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Political Science
Lucan Way

POLB92 MIDTERM NOTES Basic Terms ● State → Central apparatus of political or coercive power in a particular national territory (police, military, welfare office) ○ Maintains order, and service to the citizens ● Regime→ Set of rules by which political power is allocated ○ Democracy, monarchy, who possesses the biggest gun ● Government→ Group of people in power at the time ○ Changes the most often, the most impermanent ● Dependent Variable → What are you trying to explain? ● Independent Variable → The factors that you think explain the outcome ○ e.g. I'm hungry because not eaten all day. IV is not eating and DV is hunger. ● Correlational Analysis → Looking for relationships between the Independent Variable and the Dependent Variable ○ Primary concern is increasing number of observations to gain statistical significance ○ Hard to incorporate time ○ BUT: Meaningless correlations? ● Case Study → We are identifying the causal mechanisms ○ Detailed analysis of individual case ○ Focus on the time ○ BUT: Is it relevant to other cases? Revolution ● Violent, rare, impactful ● Structural Explanation ○ Long term factors that don't easily change ○ Very PREDICTABLE (limited number of possible outcomes) ○ Misery and poverty causes revolution ■ People have nothing to lose but their chains. BUT! ● Misery actually breeds passivity. They are barely surviving and you don't have time to go out and protest. You just focus on surviving. ● Lack of resources for rebellion. Don't know how to influence the wealthy and important (no cultural capital). Lack of education. ● Low expectations. Enduring poverty makes their condition seem like a fact of life. ● Marxist Theory ○ Class based analysis: haves vs. have nots ○ Feudalism REVOLUTION Capitalism REVOLUTION Communism ○ Change is violent and conflict. People don't give up without a fight. ○ Two types: ■ Bourgeois revolution where feudalism and elite is replaced by capitalism ● Wealth is based on land and birth. Power is centralized in a small elite. ● Rise of capitalism ● Creating a competitive system that excludes most of the population. ■ Communist revolution ● Desire to reduce costs leads to capitalists to force down wages of the workers ● This in turn revolutionized in dissatisfaction of workers ○ For this to work you don't need values, beliefs etc. All you need is capitalists. ■ A capitalist exists for their own interest (profit driven, but unbeknownst to them, it leads to a revolution. A destruction of their own capitalism. ● Relative Deprivation ○ When does poverty lead to a revolt? Have to look at relative misery instead of absolute misery. Expectations can only be frustrated if they are high and rising. ■ The J-Curve. You have it good, then it goes down. "What?! I thought things were getting better!" ● e.g. Boston Red Sox. The fans were upset when they don't get a cup, because they are used to them winning. ■ Revolutions require much more than dashed expectations ● Collective Action Problem ○ Any sort of collective action is individually irrational. The individual impact on the broader outcome is minimal. It requires risk and effort. Where people who don't rebel don’t get punished. ○ Solve this by... ■ Leadership ■ Organization. (e.g. In the US they used churches to facilitate the civil rights movement) ● Skocpol’s Theory of Revolution --NOTES ○ State is relatively autonomous. An act in its own right, not just a support for the dominant class. ○ Make the states vulnerable to breakdown to external pressure--fall behind on military and lost wars ○ Agrarian bureaucracy: state in rural country that depends heavily on landed elite or aristocracy. Power is to the elite, and they face modernization crisis. ○ Monarchs seek resources for war/modernization cause split in upper class ○ Rebellious peasants + revolutionary elite = Revolution. ○ BUT! ■ Leadership? → Someone must sell the revolutionary project to the masses ■ Ideology? ● Voluntarist Theory of Revolution ○ Depends on the action of a particular person or event ○ UNPREDICTABLE or contingent ○ Condition for revolution is everywhere, but there isn't always a leader to catalyze or spark ● Diffusion --NOTES ○ Example of revolutionary success in one country inspires opposition in another Origins of French Revolution ● Voluntarist Approach ○ Mistakes by Louis XVI ■ Decision to help the American Revolution which then causes deficit ■ Radicalizes the Parlements in 1788 by arresting the members of the Paris Parlement, which lead to the calling of Estates General ● Structuralist response? Only did this because he needed taxes due to being bankrupt. Driven by structural needs to get more money ● King then fled the country in 1791 ○ Marie Antoinette spent loads of jewels and money while the French nation was bankrupt ○ Robespierre as inspiration behind Great Terror ■ No structural reason for Robespierre’s role and inspiration to exist ■ Obsession with his notion of virtue ○ Marat with ideology, became martyr ○ Bad weather causing a bad harvest ● Structuralist Approach (Marx) ○ Rise of bourgeoisie ○ Elimination of barriers to capitalism ■ Role of commercial class in revolution ● Rise of the third estate by the Estates General ● 98% of population on had 33% of the vote. They said no to voting by order (class and birthright) and yes to voting by head ○ Revolution supported by middle class (artisans and shopkeepers) ■ Impact: ● Strengthened private property ● Barriers to national market is eliminated ○ Problems with Marx? ■ Blurred lines of conflict: It wasn’t the case where only the Third Estate supported voting by head. A minority of aristocrats and clergy supported it. One of the initial moments was in fact 30 aristocrats. ■ Conflicts within the ruling class just as intense as the conflict between classes ● Why was the Estate General called in the first place? Because there was conflicts between the aristocrats and the king due to taxation. ● Conflict within the elite allows the lower classes to emerge. ■ Revolution strengthened the state (created a bureaucracy) not the entrepreneurs ● Skocpol’s Theory ○ Weakened French State ■ Why was the state weak enough to all the masses to win? ■ International competition from stronger foreign powers. France has to raise money (taxes) to compete with England. ■ Efforts at reform ■ Strong resistance or rebellion by aristocracy or other elites ■ Opening for peasant rebellion → Allie with the urban radicals → Change in social order/revolution ■ International pressures ● Lost wars (Seven Years War, War of Austrian Succession) ● American Revolution (The state is overwhelmed due to loans) ○ Weak revenue in raising capacities ■ Louis the XVI’s power is actually decentralised. So many people had the right to not pay taxes. ■ Privileges: If you were able to purchase a position, you are basically exempted from tax ■ Venal Offices: where he sold bureaucratic positions (short term cash, long term = you’re stuck with them till you buy them out) ● Ineffective administration, are they even good at their job?! ● A key to a good government is able to fire people ■ He’s saving money to support the aristocrat’s interests. Need money to keep the system. BUT Aristocracy is resistant to taxes and tax reform “screw you I want to keep my money” ■ Parlements ● Nobles refuse to give up privileges ■ Estates General ● 1787 Parlement of Paris ○ Refuse to register stamp and land tax to pay off debt ○ They were then exiled by the king ○ Parlements rally behind Paris, and the king calls for Estates General ● Skocpol: Why was the general called in the first place? It is a function of the weak state, whose not even able to tax their nobility. ● Marx: Role of commercial class in revolution ○ Rise of the third estate by the Estates General ○ 98% of population on had 33% of the vote. They said no to voting by order (class and birthright) and yes to voting by head ● ON THE MIDTERM. Skocpol vs. Marx on Estates General. ■ French peasantry had ownership had large portions of land passed on within family ● Carry out their own affairs (had heavy rents or controls) ● They are in the position to carry out massive rebellions → Downfall of French social system ○ BUT! ■ Very little room for agency (Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, Robespierre) ■ No theory of urban revolts, key to the revolution ■ No ideology, that we can understand the French revolution without enlightenment ideas 1848 Revolutions Structural Causes of 1848 ● Marx: Communist Revolution ○ Rise of the proletariat against “bourgeois monarch” ○ Bourgeoisie vs. workers/suffrage ■ In Frankfurt, liberals opposed to universal male suffrage only for the wealthy. Why did they not want workers? What would the radicals do? They want to eliminate the privileges (private property). ■ Opposition by liberals to efforts to thwart mechanization ○ BUT: ■ France is much less industrialized than Great Britain where there was no revolution (totally against Marx’s prediction) ■ Classes take different sides, many radicals were artisans who fight alongside proletariat, some bourgeoisie support workers. ■ Protests in areas (Danube) untouched by industrialization, education, liberal ideas ● Economic Depression ○ Food supply shock of 1845 all through Europe ○ Revolution does not occur in GB and Sweden because there was less economic shock ○ BUT: ■ Bumper
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