Midterm Review - Key Terms

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14 Apr 2012
December 13, 2011
POL101Y1 Midterm Exam Review
Key Terms
Affirmative Action: an action or policy favouring those who tend to suffer from
discrimination; enforces demographic quotas; meant to prevent racist decision-making
(Problems of Democracy, Oct. 24)
Ancient Democracy: a participatory, direct form of democracy based on freedom of the
collective over freedom of the individual (Constant and the Rise of Liberalism, Sept. 19)
Balance of power: a system of alliances in which weaker states band together against
stronger states, creating an equilibrium that generally prevents continental war (Cold War
Realism, Nov. 28)
Bipolarity: (as opposed to multipolarity, unipolarity, etc.) a distribution of power in which
two states have the majority of the power and influence in the international system (Cold
War Realism, Nov. 28)
Bourgeoisie: according to Karl Marx, the ruling class that owns the means of production
and exploits those who are beneath them (The Rise of the West and Marxism, Sept. 26)
Civic Citizenship: ?
Clash of Civilizations: a book by Samuel P. Huntington that reacts to Fukuyama’s “end of
history” theory; argues that Fukuyama presents an Eurocentric, narrow reading of world
history, that “liberal peace and prosperity” are illusory, and that what matters in the post-
Cold War era are civilizational fault lines (Introduction, Sept. 12)
o Civilization: (according to Huntington) the highest cultural grouping of people and
the broadest level of cultural identity people have short of that which distinguishes
humans from other species; defined by both common objective elements, such as
language, history, religions, customs, and institutions, and by the subjective self-
identification of people
Class/Class Struggle: (according to Marx) the material struggle between the two major
classes of society, the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat; the inevitable polarization of the two
classes, the disappearance of the middle class (petite bourgeoisie), and the eventual
uprising of the Proletariat to create a Communist society, abolishing private property as
well as the ruling class (The Rise of the West and Marxism, Sept. 26)
Collective Action Problem: a situation in which multiple individuals would all benefit
from a certain action, which, however, has an associated cost making it implausible that any
one individually can or will undertake and solve it alone (Wikipedia); when individuals fail
to take part in collective action due to unclear benefits, the ability to free-ride, or associated
costs; e.g. voting (Problems of Democracy, Dec. 24)
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December 13, 2011
Communism: a political theory founded by Karl Marx which advocates for a classless
society in which all property is publicly owned and the State is the executive committee of
the ruling class: the Proletarians (The Rise of the West and Marxism, Sept. 26)
Constitutionalism: a complex of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behaviour elaborating the
principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of
fundamental law (Wikipedia)
Democracy: a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who
can elect people to represent them
Deterrence: the doctrine by which states use intimidation and threats to prevent an enemy
attack; as in the Cold War, both states are afraid to use their nuclear weapons due to the
guarantee that such an attack would result in the complete annihilation of both states (Cold
War Realism, Nov. 28)
Duverger’s Law: a principle that asserts that a plurality rule election system tends to
favour a two-party system (Wikipedia)
Economic Interdependence: the theory that the decline of military force as a policy tool
and the increase in economic and other forms of interdependence should increase the
probability of cooperation among states (IRtheory.com)
Equality of opportunity: political equality; concerned with the procedures of democracy
(Problems of Democracy, Oct. 24)
o Public contestation: the right to advocate for individual views; that individuals
have the same standing as anybody else
o Inclusive participation: the rights of political equality are extended to all
o Challenges of equality of opportunity:
Collective action problem
Fallacy of democratic pluralism
Elite democracy
Equality of outcome: political-economic equity; concerned with the consequences of
democracy (Problems of Democracy, Oct. 24)
o Challenges of equality of outcome:
Protecting the disadvantaged
Projecting the majority’s will
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