What is the political, social, economic history?
How does the government makes its presence felt in various social and
economic institutions and agencies? How do states intervene to promote,
control, and regulate business?
What are some different perspectives on the “appropriate role” of government
in this regard?
Short Answer, Identification, Definitional Questions
Read all Lecture slides & Readings
Highlight/Note: key terms/events/figures, concepts
Understand the significance of each concept within its context
Definition
Relation to other terms/concepts/events; Groups of
terms/concepts & differences
Explanation of significance
Possible debates & different perspectives, dominant
perspective
Note: Know how concepts relate to different weeks’ topics, even if you were
introduced to the concepts or term in one particular lecture. How does it relate to
the other topics? What are the debates surrounding the use of these terms or
concepts?
Long(er) Essay Questions
Introduce
Define
Explain/Describe
Analyze
Conclude
Note: Think of this like your Critique, especially in terms of structure and
expectation for analytical thinking and evaluation. The difference: the question will
tell you what approach to take (ex: How does Article X take a different approach to
Topic-A than Article Y? How does Author-K’s ideas challenge the logic of Theory-B?)
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Week 2 – May 11th Theories of the business - government relationship,
Changing Economic Role of the State
Note: - Liberalism, Marxism, Social Democracy, Communism, Capitalism, Keynes,
Globalization, Neoliberalism, Social Economy
Week 3 – May 18th Fairness, Interest Groups, Normative and Positive Analysis
of Government
Week 4 – May 25th Canadian Business Environment, Sectors, Globalization,
Clusters and Cities
Reading 3: Porter Regional Economic Development (Michael Porter “Clusters and
the New Economics of Competition” _Harvard Business Review, Nov/Dec 1998,
Vol.76 Issue 6 Course Reserves, electronic (Possible Critique Article)
Week 5 – June 1st Regulation, Deregulation and Crisis
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For instance, over the past 40 years, governments have shifted away from
interventionist approaches to national business environments toward a more
laissez faire (leave alone) model of business-led economic development.
Laissez-faire economics: an approach to economics that assets the importance of
the free, competitive market of individual suppliers and purchasers for the efficient
production, allocation, and distribution of goods and services, as well as the
maximization of individual choice. This approach emphasize the need to keep state
regulation to a minimum  Laissez-faire economic theory has its origins in the work
of English economists David Ricardo and Adam Smith. Smith argued that though
individuals in the market would pursue their own self interest, the market’s
invisible hand would self-regulate and lead to the common good.
In the 20th century, the slump of the 1930s was followed by a period in which
Keynesian economics, with its emphasis on state intervention and the use of public
spending as a means to reduce unemployment, were dominant.
An increasingly mixed economy, combining public and private enterprise, was
developed.
However, since the end of the 1970s, following the states’ fiscal crisis, laissez-faire
economics gave once again come to the foreground.  The result has been an
increasing privatization of state activities and a return to a complete market
economy.
However, despite its impact on government policies, the criticisms of laissez-faire
economics are strong.
1. Markets bear little resemblance to the theorized, idealized models of
rational, atomized individuals making choices in the market
2. There are many imperfections in the market: monopolies of supply,
asymmetric information, and externalities.
Keynesian Economics: An approach to economic theory and policy derived from
the influential writings of British economist John Maynard Keynes. Prior to Keynes,
governments tended to be guided by the argument of laissez-fair economics that an
unregulated economy would tend to move toward full employment thence
equilibrium. Keynes argues that equilibrium could be established before that
point was reached and therefore the governments wishing to achieve full
employment had to actively intervene in the economy by stimulating
aggregate demand; and conversely, that if full employment resulted in
inflation they should act to reduce aggregate demand. In both cases by using
the devices of tax policy (fiscal), government expenditure, and monetary
policy.
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