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POLB92H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Solidarity Forever, Party System, Four Freedoms

Political Science
Course Code
Lucan Way
Study Guide

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POLB93 Comparative Politics:
Ethnic Conflict and Democratization in Europe After the Cold War -
Midterm Review
- View of agency: structure pre-exists agency
- Levels of analysis:
o Macro-structural and domestic-structural variables (world system position,
economic development, national culture, social structure, party system)
- Outcomes:
o Impossible for an individual to alter
o Very predictable
o Limited number of possible outcomes
o Nothing is random
- Ie: Canada is a democracy because of its protestant heritage
- View of agency: actors pre-exist structures in that they have interests and identities
prior to encountering structural constraints
- Level of analysis:
o Individual actors
- Outcomes:
o Depend on the actions of a particular individual or random event
o Outcomes are unpredictable
- A set of permanent administrative, legal, bureaucratic and coercive institutions that
“successfully uphold a claim to the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force in
the enforcement of its order… within a given territorial area”
- Ie: The police, military, welfare office
- A system of government or administration (a fascist regime, democratic regime,
communist regime)
- The set of rules by which political power is gained and allocated
- Ie: Democracy/elections, heredity, possession of the largest gun

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- A body that is in power at a given time and which has the power to make and enforce
rules and laws within a given area
- Ie: (Right now) Stephen Harper, Obama etc
Definitions of Democracy
Minimalist (Democracy as a Method)
- Existence or absence of multi-party elections
- Benefits:
o Easy to identify (which leads to accountability)
o Lots of cases
- Problems:
o Lumps very different countries into the same category (ie: Sweden and
- Schumper
o “The democratic process is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political
decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a
competitive struggle for the peoples vote”
- Huntington and his two turnover test
o “Democracy may be viewed as consolidated if the party or group that takes
power in the initiual election at the time of the transition, loses a subsequent
election and turns over power to those election winners and if those election
winners then peacefully turn over power to winners of a latter election”
Procedural (Democracy as a Process)
- Presumes fully contested election with full suffrage and the absence of massive fraud,
combined with effective guarantees of civil liberties, including freedom of speech,
assembly and association
- Includes:
1) Free and fair elections
2) Full adult suffrage
3) Elected governments must have the power to govern (no veto
4) Broad protection of civil rights
5) Uneven playing field
- What is not included:
o Political Parties
o High participation
Substantive (Democracy as an Outcome)

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- Includes:
o Economic equality
o High participation
o High accountability
- Benefits:
o Points to real problems and deficits in developed democracies
- Problems:
o Combine too many different dimensions (economy, political institutions)
o Often doesn’t exist in the real world (there is very little analytical utility)
Competitive Authoritarianism
- Elections viewed as the primary means of gaining power
- Elected leader (rather than military or clergy etc) has real power
- Not a democracy (civil liberties violations, electoral manipulation)
- But not a fully authoritarian regime
o Elections for executive remain competitive (though highly unfair)
o Viable candidates are allowed to run
o Opposition given some (de facto or legal) possibility to openly campaign)
o Overt vote stealing is limited
o Incumbents “sweat” on election night
Uneven Playing Field
- “Incumbent abuse of the state generates such disparities in access to resources, media
or state institutions that opposition parties ability to organize and compete for national
office is seriously impaired. These disparities rarely emerge naturally; rather they are
usually rooted in illicit or autocratic behavior, including partisan appropriation of state
resources, systematic packing of state institutions and state run media and politicized
distribution of state resources, concessions and licenses” (Levitsky and Way)
- Includes:
1) Overwhelming incumbent financial advantages
a. Ie: Yeltsins advantage in 1996
2) Overwhelming Media advantage
a. Opposition has almost no access to large audience media
3) Biased referees
a. Systematically packed courts/election authorities
- Importance:
o Attracts less international criticism
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