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POLB91 - Midterm Review

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Political Science
R Rice

POLB91 Midterm Review Area Studies - The detailed examination of politics within a specific geographical setting. (Ie: To study Latin or North American politics) - It does not necessarily involve any explicit comparisons - Three distinct connotations among scholars: 1) It is sometime used to refer to a detailed description of a nation or region that doesn’t seek to generalize beyond the specific case 2) Can refer to studies that build on a deep contextual knowledge of a specific society or region to develop understandings that are more general 3) can mean interdisciplinary teaching or research by scholars working on a particular region of the world - Though some question the relevancy of area studies in political science and development studies (they believe them to be too narrow and expensive to conduct research), area studies remain important because scholars rely on area specific information in order to produce accurate facts and analysis Despotic Power: - Type of state power - The power to control and suppress society (Global South) - There are several roots to Despotic Power: o Colonial past where state borders and institutions were artificially imposed by colonial rulers o Strong despotic or forceful power but weak infrastructural or transformative power o Purpose and point of colonial rule was extracting rather than developmental o The power structure of the colonial state was entrenched by ruling elites after independence to protect their interests. Infrastructural Power: - The power to administrate and transform through policies (Global North) - The simplest differentiation between Mann's two types of state power is that despotic power is power over society, while infrastructural power is power through society. - While infrastructural power involves a cooperative relationship between citizens and their government, despotic power requires only that an elite class can impose its will on society. Corporatism - A system in which interest groups become an institutionalized part of the political structure. Such as agriculture, business, labor, military etc. There are two types. State Corporatism - A system in which states use interest group structures to control and dominate citizen groups and the interest they are allowed to voice - Here, the State is dominant and Interest groups are consulted only to gain their compliance - It appears to legitimize the state and it is a form of social control, it is also very common in the global south - A way for the state to remake society in a way that it wants Societal Corporatism - A system in which all interests are organized according to officially sanctioned groups and the governments actively involves these groups in policy making - It is a single peak association that normally represents each societal interest - Membership in peak associations is often compulsory - Peak association is centrally organized and directs the action of members and Interest groups are involved in policy making Clientelism - The dispensing of public resources by political power holders or seekers who offer them as favors in exchange for votes or other forms of public support (informal politics) - They are also called patron-client networks. - Pros include: o Material benefit o Opportunities - Cons include: o Corruption o Preferential treatment o Inequality o Reinforces status quo - It is a strategy of elite-controlled political participation fostering the status quo - American politicians have used thanksgiving turkeys and jobs in the past in exchange for votes (mostly in Urban black communities) Caudillismo (strong-man rule) - The organization of political life by local bosses whose power and influence derives from personal fortune, family or regional association (informal politics) - It leads to undermining of the central government’s policies, constrains the emergence of infrastraucal power and undermining of national economic development.  The above 3 mechanisms have been instrumental in excluding the majority of the population from meaningful political participation and the benefits of economic development. Revolution - A non-legal, non-democratic or violent overthrow of government that introduces sweeping changes to a country’s political, economic and social systems - The key idea is fundamental change - Revolutionary governments are generally more participatory and egalitarian than the regimes they toppled; they are also frequently Marxist in revolution (not always) - They are often a third world phenomena led by the peasants. - Factors in a Successful Revolution: o The regime in power must lose legitimacy ex: they may lose in a war o Wide scale dissatisfaction with the regime in power including portions of the middle class and even the business community o Military and political capabilities of the revolutionary movement must be relatively stronger than that of the regime in power o There must be a core of firmly committed activists willing to risk their lives for the cause - Foco Theory: o Groups of small, fast moving revolutionaries can provide a focus for popular discontent. o These leaders tend to be those from the middle or upper classes. The workers are the back bone of the operation but they lack the training and education to be the leader. o For example, Castro had a law degree and Mao was a librarian Causes of Revolutions 1) Historical Forces: o Focuses on changes in the world economic order that make revolution likely such as the contradictions or exploitations inherent in capitalism. o Very Marxist approach o In this sense revolution is inevitable 2) Regime Decay: o Focuses on the weaknesses of the outgoing political system and the factors that cause the state to fall to revolutionary forces. o International pressures o Military defeat o Economic crisis – if the gov doesn’t meet the citizens needs, this gives leeway for the citizens to find an alt source that will o Severe corruption o Subservience to foreign powers 3) Challenge from Below: o Focuses on the actual revolutionary participants and factors that caused them to rebel. o Institutional Explanations – “take it to the streets”. Revolutions are more likely to occur in countries with weak unresponsive political institutions. o Economic Explanations – “Misery breads revolt”. Economic growth followed by a down fall. In general revolutions are more likely to occur in poorer nations. o Psychological Explanations – “relative deprivation”. It’s not so much poverty breads revolt but rather inequality. The greater the misdistribution of land or resources the greater the possibility of revolution. 4) Revolution from Above: o Elite revolutions in which military officers or upper level bureaucrats overthrow the regime and institute far-reading socio-economic changes. (Ex: revolution in Egypt in 1952 – Gamal Nasser) o In this case, Nasser and his fellow officers wanted a blood-free revolution and forced the king to abdicate and they ended up taking power. o Also, Peru in 1968 – Juan Velasco Alvarado. He and his officers took over power, he was pro labor, pro peasant and declared themselves as anti-elite. Case Study: Cuba (Revolutionaries in Power)  1898: USA declares war on Spain and takes possession of Cuba.  1930 – 1950s: Corrupt military dictator, Fulgencio Batista held power. He supported the US interests and he made a lot of money for himself by doing that.  1956: Castro and his band of 82 men launched an arms struggle against Batista.  1959: Jan 1 , Castro enters Havana as a liberating hero. In those 3 years his movement moved to 800 supporstrs. Small victories. Eventually they were becoming a big threat to Batista. On Dec 31 Batista abandoned the country. Positives  They tend to decrease social and economic inequality (compared to the previous regime)  Opportunities open up new channels of upward mobility/opportunities for the poor.  Popular councils (we see more popular citizen involvement)/ greater political awareness  Diffusion like in 1848 revolutions Negatives  Government corruption  Limited civil and political rights (yes you get an education BUT you’re only allowed to learn what the government tells you)  Limited opportunities  Social control – be careful of what you say, media is controlled Revolutionary Decline  Factors in the Demise of the Revolutionary Option  The fall of the Soviet Union  Discrediting of communism as a viable socio-eco and political system  Decline of class based organizing in civil society under free markets  Spread of democracy Clinical Economics - Sachs uses the term clinical economics by analogy to medicine - He explains that countries like patients, are complex systems that require different diagnosis - There needs to be an understanding of context, monitoring and evaluation and a professional standard of ethics (each different from the other country, you are like a doctor prescribing mediation to a patient) - Thus referring that just a general lists are useless (For example: these are the following a country needs to develop). Each country has a different path??? Coup d’etat - “Strike at the state”; military takeover of power The Nature of the Armed Force: explains the frequency nature of military intervention based on the internal characteristic of the military itself (training, background of officers) o Origins of Officers: officer of humble origins are more likely to intervene in politics on behalf of the interest of the populace o Training: officers whose training focuses on internal rather than external threats are more likely to intervene in politics. o Civic Action: military personnel who participate in local development initiatives are more likely to intervene in politics.  The Nature of Civilian Regimes: military intervention is more likely in weak political systems that are more characterized by instability o Political Institutions: when civilian governments enjoy widespread support and there are effective channels of social representation, military intervention is unlikely. o Political Culture: societies which believe that democracy should be the only game in town are less likely to support military coups o Level of Development: poorer countries are more likely to suffer from military takeovers  GNP compared to coup d’etat  GNP per capita < 500 = successful coup attempts (lower income)  GNP per capita >1000 = unsuccessful coup attempts (lower middle)  GNP per capita >3000 = no coup attempts (upper middle) Personalistic Dictatorship: - Military officers that seize power for their own personal enrichment - Their government tends to be very personalistic (single charismatic officer with a strong personal following) - In Latin America, it was common in less developed political and economic systems such as Nicaragua (General Somoza). - He used state money to buy personal farmland, cement factories etc and became a multi millionaire. - Also common in Africa such as Uganda’s Idi Amin Dada. Since most lack a meaningful ideology, they mostly have to share their wealth with military and civilian supporters. Institutional Military Regime - A more bureaucratic and sophisticated style
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