POLB93 MIDTERM STUDY NOTES
By: Ummema Chutani
Structuralism vs. Structural explanations are predictable, impossible for an individual to alter, few possible
Voluntarism outcomes. May include: economic development, the nation's culture and/or social
structure, political system or position in the international community.
Voluntarist explanations include the effects of an action by an individual or an event. They
are unpredictable and can have a wide array of outcomes.
Dependent and Dependant variable is a situation that is set off by a preceding event.
Independent variable is the phenomenon that will have some effect on the dependent
Variable variable. It is an event that can occur without prediction.
State State is the central apparatus of a political/coercive power in a territory in the form of legal
administrative institutions that have the power to legitimately enforce order.
Regime is the system of administration. It is the set of rules by which political power is
Government is the group of people that are in power at the given time. (e.g. Harper
government, Obama administration)
procedural vs. Procedural definition includes free and fair elections , adult suffrage (everyone can vote),
substantive/radic elected governments real power (no veto by outside power such as military, clerics or drug
al vs. minimalist lords), protection of civil liberties (right to criticize government, form independent
definitions of associations and free press), and level playing field. Political parties, high participation and
democracy accountability not included.
Substansive/Radical definition focuses on democracy as an outcome of economic
equality, high participation, high accountability. Points to real problems in developed
democracies. Combines dimensions like economy and political institutions. Doesn't really
exist in the real world.
Minimalist definition involves the existence or absence of multi-party elections. Easy to
identify, lots of cases. Lumps countries like Uzbekistan and Sweden into groups.
Level vs. Incumbent vs. New political party. Incumbent abuses power over the state with its access
to media, resources and state institutions thus the oppositions power to organize and be
effective is not as strong.
Cultural A structural explanation for a regime. Focus on the long-standing values of a populations
Approaches → political outcomes affected by those values. Appeal to religion rather than economics or
interests. Consider non democratic as it values groups over individuals and emphasis on
hierarchical authority. Latin America has a strong church and most of the countries are
Development Another structural explanation of democracy is modernization. Modernization=wealth,
and Democracy industrialization, urbanization and education. Wealthy countries tend to be more
democratic. Increase in global wealth over time led to greater number of democracies.
urbanization and education → Industrialization → Wealthy country. Modernization empowers the population to demand for a democracy. Urban populations are easy to
organize and have an access to mass communication.
Civil Society Network of powerful, independent, nongovernmental organizations such as trade unions,
and the church. Defends rights against the state and promotes democracy.
Steven Fish's Mongolia is a democracy that should not have been. It never had the ingredients of
interpretation of prerequisites of a democracy. Mongolia was a socialist state under the control of the USSR
Mongolian and depended heavily upon USSR aid. Only traded with them. It is also geographically
Democracy isolated from the west and has low literacy rate yet it's still a democracy. Perhaps it was
leadership? (voluntarist explanation). In demonstrations between anti and pro democracy
groups, the democrats won. Constitution a product of compromise. Mongolian People's
Revolutionary Party loses election and gives up power to Democratic Coalition.
Leadership Leadership explanations are supported by the voluntarist perspective. Democracy is
Explanations created by democrats.
Presidentialism Institutional design as a voluntarist explanation. Executive directly elected for fixed term.
and Democracy Strong constitutional power, control over cabinet
Parliamentarism Institutional design as a voluntarist explanation. Parliamentary regimes are more stable
and Democracy democracies. Parliament selects executive, no fixed terms, no elected president with
Linz’s Presidentialism undermines democracy? Conflict between president and parliament →
interpretation of Instability → Regime Breakdown (slippery slope to dictatorship). President has too much
the problems of power → dictatorship. Presidentialism rigid → polarization/high stakes fight for power →
presidentialism democratic breakdown
Institutional A voluntarist explanation for regime. Presidentialism vs. Parlimentarism
International Structural: Global spread of communication, Increase in communications technology
Sources of makes it propaganda harder. Hard to keep western ideas out and internal problems in.
Democracy Global balance of power: democratization affected by which states are the global powers.
Dominance of democratic global powers leads to more democracies, less funding for
autocrats and fewer threats to discourage democratization threats. Autocratic powers
impose authoritarian regimes, fund autocrats and threaten security in order to discourage
western democratization efforts.
Voluntarist: Demonstration effect (snowballing), impact of neighbouring revolutions;
encourages opposition, threatens to overthrow dictator. Demonstration effect is voluntarist
because it is based on individual perception, it's highly contingent and unpredictable.
Helsinki Final Act, 1975 - 1975 Helsinki Accords
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe: Legitimizes Soviet control over
Eastern Europe, Sovereign equality, respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty,
Inviolability of frontiers. But demand for respect of Human Rights and fundamental
freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief
The Marshall 1947—1951. The American initiative to aid the rebuilding of Europe after World War II.
Plan Gave economic aid to European countries to prevent the spread of communism but it
divided Europe since Soviet countries didn't receive the aid. Resulted in significant growth of Western Europe.
European Treaty of Rome, 1957. Four freedoms: freedom of movement of goods, services, capital
Customs Union and people. European Economic Community on January 1, 1958.
European Coal Established by the Treaty of Paris, 1951 to unify European countries. Signed by France,
and Steel West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to pool the steel and coal
Community resources of its member-states. Idea was to make war technically impossible (steel needed
for arms) by creating a common market for coal and steel among member states to
neutralize competition for resources. Eventually led to the formation of the European
Origins of Important for the constitutionalisation of the European Communities. Emphasis on the
Democratic reference of liberty in the Treaty of Rome and that the treaty imposes strict political
Conditionality in conditions on membership.
Birkelbach Only democratic states with free political order were eligible for membership in the EC. The
Report conditions were that the EC states must have a government that is democratically
legitimate and their people must participate in the government decisions through a free-
elected representative. Respect for human rights was also another condition. Spain was
rejected membership because it was a military dictatorship.
Totalitarianism Soviet Totalitarianism: Monopoly control by Communist Party (No other parties allowed to
function). Total control over individual (No independent civil society). State control over
economy (No economic actors independent of state and state controlled prices). Ter