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POL101Y1 Study Guide - Final Guide: Nationstates, Steven Pinker


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL101Y1
Professor
Jeffrey Kopstein
Study Guide
Final

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Term List:
Zero- Sum Elections: Economic theory where the loss or gain of utility by one
participant is balanced by the loss or gain of the other
Equality of Opportunity: Equality within the political process
- Everyone has an equal chance (i.e. voting)
- Consists of: equal rights, procedural fairness, rule of law
Equality of Outcome: Equality within the political outcome
- Some receive certain advantages initially to ensure equality of outcome
- Consists of: equity, quality of democracy, redistribution
Democratic Peace Theory: Democracies do not go to war with one another because
(1) they are generally alliances that share an ideological belief system and
(2) Too slow; have to consult, pass legislation, satisfy all branches of government
Hegemon: A nation with leading or paramount power
Power Transition Theory: Rise of a challenger to the hegemon. Challengers
power/influence tends to increase, why hegemon's declines; leads to instability and
conflict (war)
Modernization Theory: Theory on how society modernizes
- How people socially transform themselves
- How transformations build to democracy
Thinkers & Ideas
Fukuyama: The End of History
- Big ideas are those that organize human society; medieval, ancient, liberal democratic
- Rise of liberal state was final big idea in human history
- But unlike Hegal saying that was during Napoleon War 1806, was fall of Berlin
Wall (End of Communism); big challengers of liberal democracy defeated, ideas
defeated. Still fascism, communism, etc, but outside of few, no one willing to die or
follow and thus, not a true challenge
- So, no more big ideas, of if there are, liberalism wins
Huntington: Clash of Civilizations: It’s the West vs. the Rest and the Rest matters
- Fall of Berlin Wall was the triumph of Liberalism, capitalism
- But such a triumph did not reflect whole world
- WHO ARE WE? – key question
- When you peel the veneer of rosy world & ask who people are, you discover
fundamental dispute
- When you ask 'Who are you?' conflicts of civilizations arise -- Cultures, customs, etc
- Why Clash?-

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- Countries can coexist peacefully, but civilizations can't
- In a world of civilizations, conflict due to differences, whether real or imagined
- Worries of rise from Rest: Alternatives to Western; rise of Asian countries, Islam
- End of Western rise as they reached the top with collapse of Communism; leaves the
Rest to rise
Robert Kaplan: Focused on the power behind China due to their great sea & land power,
which would allow them to expand past their boarders
- Aggressive outlook to seize more energy, resources, metals, etc.
- Confrontation between US as Hegemon & China may result in conflict
Yizhou Wang: China will not induce war or create conflict because they are focussed on
internal affairs; re-claiming Hong Kong, Tibet wanting separation, strengthening regional
conflicts
- China's outwards focus is not to pursue greater land, but to gain resources to support
massive population/growing economy
- Will remain internally focused as their vast size, connecting them with various
neighbours, poses domestic issues (so they must focus on national security)
- Their pursuit of economic development encourages them to engage diplomatically to
avoid combative confrontation
Michael Green: Asia's security methods resulted in negligence concerning pandemics,
natural disasters, terrorism, cooperation --> relied on external bodies to deal with these
issues
Pinker: Violence is declining due to growth of civilization; people are of more
value/more of an asset now so keeping them alive is beneficial
- The emergence of government, and stable central authority has reduced violence in
humans; in replacement of hostility and the need to act violently towards threats,
civilizing processes and the emergence of commerce made violence more consequential
than beneficial
Thucydides: Human nature causes us to act drastically when posed with the dangers of
war; we will do whatever we have to in order to survive; pointed that out in
Peloponnesian War
- Human action: In times of chaos and instability, humans are willing to take extremely
violent action against others on impulse (lack of structure)
- Otherwise, in times of stable governments or states, it is not necessary to divulge in
such impulses
Princeton Prof: Idea of choosing an election winner by appearance somewhat accurate
- Facial judgments can predict actual election outcomes
- Appearance important as voters judge based upon competency, which appears to be a
universal quality measured by appearance
Browning: Experiments studying the influence of campaign messages
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- Specific goals more effective from previously ruling candidates, broader appeals more
from challengers
- Second experiment: Effectiveness of campaign types: Door to door most effective
(appearance heavily influences voters)
Lipset: Centrality of Political Culture
- Successes & failures of Presidentialism/Parlimentarism largely due to religion & culture
- As you cannot separate state & religion, conflict arises regardless of political
organization
- Parliamentary systems more powerful; no divide between legislature & president
- PM with a majority has more power than a President
- Parliaments vote for budgets, bills, policies; if they did not, cabinet would fall}
consensus
- PM rarely affected by opposition or criticism of other parties
- AWHILE Presidents & cabinets unaffected by votes in legislature, making party
discipline weaker; party members look for support for election; may go against overall
view by President and alienate constituency support
Linz: Virtues of Parliamentarism/Perils of Presidentialism
- Issue with Presidentialism: because legislator & president both freely elected, legislator
may oppose views of president
- Mediating power sometimes comes from military power when oppositions between
President & legislators occur
- Duration of fixed term too rigid for flow of events; pre-elected Vice President may have
different ideologies
- Is paradoxal: Need/want for strong & stable executive but possesses suspicion of
personalization of power
- Weaker/less predictable b/c of rigidity
- No adaptability/president cant be replaced without regime crisis
- Operates under ‘winner takes all rule (Parliamentarism gives representation to multiple
parties, not individual with power)
- Parlimentarism sees more government crisis, Presidentialism sees regime crisis
Constant: Liberty of Ancients compared with moderns
- Liberty of ancients was collective, while liberty of moderns is individual
- Ancients had “public” not “private” liberty
- Freed from private liberty due to slaves/wives so freedom in collective took
dominant role
- Moderns: “Not so much freedom to as freedom from” – Berlin
- Legal protections, limited government, driven by commerce & private property
instead of war
Marx: Communist Manifesto
- Society divided into groups; those who control means of production & those who don’t;
these groups called classes
- Classes who don’t control would rise and end capitalism (Develop class
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