POL 101 Exam Review Questions
Updated 11 April, 2013
1. According to Benjamin Constant, what is the difference between “ancient liberty” and “modern liberty”?
• Ancients – rejected model, participatory, direct, freedom of public, community, and it is collective,
dependent on class of people who didn’t engage in commerce or work
• Moderns – legal protection, limited government involvement in personal lives, private freedom, individual,
liberty flows commerce and private property
2. What is democracy?
• form of government where all citizens have an equal say in politics
3. What are the four main features of liberalism?
4. What was the Industrial Revolution and why was it politically significant?
5. What does Karl Marx mean by the term “class”?
6. What are the bourgeoisie and the proletariat?
• bourgeoisie are the middle class
• proletariat is the working class
7. What does Marx mean by “false consciousness”?
• material and international processes in capitalist soviety are misleading to the proletariat and to other classes
• these betray that the true relations of forces between those classes, and the real state of affairs regarding the
development of presocialist society
8. What does Marx mean by “superstructure”?
• the superstructure of a society includes it’s culture, institutions, political power structures, roles, rituals, and
9. What is Marx’s theory of revolution? Under what conditions does revolution occur?
10. What is a constitution?
11. What are the core principles of parliamentary government?
• tend to lead to majority rule
• executive reflects legislative branch
only legitimate institution is parliament
• Prime Minister can be changed without regime crisis
12. What are the core principles of presidential government?
• exective with a considerable amount of power and seperate from legislative
• better for ethnically divided countries
1 • fixed term
• zero sum
13. What is the difference between a head of state and a head of government?
14. What is a first-past-the-post electoral system?
15. What does proportional representation mean for an electoral system?
• may allow the formation of alternative coalitions and prevent zero-sum outcomes
16. What is the difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome?
• equality of opportunity
•political equality - seperation from the church, state, rule of law, extended to each individual
•polyarchy - public contestation and inclusive participation (not just elites)
• collective action problem
• elite democracy - myth that anyone can be a politician
• equality of outcome
•substantive democracy - equity, quality of democracy, redistribution
have to give advantage to disadvantage groups
• unfair rules to achieve fairness
17. What is affirmative action?
18. What is a collective action problem? Which scholar addresses this in the readings?
19. Can you provide an example of a collective action problem?
• Although we have the opportunity to vote, we do not exercise it
20. What is a tyranny of the minority?
21. What is a tyranny of the majority?
22. What is totalitarianism?
• political system in which the state holds total authority over the society and seeks to control all aspects of
public and private life whenever necessary
23. What is communism?
• is a socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless, and stateless social orderupon common ownership of
the means of productions, as well as social, political, and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of
this social order.
24. What is fascism?
• ideologies of salvation, not looking at the human condition of human betterment
• critique of liberalism
2 • authoritarian and nationalistic right wing system of government and social organization
25. What is the level-of-analysis problem in international relations?
• sytem level - prisoners dilemma: part of the game theory, shows why two individuals might not cooperate
even if it is in their best interest to do so
• nation-state level - democracy vs communism / bureaucratic politics: where you stand depends on where you
26. What are the core principles of political realism?
• international relations are governed by an international system of states - state is principle actor
• states are viewed as integrated units
• political difference is ultimately resolved authoritatively
• pay attention to states, their capability, and their interests
• do not care what happens in the state
• states behave on the presumption of power projections and always behave in their best interest
• national secuirty is the most importance
• Deterrence System: convincing opponents that a particular action would elect a response resulting in
unacceptable damage that would outweigh any likely benefit
• Balance of Power Game Theory: actor rationality in a situation of competition
27. What is complex interdependence?
conflict is not inevitable
• economic globalization has led to a condition of complex interdependence
• globalization reduces the likely-hood in conflict
not in a countries national interest to have conflict with a country they trade with
28. What is hegemonic stability theory?
indicates that the international system is more likely to remain stable when a single nation-state is the
dominant world power