POLB93 - Midterm Review.docx

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Political Science
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Lucan Way

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POLB93 – Comparative Politics: Ethnic Conflict and Democratization in Europe After the Cold War - Midterm Review Structuralism - 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 Voluntarism - 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 State - 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 Regime - 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 Government - 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 Uzbekistan) - 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) - 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 o May undermine democracy even in the absence of significant civil liberties violations (Botswana, Tanzania) o Key element of rule even in cases of significant violations (harder to prove) Three Mechanisms by Which Oil Undermines Democracy 1) Rentier Effect - Oil revenues to relieve social pressures for participation - Very little taxation o Demand for democratization in England when the government tried to raise taxes - “Spending effect” o Distribution of very generous social benefits/patronage 2) Repression Effect - Oil wealth allowed governments to create large repressive apparatus’ to suppress the unrest o The middle east spends more on security than most other countries and are among the biggest purchasers of arms (in 2000, they accounted for 40% of global arms sales) 3) Modernization Effect/ Concentration of Wealth - Easy for even weak states to concentrate wealth – just control a few oil wells - Personalistic states do not create conditions for economic development outside of oil o Low urbanization, few jobs in industry Leverage - A governments’ vulnerability to external pressure - Likelihood of Western democratizing pressure - Potential cost of pressure - Degree of Western leverage reduced by: o Large state and economy  It is easier to push around Moldova that Russia or China o Competing Western policy priorities  Oil, terrorism o Countervailing powers  Support to autocrat from major power - Limits of leverage: o Democratic conditionality inconsistently and sporadically applied  Close international scrutiny of founding election but then country is forgotten o Electoralism  Lack of attention to non-electoral components of democracy – civil liberties Linkage 1) Social o Population flows between country and US and Europe 2) Economic o Trade with US and Europe 3) Media o Information (cable, internet) flows to and from the country 4) Intergovernmental o Membership in Western dominated international organizations 5) Civil society o Penetration of INGOS - Linkage promotes democracy because it o Increases Western attention to abuses o Creates powerful domestic actors with stake in good Western relations o Changes balance of power between opposition and government o Increases cost to opposition of autocratic behaviors once in power Why does modernization lead to Democracy? - Values o Claim that wealthy, educated, urban populations are more tolerant than poor, uneducated, rural ones - Increased income equality o Wealth generally correlates with high income equality
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