Political Science 1020E Final: Political Science – Exam Review

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Bruce Morrison

PoliticalScience –ExamReview Lecture 14 – February 28h Populist Extremist Parties • Reject Principle of Human Equality o Don’t believe in biological superiority, rather they reject liberal citizenship o The country is for the people who live there (Nativism and Ethno-nationalism) o Less focus on jobs and resources more of a focus on the threat to the national community formed of a cultural anxiety ▪ Leads to immigration restrictions • Embrace Populism, shows “the people” as, o Homogenous – against pluralism, unity of the citizens, other political viewpoints are not legitimate (Donald Trump won, therefore the entire country wants his policies) o Virtuous – people are against corrupt elites, mainstream parties and representative democracies ▪ Typically creates a demonization of the media, ‘give the power back to the people’ policies and promises o Victims – the ‘corrupt elites,’ have made the simple problems complex as they don’t want to solve them, populists can give the answers people want and need o Sovereign – idealized national in-groups, outsiders and elites should stay away Emergence of Populism • Supporters are often interpreted as political protestors, single-issue voters or the ‘deprived losers of globalization’ • Other supporters of populism can emerge from an ethnic competition approach, interpreting their support as an attempt to reduce competition from immigrants over economic resources • Others support as they feel that their national culture and community are under threat from immigration and rising ethnic and cultural diversity (cultural anxiety) o The typical Populist voter, by average, are male citizens, wither very young or very old, who have no or only a few educational qualifications and come from the lower and middle working classes • Those who vote in favour for populism have these feelings stem from a belief that immigrants, minority groups and rising cultural diversity are threatening the national culture, community and way of life • Populist Extremist Parties (PEP’s) frame minority groups as a threat to national identity, a threat to social orders, as a threat to economic stability and a burden on public services and the welfare state • PEP’s portray themselves as outsiders in the party system and as underdog parties that represent the true voice of a ‘silent majority,’ and as the only organizations willing to address the sensitive issues such as immigration and the integration of Muslims Responding to Populism • Exclusion Strategy: o Parliamentary – prevent PEP’s from entering office and influencing policies o Electoral – discredit PEP’s in the eyes of voters as ‘extremists’ whose supporters are ‘wasting’ their votes o Consequences: reinforces the ‘outsider’ status and may strengthen feelings of solidarity among activists and encourage their ideological radicalization • Defusing Strategy: o PEP’s are formed social and cultural issues, and to capitalize on these issues PEP’s increase the perceived importance of these issues in the minds of the voters, the defusing strategy uses this mindset o Mainstream parties attempt to decrease the importance of these issues in the minds of voters, by avoiding or downplaying these issues and shifting focus of the public attention onto economic and traditional social issues o Consequences: risks fueling the view of the voters that the mainstream politicians are not listening to their concerns over sensitive issues, if public concern is not addressed, voters who are alienated may be strengthened • Adoption Strategy: o Mainstream parties respond to PEP’s by modifying their position on issues to maximize their support and reduce political space for PEP’s ▪ ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’ mentality o Consequences: Changing positions on divisive issues may alienate the base support system and undermine its electoral prospects, may also legitimize the campaigns of PEP’s and bolster their support • Principle Strategy: o Mainstream parties would underscore their existing policies on immigration issues, communicate these policies to voters more effectively and focus on mobilizing their own base of support o Consequences: PEP’s manipulate statistics and events to maximize their support, although not all is a myth, and therefore the cause of the voter disconnect may be genuine, further people who are presented with facts that are inconsistent with their beliefs and fears they are unlikely to believe them ▪ The result is a disconnect between what mainstream parties promise and what they can deliver, which leaves space for PEP’s • Engagement Strategy: o The professionalism of politics has left large numbers of voters feeling disenfranchised and susceptible to the populist anti-establishment message. It has also made it easier for challenger parties to position themselves as champions of the people, against the ‘out-of-touch’ politicians o This strategy calls to have candidates active at the local level, engaging with voters face-to-face and redirecting some resources to revitalizing grassroots campaigns • Interaction Strategy: o The strategy is not one played out on the political arena, but rather focuses less on the competition of political parties and rather the relationships between different groups and addressing the underlying concerns that are driving support for PEP’s o Mainstream parties and other actors in society can support communities to become more resilient in the face of rising extremism o Responsibilities and rights of citizens, both of long-standing white working class and new migrants or previously excluded minorities, can be a way of forming bridges between these groups ▪ A widened civic culture where it is made clear what can be expected and what can be demanded can bridge ethnic divides and reduce the potential for division o To receive positive effects, the response to this strategy needs to be geared towards building sustainable and more meaningful forms of interaction between different groups nd Lecture 15 – March 2 Interest Groups • One of the major linkages between the government and the governed in modern societies, articulate the increasingly complex divisions and cleavages of an emerging industrial society • Aims are to influence, not to become, the government o Not running into elections, rather trying to shape the policies of political parties • Interest groups, like parties, emerge alongside representative governments • Groups try to influence: bureaucracy, legislatures, courts (amicus curiae), parties and the media (changing the way people view the world to support the influenced parties) Types of Interest Groups • Communal Groups – embedded, not detached o Embedded identities are identities that you are born into (race and class), can sometimes leave them, but cannot escape them entirely o Detached identities are those we grow into, ones we acquire, nonessential identities that we assume as we grow o Are founded based on a shared heritage and traditional bonds and loyalties o Continue to survive and exert influence in advanced industrial states, as the resurgence of ethnic nationalism and the significance of Catholic groups in countries like Italy and Ireland demonstrate • Institutional Groups – parts of the government o Develop interests in the government, if there are military members of the government, they tend to favour the support for funding for the military • Associational Groups: o Voluntarily chosen, considered based on detached identities, they are formed by people who come together to pursue shared, but limited, goals o “A complex web of competing interests” • Sectional Groups: o Represent the narrow, material interests of that groups interests o Not focusing on the broader world, aims to advance itself o Examples can be trade unions, business corporations, trade associations and professional bodies • Promotional Groups: o Built to advance an environmental or social agenda that are not always run by those impacted o They are set up to advance shared values, ideals or principles o National Organization for Women, World Wildlife Fund, ‘pro-life’ or ‘pro-choice’ protestors are also categorized as examples of promotional groups Models of Group Politics Republican Model: • Rousseau: organized interests degrade general interests • French Revolution: o Cleared away established interests o Banned independent worker’s associations o Republic as ‘One and Indivisible’ Pluralist Model: • The core theme of pluralism is that political power is fragmented and widely dispersed. Decisions are made through a complex process of bargaining and interaction that ensures that the views and interests of many groups are considered • De Tocqueville: modern democracy is best grounded on interests and associations • Early 20 -Century American political science embraced pluralism • Model depends on the ideas that: o Interests will easily form into groups o Competition within these groups can go too far • Interests groups will outperform parties at linking people and government • Creates competition, bargaining, compromise and policy • This is how people participate in decision-making, from the pluralist perspective, group politics is the foundation for the democratic process • Problem of pluralist models – elitists and Marxist critiques eroded confidence in model and fair group competition • Created Neo-pluralism o No level playing field o There is no single united ‘power elite’ that allows for variation in elitist groups Corporatist Model: • Privileging of some groups at the expense of others • Medieval corporatism: corporate groups (aristocracy, clergy, producers) • State corporatism: corporate groups tightly bound to authoritarian state • Groups seek ‘insider’ status because it gives them access to policy formulation, which enables them better to defend the interests of their members • Liberal or Neo-corporatism: o Emphasis on labour and capital o Encouragement of effectively organized peak associations o Tripartite negotiations including the state • Why is the state interested? o Creates social peace and business confidence o Generates acceptance and legitimacy o Promotes sense of shared responsibility for tough decisions • Downsides for the Corporatist Model: o Reinforces class divisions, to get the negotiations, you must strengthen the organizations, solidifying class divisions o Sidelines representative democracy o Creates opening for social movements and protest parties New Right Model: • Corporatism restricts human freedom, it is too organized • ‘Special Interests’ push to increase the role of the government • Mancur Olson – Interest Groups: Argued that people join interest groups only to secure ‘public goods’: that is, goods that are to some extent indivisible in that individuals who do not contribute to their provision cannot be prevented from enjoying them Social Movements • Social movements are: an organised essentially peaceful form of collective action that appears outside democratic institutions but supports and completes democracy • Earlier Social Movements: o Based on broad modern identity such as class o Respond to many member needs o Appeal to the power of numbers and organizations • New Social Movements: o With decline of class, rooted in narrow identities o Deal with single issues o Emphasize self-expression, participation, absence of hierarchy Tutorial Reading – Week 6: Gerry Stoker • Voter turnout and trust in the political regimes and governments has gone significantly down in the recent decades and this can be traced back to a growing distrust in politicians, democratic institutions and people have become disillusioned with how the democratic process functions • The evidence shows that particularly in first world democratic societies, younger generations have become disinclined to vote in elections • Politicians have weak and informal community linkages but strong governmental power • Citizens are not confident or assertive about politics and are more alienated, confused and in the end c • Citizens are not confident or assertive about politics and are more alienated, confused and in the end, cynical about politics • Compared to the trust in the legal system or the police, politicians fare badly • Many theses have bene presented by political scientists as to the reason including: o Michael Moore: the ‘great’ democracy of our times, the United States, is run by stupid white men who manipulate election results and make decisions in tune with the interests of big business backers rather than people o David Beetham: argues that politics has become tied too closely to big business and that closeness makes the general public in mature democracies increasingly alienated from the political process because they are no longer in control of the process o Manual Castells: globalization has created a crisis of inadequate political institutions that feeds into and is then reinforced by a crisis of political legitimacy and a growing distance between citizens and their representatives • Politics is not about individual choice; it is about collective debate. Communication is difficult, time-consuming and problematic business • Politics in large societies is difficult because it involves listening carefully to others interests and maintaining a certain resilience when things do not go right the first time • Media creates an issue of ‘dumbing down’ policies which makes people less likely to understand the underlying issues, leads to cynical viewpoints of politics th Lecture 16 – March 7 Executive Powers • Legislature: makes laws, enacts the resulting legislation • Executive: implementation of the laws and execution of the law • Judiciary: interprets laws and adjudicates • Executives were initially undivided monarchical power and sovereignty over time there developed separate institutions that assumed legislative and judicial responsibilities and set boundaries to executive powers o The executive power remains the one indispensable part of the state Bureaucratic and Political Executive Powers • Bureaucratic Executive: public officials and civil servants, they are usually appointed and implement legislation • Political Executives: senior officials, ‘the government of the day,’ politically chosen and they set priorities, enable legislation, oversees implementation and resolves crisis • Parliamentary Executive: clearer distinction, a political cabinet that oversees ‘bureaucratic civil servants. An executive, typically composed of a prime minister and cabinet, that is drawn from and accountable to the parliamentary elections. • Presidential Executive: fainter distinction, in the united states the president is elected but the cabinet is appointed, many civil servant’s temporary partisan appointees. An executive that is headed by a separately elected president, who enjoys constitutional independence from the parliament. o Communist countries: all civil servants become ‘political’ figures Dual Executive • Head of State: Queen, Governor General, President – represents the state’s power in the country • Head of Government: Prime Minister, Chancellor – specialize in developing and proposing legislative proposals, passing these laws and then implementing them • An elected president combines these roles together Executive Leadership • Ceremonial Leadership – Head of state will represent their state by making appearances, they represent the larger society and symbolize, accurately or otherwise the state and its unit. It provides a focus for unity and political loyalty and helps to build legitimacy. • Policy-making Leadership – guiding legislative through the system, directs and controls the policy process. Does not always dominate the policy-making process and often is initiated by political parties and interest groups, mostly directional leadership. • Popular Leadership – need to remain popular to the citizens, it is crucial to the survival of the character and stability of the regime as a whole. • Bureaucratic Leadership – executive does not need to relate itself to the legislative, but appeal to guiding the administration and implementation of this legislation leads the bureaucratic leadership to have immense administrative responsibilities • Crisis leadership – turn to the executive for rapid and emergency crisis management Low and High Energy • Montesquieu: ‘Need of Dispatch’ – single individual power is best for handling crisis • Harvey C. Mansfield: Room for Manoeuvre, especially in crisis • US Constitution: “Energy in the Executive” • Gives you either: Abraham Lincoln OR George W. Bush th Lecture 17 – March 9 Presidential Systems – A Separation of Powers • Elected presidents lead the government, as both the head of state and the head of government • There are separate yet competing electoral mandates for the president and legislature • Separate personnel in the cabinet, cabinet is not composed of legislators • Legislative removal of a president is exceedingly rare and comes in the form of impeachment • Presidents cannot dissolve the legislature as they are in a separate institution • The president governs, but is checked by a legislature they cannot effectively control o This is also then checked over by the supreme courts Parliamentary Systems – A Fusion of Powers • Single electoral process, that choses a party to choose the political executive • Fusion of executive and legislative power o Prime minster depends on maintaining legislative support in the support in the house of commons, must keep his majority’s favour to continue being prime minister • Prime minister and cabinet hold legislative seats, run for a seat across the country as well as prime minister, head of the party • Executive falls with the loss of legislative majority, non-confidence motion • Head of state dissolves legislative upon the request of the prime minister Political Implications of Presidentalism • There are different mandates and political interests with each power o President: nationwide interests o Senate: statewide interests o House of representatives: single-member districts • Fewer political resources o Prime ministers can govern through the cabinets and parties o Presidents have no cabinet posts for legislatures o No threat of dissolutions, new elections o Party ties are looser Presidential-Parliamentary Contrasts • Presidential: Bill Clinton impeachment drama, took months and threatened the entire process of electing and impeaching presidents • Parliamentary: non-confidence motion, then move-on • Presidential: debt-ceiling crisis, government is shutdown • Parliamentary: majorities may too easily pass legislation, big omnibus packages Tutorial Reading – Week Seven: Todd Gitlin • th Lecture 18 – March 14 Semi-Presidentalism • A new proposal for running executive relations • Directly elected president, directly elected legislature, president appoints the prime minister who is accountable to the legislature • PM and President may specialize, domestic versus foreign affairs • May check each other, especially with ‘cohabitation’ Legislative Assemblies: Origins and Evolutions • Roots in Royal Courts: Judge important cases, powerful nobles meet with crown • Gradually more settled, consistent (13 /14 century onwards) o Consultations on war, trade and taxation with the leading representative of corporate groups and territories • Initiative for medieval representative lay with the crown, but also with roman notion (what concerns all should be approved by all) and with compacts like the magna carta • Modern democracy initially emphasized legislative roles o James Madison: “In representative government, the legislative power necessarily predominates o Britain: parliamentary sovereignty The Legislative Function • Assemblies share the legislative responsibility • Have an executive role, to decree and veto legislative proposals • Have limited power of amendment and rejection • Assemblies are confined by constitutional laws • Assemblies and Legislative branches pose a challenge to the separation of powers • Legislative Branches vary per the party system: o In the presidential system, the US congress experiences a substantial independence from the executive, and have weak party discipline o In the Parliamentary system, the Canadian House of Commons experiences fusion with the executive and strong party discipline Assembly Structure: Chambers Unicameralism: Streamlined Democracy • One Chamber • US doesn’t have this – congress made up of senate and house of US Representatives • Canada also doesn’t have this – House of Commons and the Senate Bicameralism • A place for the privileged – Upper Chamber (Senate) • Representation of the neglected minorities • A check on the executive • Second Chamber is appointment, indirect or direct elections • Bicameralism can lead to a legislative deadlock, reduced accountability Assembly Structure: Committees • Committees outdo assemblies as sites for deliberation, consultation and decision-making o Tighter group with accumulated expertise • Committees are stronger where parties are weaker o United States: Strongest committees because the parties are less unified • Good government may not require a strong assembly – political stalemate • Legislative power is also declining in prominence as: o There has been an emergence of disciplined parties – more organized, assemblies to diminish the importance of legislations ▪ Ottawa: Debates in the House of Commons are predictable, solutions follow party goals o Growth of ‘Big’ governments o Organizational weaknesses of assemblies o Rise of interest groups and media power ▪ Roles in lobbying, trying to influence direction of policies, take over some roles of the legislative assembl
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