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POLA02H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Sun Yat-Sen, Shihab Dynasty, Free Rider Problem

Political Science
Course Code
Lucan Way
Study Guide

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Week 1 Modern Revolutions
Transition between modes of production can never be peaceful because there is always one
social class that suffers because of it. How do the proletariats and bourgeoisie function in the
same societies?
Society as a whole is splitting up more and more as uneven wealth distribution grows among
the different classes of people.
Basically the bourgeoisie corrupt mankind by putting a dollar figure on every person,
diminishing that person’s sense of self-worth. Everything is simply measured in money.
The need for a constantly expanding market chases bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the
The bourgeoisie has made the world value goods and wealth more than they do the worth of
human life and interaction. They have had a more lasting effect on the world in a matter of a
scarce one hundred years than all generations beforehand combined.
Workers begin trying to form unions in order to keep up wages and not allow bourgeoisie to
fully take advantage of them
The condition for the bourgeoisie to remain is the existence of wealth and greed. Competition
between labourers allows for the bourgeoisie to grow in power and social status.
Terms to Know
Structuralvery difficult for an individual to alter, very predictable, limited number of possible
VoluntaristDepends on the action of a particular individual or random event,
unpredictable/contingent, almost any outcome is possible
Political Revolution Instances in which state or political regime is overthrown by a popular
movement in an irregular fashion (Quite common, often peaceful, sometimes no result in
Democracy, often no impact)
Social Revolution Rapid, fundamental, and often violent transformation of a country’s state
(structure, social structure that is accompanied by mass-based revolts from below. Mostly
violent, almost never result in democracy, extremely uncommon, long term impact. Radical
rejection of past)
oImpact of social revolutions: creates durable authoritarian regimes (USSR, China, Mexico)
State (liberal and despotic/authoritarian) Central apparatus of political/coercive power in a
particular national territory (police/military/welfare office)
Regime The set of RULES by which political power is allocated (democracy/Elections,
Heredity, possession of largest gun)
Government Governing body of a state/nation/community (the group of people who are in
power at a given time (Obama, Harper, Putin)
Week 2 Origins of Revolutions
Repression by regimes may either increase or decrease dissent by opposition groups. To
simplify these issues, a Rational Actor (RA) model is proposed, with three subcategories
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Deterrence does not always work or not work. There is no linear plan of how revolutions can
function and/or succeed
We therefore have no theoretical guide to understanding the many empirically observed effects
of repression on dissent
The rationale for the use of violence in conflict situations is that it can often compel or deter
the crowd, and calm down the situation for the time being. The argument being that this use of
government violence will bring back a stronger crowd at a later time…
Therefore, a model must be introduced to explain the confusion and variety of
regime/opposition conflicts by showing that the diversity is a consequence of the same basic
theoretical principle
Rational Actor (RA) model represents repression/dissent nexus
By adding some mathematical machinery, deductions can literally be made to see how many
days a week opposition leaders need to be active. The RA model can explain how opposition
groups may either increase or decrease activities in response to government repression. It also
explains why revolutions follow reform and repression.
Terms to Know
DemocracySystem of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a
state, typically through elected representatives
AuthoritarianismForm of social organization characterized by submission to authority and
thus usually opposed to liberalism and democracy
Structural Theories of Social Revolution
oMiseryusually breeds passivity, people are focusing on survival, they have no resources for
rebellion, and they have low expectations for life. People enduring poverty makes the
condition seem like a fact of life. Miserable people are passive and tired, they don’t start
oMarxist Theory Class based analysis. Haves vs. Have-nots. Change is violent
Relative DeprivationIf you’ve always been poor, you’re more likely to be resigned to that.
But if the rich turn poor, it would affect them more
Skocpol’s Theory of Revolution:
1. Weak States (Makes states vulnerable to breakdown/external pressure)
2. International Pressures (Exacerbates state weakness, bankruptcy, military defeat)
3. Rebellious peasantry (Destroys the state)
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Voluntarist Theory
oPure ContingencyWillingness to revolt hinges on collective expectations about success of
protest. Such expectations are highly fluid
oLeadership(Lenin/Castro, these leaders spark revolutions because of popularity, unique
personalities, etc.) Someone needs to step up to the plate and lead a coup/revolution. People
respond to a leader. People need organization. Someone must effectively articulate or sell a
revolutionary project to the masses.
DiffusionRevolutions spread by example. Revolutions happen from neutral transfer of
information across borders. Example of revolutionary success in one country inspires
opposition in another. Purely about perception/choice. (Arab spring, “domino effect”)
Collective Action and Free Rider ProblemIf you are the only person making an effort and it
fails. Situation where some individuals in a population do not pull their own weight
Week 3 Sultanistic Regimes
Theory of Sultanism
oSultanistic regimes, as Juan Linz describes them, are authoritarian regimes based on
personal ideology and personal favor to maintain the autocrat in power; there is little
ideological basis for the rule except personal power.
Sultanism is a form of authoritarian government characterized by extreme
personal presence of the ruler in all elements of governance.
All of these authors trace their ideas about sultanism back to Max Weber, who
identifies these regimes as instutionalized patrimonialism in the extreme.
Chehabi and Linz argue that Sultanistic regimes do not offer favorable
transitions to democracy, no matter what the person in power says.
Non-Democratic regimes:
Totalitarian regimes are rare and limited to the communist world
“Authoritarian,” denotes a wide range of governments with distinctive characteristics that
allow their societies a limited pluralism short of genuine democracy
Can be mostly civilian one party states.
The term “sultanism” was originally coined by Max Weber
Referred to the extreme case of patrionalism
Sultanism tends to arise when the traditional domination develops and
administration and a military force which are purely personal instruments of the
Domination is primarily traditional
Patrimonial authority: The domination is traditional, even though its exercised by virtue of the
ruler’s personal autonomy
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