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POL100 UofT St.George. Kopstein & Wong. Lecture notes in preparation for December 12, 2013 Exam.

Political Science
Course Code
Jeffrey Kopstein
Study Guide

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Professor Wong and Kopstein POL100 UofT Saint George
September 16, 2013
Democracy’s Virtue
Democracy as a participatory gov’t and participating in collective decision making
Freedom of press, association, speech, right to oppose and dissent, universally applicable
Principles of democracy: liberty, virtue, rule of law, pluralism (multiple points of view &
ideologies), institutionalized uncertainty (ability to lose politically and compete again)
Democracy fundamentally governed by constitution
53 breakdowns of democracy since 1974 representing 32% of all democracies, 26 of which
returned to democracy.
1963 saw all Canadians have the right to vote regardless of ethnicity or race
Dynamics of democracy, building, choosing and making democracy work.
Democracy founded upon modernization theory characterized by
economic transformation > economic development > demographic change (rural to urban
migration) > social transformation (spread of education, secularism) > demand for political
Social capital lending itself to political satisfaction (“Bowling Alone” reference)
Sam Huntington theorizes that Confucianism and its derivatives in the Asian world are
culturally hardwired to prioritize the collective and kinship over individual rights therefore
making them inhospitable to democracy.
South Korea installing democracy (1987) by Roh Tae Woo, Chile (1988) by Pinochet, South
Africa (1989) by FW de Klerk, Soviet Union (late 1980’s) by Gorbachev
Push Pull factors of democracy
bottom up pressure, demands
International pressure
Legitimacy crisis
preemptive strategic choice
Making Democracies Work
Institutions - “rules of the game”
rights and limits
winners and losers
Presidentialism and Parliamentarianism
Presidential system is executive branch versus legislative branch
promotes winner takes all system
Parliamentary system reflects legislative branch
promotes power-sharing and coalitions
First past the post system versus Proportional representation system.
“Rules of the game” are not impartial, objective or neutral, rather they are consequential and
represent specific goals and vary among democracy.

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September 23, 2013
Is the world becoming more democratic and peaceful?
Summer 1989 – fall of the Berlin wall
Francis Fukuyama
Hegel –German philosopher
History has a structure: beginning, middle and end
1989 – end of history?
What is the essence of history?
Hegel: history is essentially the history of philosophy – human capacity for understanding the
Not kings, queens, presidents…
War: we see people dying… but in reality it is the clashing of ideas (that is what people go to
war for)
History of human consciousness
History of the big ideas that organize society
Ancient, medieval society, liberal democratic state
End of history the end of big ideas, the final “big idea.”
Theory alone transcends the poverty of the human condition
There is no legitimate opposition to liberal democracy
Big challengers to liberal democracy had been defeated in the realm of ideas
Challengers lead by fear not conviction – not a legitimate alternative, powerless idea
SO: world of peace, trade and democracy
There are wars, but not wars of big ideas, or if so liberalism wins.
Look for big ideological challengers
In this sense, history is over.
Clash of Civilizations?
An examination of Huntington’s arguments.
Fukuyama’s view was created at the end of the cold war: a victors perspective.
Huntington writing in reaction to Fukuyama
40 years: 4 democracies to 114
But also 53 democratic breakdowns, 50 % of those never returned to democracy
Huntington: much more pessimistic opinion
He believes that Fukuyama has a very narrow reading of the world
Believes that it is only the end of history in the west
Do we actually see “liberal peace and prosperity”
They are illusory
Inequality, contested citizenship, exclusion
Countries are still ruled by the need for power: ex: US need to project power in the world
For Huntington: it is not the world of peace
Civilizational lines of conflicts
Overriding question: Who are we?
Not about countries, political affiliations… it’s about civilizations
Alternate divisions of the world: western, orthodox, Islamic, African…

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Civilization: “The essence of a society”
Why Clash?
While countries may exist peacefully, civilizations will not
Difference (real or imagined) = conflict
Interests = conflict
Kinship = conflict
Hardened by the perceived arrogance of the west
For Fukuyama: the west has won over the rest
Huntington: the west versus the rest
Islam: real civilizational challenger
China: non western modernity
A transitional moment- US number 1 economy, China number 2
September 30, 2013
The Rise of the West and Marxism
Twin revolutions 16th-19th - agricultural and industrial
Agricultural revolution may be hyperbole to use the word revolution
Industrial revolution origins late 18th century England
things that were previously seen as luxury items were now seen as necessities.
Birth of middle class who broke out of laborer status to professionals or entrepreneurs
Capacity to produce surplus
Increasing complexity of division of labor - specialization of professions
New forms of social consciousness - station in life is not predetermined - people increasingly
aware of individual power/influence
Marx was a student of Hegel
Questioned how to analyze society, what does one look for, queens and kings, dominant ideas,
what kind of food they eat, alcohol they drink.
Influenced by Feuerbach and Critique of German Idealism (Hegel)
Questions God, how/why we worship, in his mind when we worship we take all that is good in
ourselves and externalize it, God did not create man, man created God.
Religion created because of Injustice
Hegel: Consciousness creates society
Marx: Consciousness does not create being, being creates consciousness - society you are a
part of dictates the way you think.
Materialist Conception of History
Humans make their own means of survival
Work is natural, humans are creative
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