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Political Science 111 – Final Exam Review.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Political Science

Political Science 111 – Final Exam Review Textbook Notes  CHAPTER 7 – POLITICAL PARTICIPATION: ELECTIONS AND PARTIES ­ Politics is a form of SOCIALIZATION: o Process of organizing in a social manner o Participation – product of the manner in which we are socialized  Understand who gets what, when, and how DEMOCRACYAND VOTING ­ DIRECT DEMOCRACY: o Employs direct citizen involvement in the decision-making process  E.g. - through the referendum, where all eligible citizens express their opinions and preferences on issues of policy ­ INDIRECT DEMOCRACY/REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: o Citizens’ opinions and preferences are defended and articulated by elected representatives  Uses ELECTIONS to decide who will be given the authority to make decisions on behalf of the entire political group • In many countries, elections are the most direct forum through which individuals in the political system may affect the decisions made for society as a whole ­ Voting consists of eligible citizens showing their preferences for an individual who puts him/herself forward as a candidate for government o Voters cast ballots (make their choosing on a piece of paper into a ballot box which will determine who gets elected) o Elections represent:  Aspect of voter-government relationship where voters get to choose the appropriate political candidate who best represents their interest and preferences ­ Electoral systems consist of formal restrictions on choice, indicating who may vote and through what means ­ SUFFRAGE: o Right to vote  E.g. – discrimination on gender, age, economic status, literacy ­ INDEPENDENTS: o Candidates who don’t have any party requirements ­ Most political systems try to create an equitable system of CONSTITUENCIES (ridings) o To accurately match where the majority of the population lives, and give more elected representatives to densely populated cities o ENUMERATION:  Surveying who lives in which riding and determining the number of individuals eligible to vote in a constituency  ROTTEN BOROUGHS: • In Britain, areas with small populations/electorates were given equal standings with normal-sized constituencies o POCKET BOROUGHS:  Have small electorates whose votes were controlled by the major local landowner ­ In the U.S. the process of altering election boundaries is known as GERRYMANDERING and is highly controversial o Groups together/divides groups of voters in order to maximize/reduce their power depending on situations ­ VOTER APATHY: o Condition where individuals simply decide not to vote or even bother to follow the election process because they believe for one reason or another that elections do not affect/influence them or they have little influence on outcomes  In the U.S. – voter turnout is challenging and it is considered a ‘good’ turnout if over half the registered voters actually cast a ballot • BALLOT – card used to cast a vote ­ SUFFRAGETTE: o Females advocating the right to vote ­ Voting preference and tendency to vote is determined by: o One’s position in society o Level of education o Family background o Chosen profession ­ in order to encourage voter participation it is essential that society provides adequate and reliable information flow about the political parties and individual candidates who are standing for election ­ ELECTION PLATFORMS: o Position on political issues and their political intentions TYPES OF ELECTORAL SYSTEMS ­ Two basic types of electoral systems: o SIMPLE PLURALITY:  Involves the election of the individual who obtains the greatest number of votes • Aka – FIRST-PAST-THE-POST system o Winner passes the post with most votes o Winning candidate or party wins all the seats associated with a particular district/constituency  Can harm the chances of smaller political parties  Well-established parties that already have a strong voter base will be able to win seats and potentially form a government  Quickly and easily determines the winner in each constituency at the national level  Suffers from the problem of leaving smaller parties underrepresented and providing them with minimum business in the government  System faces the problem of legitimacy because governments may not have the support a majority of the electorates or regions of the country  Under some circumstances there is a MINORITY GOVERNMENT: • Party receives the most number of seats might not still receive a majority (more than 50%)  TWO-ROUND SYSTEM/RUN-OFF SYSTEM: • Involves the elimination of all but the two leading candidates after the first round of voting, then in the second round all voters get the chance to pick their preferred candidate from the reduced list o Ensures that the winning candidate can claim that s/he has the support of a majority of all participating voters – increasing legitimacy of the government o PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION (PR):  Voters have a better chance of seeing their preferences count  Create a link between number of vote cast and the number of seats won for each party, where seats are designated according to the parties’ popular votes • PARTY LIST: o Relies on the multi-member constituencies where the political parties submit a list of candidates o Voters express their preferences and parties are rewarded with a percentage of the seats available in each constituency • SINGLE TRANSFERABLE VOTE (STV) system: o Voters cast a ballot in a multi-member constituencies, expressing first and second choice for candidates o First count ; all candidates who receive votes will be elected o If all seats are filled, process stops o Seats that are unfilled, second choice of voters who picked the winning candidates are transferred and counted o If seats are not full in the second count :  Candidates with the least votes are eliminated and second choices from their ballots are transferred  Better assessment of the likes/dislikes of voters  More chance to minor parties that are otherwise ignored/eliminated in the simple plurality system  BAD – downgrades relationship that constituents have with individual representatives because so much in the election rides on the weight and influence of the parties involved  Often used in the Canadian system • ADDITIONAL MEMBER SYSTEM: o Mixes the plurality system with elements of PR  Voters elect a representative and also cast a vote for a political party  Second votes are counted at the national level and additional seats in the Parliamentary/Congress system are disturbed among the parties according to the percentage of votes received  Maintains link between representatives and their constituencies while smaller parties are able to establish themselves and gain experience POLITICAL PARTIES ­ Parties are first and foremost driven by the desire to control government through the election of members of their group o Present a clear representation regarding the manner in which political system is administered  Arose as the need in society to represent the views of sectors of public interest ­ Parties are created/operated on the basis of a set of beliefs/attitudes – IDEOLOGIES o ONE PARTY SYSTEMS :  Only one political party is allowed to form the government • E.g. – Communist states o COMPETITVE PARTY SYSTEMS:  Liberal democracies – political parties are allowed to compete with one another for the support from the electorate • Two types of competing parties: o TWO-PARTY SYSTEM  Competitive party system marked by two competing parties o MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM  Competitive party system with more than 2 competing parties ­ CADRE PARTY: o Parties that created and directed by a small elite group and tend to control power within legislatures ­ MASS PARTY: o Formed partly to combat the influence that cadre parties had in government o Organized in society at larger instead of within the government o Exhibit a large public influence by placing a great degree of power in the membership ­ UMBRELLA PARTIES: o Cover a wide range of ideologies and beliefs in society and are formed and run with the idea of incorporating as many different groups in society as possible ­ MILITIA PARTIES: o Found in military governments/communist systems o Have centralized leadership system and place great requirements on members  Frequently found in one-party systems ­ RECRUITMENT FUNCTION: o Help bring new voters into political process  Parties create a link between government and the people • Parties are one of the central organizers in political systems: o Organize legislators within the Parliament/Congress  Coordinating their positions  Discipline those who go against the party line  Negotiate with other political parties o WHIP – parties employ a specific person to enforce discipline CHAPTER 8 – POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION AND CULTURE POLITICAL CULTURE: ­ Attitudes, beliefs and values which fall under a political system o Political culture of an authoritarian state will be different as the political system differs o Political culture is an important element of our community/tradition and how we function our identities as society o Refers to the underlying fundamental political value of a society  Values are not predetermined but evolve over time  Significance: • Matters because it forms a central part of the political environments where citizens and political bodies behave/participate in politics. • Open to change at any time as values evolve POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION: ­ Process through which individuals are educated and assimilated into the political culture of society o Can happen through formal and informal ways  Formal education system • E.g – singing national anthem, pledging allegiance  Informal: • Families o E.g. – information we receive from parents ­ influenced by geographic regions and the media as well PUBLIC OPINION ­ participation can come in the form of expressing an opinion in public discourse ­ citizens can proclaim their views regarding the activities of their government in a sanctioned and legal manner o patterns of opinions found among the public are within opinion polls:  acquire importance in public views and preferences run-up to elections in the formation of public policy ­ governments have turned to polls to measure the impact of proposed policies on public opinion o potential to push governments towards populism, designing policies not for effectiveness/efficiency but for winning the government popular support ­ public opinion is influenced by the strengths of the views held o e.g. – religious values are a strong indicator for public opinion THE MEDIAAND POLITICS ­ Media acts as a source of information and as an actor of socialization ­ Can also be an unwilling servant of government as a channel for the official dissemination of political messages ­ FOURTH ESTATE: o The first three estates:  Clergy  Nobles  Commoners o Act as another check on the power of government, as a watchdog to ensure the public authorities don’t go beyond their mandates and abuse their position of power ­ Question of control of the media is a widely asked question o E.g. – need to think about the relationship between government and the media o Which outlets control the media (government) ­ EDITORIAL LINES: o Particular perspectives on world events provided by news outlets CIVIL SOCIETY AND NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS NGOs: ­ Non-profit organizations on a local/national/international level o E.g. – Greenpeace, Amnesty International, etc. ­ Stand as intermediaries between government and private citizens generally issue-specific ­ Represent diverse groups of individuals and citizens and organize them in a way to maximize their impact on policy CIVIL SOCIETY: ­ Actions and organizations of private citizens around shared goals, interests and values PARTICIPATION OF PRIVATE ACTORS IN THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS: ­ Governments need the involvement of non-state actors like interest groups, businesses and labor unions in order to enact policies ­ Interest system is formulated with economic interest and actors within the nation ­ Governments rely on the expertise of private actors in a multitude of areas so that polcies can be designed and implemented in aa way to be more efficient and broadly accepted ­ Issue of policymaking is a large concern in developing countries o Multinational corporations are able to dominate the governments of poorer nations in negotiations over investments and regulations INTEREST GROUPS: ­ Not concerned with controlling who runs for elections representing certain parties o Concerned with influencing the decision-making process through not direct means but maintain the approach of government without taking a formal role in elections or seek an official capacity in government o Also known as pressure groups/political action committees:  These groups seen to alter/maintain the approach of governments without taking a formal role in elections or seeking an official capacity in government  Have a varying degree of importance depending on the country in which they exist o Many types of interest groups:  Political action committees: • Are conglomerations of several groups that have combined their resources to more effectively influencing the decision- making process  Associational interest groups: • Closely related to particular political objectives  Non-associational interest groups: • Not closely related to, concerned with political objectives  Anomic interest groups: • Hoc interest groups that does not have a standard organized composition • Formulated to deal with short term issues  Lobbying: • Groups which pressure the government CHAPTER 10 - POLITICS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES LESS DEVELOPED COUNTRIES (LDCs): ­ Countries that may be characterized by: o Low levels of per-capita income o High inflation o Debt o Large trade deficits o Low levels of socioeconomic development o Lack of industrialization o Undeveloped financial/legal systems ­ These countries face different challenges but also share something in common where each has taken different development paths and face obstacles of small, large, short-term and long-term, national and international scales. ­ E.g. Mexico and China THIRD WORLD: ­ Referred after the First World – western industrialized states ­ During the cold war, categorizations of less developed countries that are not part of a structurally integrated system of global capital o Second world – communist bloc o North – wealthy countries  E.g. – Western Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, New Zealand o South – poorer states o Emerging markets:  Poorer economies with potential for future growth WHAT IS DEVELOPMENT? ­ Citizens should be involved in the decisions which affect their futures either through: o Direct democracy o Group representation o Decentralization of power ­ Governing society should be less arbitrary and more rules-oriented, guaranteeing due process of law and security of person POLITICALAND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT? ­ Since the Cold War democratization has been see by both national and international authorities and organizations as a priority for underdeveloped countries, a political liberalization to go hand in hand with the progressive liberalization of their economies. ­ LDCs are often young states, many have been created after the Cold War and retreat of colonialism: o Exploitation of weaker countries by stronger ones for:  Political  Strategic  Resource interests ­ A common value that developing countries seek is legitimacy ­ Democracy is a way to achieve legitimacy in international and national societies o By including all adult citizens in the electoral process, by allowing voters to choose their government rather than have it imposed upon them DOWNFALLS OF DEMOCRACIES: ­ Democracy can be difficult to institute in society as it requires: o Overthrow of established power elites o Creation of strong institutions which guarantee democratic representation o Presence of a liberal ideology that will drive individuals and groups to fight for democracy ­ Cannot rectify deep social divisions (e.g. guarantee justice) ­ Cannot eliminate the use of violence through a means of exercising power ­ Does not imply or security ­ Should not be thought as the best system for all societies ADVANTAGES OF DEMOCRACIES: ­ Allows for every individual in society to have the same right to decide their political future ­ Perceived as a peaceful means of seeking resolutions to conflicts before violence ­ Includes groups and minorities and does not exclude them leading to a higher probability of stability and sense of community ­ In order for a democracy to effectively function, a nation must have an effective electoral system in place o Choosing a system that adequately represents the views and interests of significant minority groups/parties while ensuring stability and a government’s ability to pass and implement legislation ­ Democracies help consolidate political institutions in society ­ The structure of political parties greatly influences the ability of the state to formulate and implement policy ­ Human rights abuses: o Strong signal that a country is socially and politically underdeveloped  Maltreatment of human rights ­ The legal system of a country is an important defense against corruption o Legal system must be able to apply equally to all if all have respect for the system  Without free and equal access to institutions as the government and bureaucracies, they would not be seen as legitimate ­ Restraining the non-legitimate use of violence is a further political challenge for developing countries o The existence of rival military factions in a country may signify military weakness on the part of the government but more importantly it denotes the lack of universal legitimacy ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NEWLY INDUSTRIALIZING COUNTRIES (NICs) ­ Countries benefiting from external trade relationships, growing market export markets, and burgeoning industrial development ­ Economy should also grow at a rate higher than the population o If population grows faster than the economy, the benefits received by the individual will gradually decline o Benefits and costs of economic development should be equitably distributed amongst the society’s members SUSTAINABILITY DEVELOPMENT ­ Model of economic growth that seeks to use renewable resources so as not to destroy the environment in which human beings have to live o Recognizes many models of economic growth result in severe environmental degradation  leads to unsustainability for the future ­ significance: seeks a model of economic growth that doesn’t compromise the ability of future generations to meet their development goals ­ economic development has to sustainable in many ways: 1. must be sustainable in the way that it does not produce cycles of boom and bust 2. should be more steady and progressive, producing smaller gains in the short- run but larger benefits for the medium and long-run 3. should be politically sustainable o the benefits of economic growth are widely dispersed and that the population in general experiences an improvement in its standard of living  KUZNETS EFFECT: • As a country develops economically, income distribution will become more unequal before it becomes more equal o E.g. – in short and medium-run, developing countries are going to experience a widening gap between the rich and the poor ­ When socioeconomic inequality reaches high levels, democracies are under a threat o However, undemocratic regimes may actually be better suited to the business of reforming and modernizing an LDC economy ­ Great Leap Forward: o Chinese program of economic policies designed to revolutionize rural production by replacing private ownership of land with communes which all agricultural production was to be sold to the state ­ Open Door Policy o Chinese government introduces its economy and extension of its political system to the Western world ­ Political Cohabitation: o Political co-operation among parties without forming a coalition ­ Political Gridlock: o Lack of political progress because of entrenched differing of opinions CHAPTER 11 – INTERNATIONAL POLITICS AND FOREIGN POLICY INTERNATIONAL POLITICS ­ Also known as – international relations; the study of foreign policy and relations among states and other actors at the international level ­ Characteristics are similar to domestic politics: o Actors in international politics compete in a structural compete in a structured environment for limited resources o Different types of actors which mutually relate to one another  Military  Economic  Cultural etc. o Clear separation of power o Analyze international politics by understanding the allocation of public goods and benefits within the system and explain the relationship among many actors ­ Introduces and ideas a new set of concepts while related to our basic notion of politics and political life and apply it to a global scale NATION-STATE ­ Autonomous political unit of people who share a predominant common culture, language, history and ethnicity INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, FOREIGN POLICYAND THE STATE GLOBAL VILLAGE: ­ “shrinking” of the world, due to vast communication, into a more interconnected place where all people have a closer relationship and more frequent contact o Event that happen on one side of the world have an effect on the other o Identifying oneself with a larger community also means separating oneself from communities INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS ­ Aka – international politics ­ Can be about any aspect of relations at the international level ­ All relations at the international level ­ Study of foreign policy and relations among actors and states at an international level o E.g. – NAFTA, TIFF, NATO, Olympics, etc. ­ Studying the decidedly “political” nature of relations at an international level ­ International politics – mutual relationship of 2+ actors at an international level FOREIGN POLICY ­ The relationship states have to their external environments – policies created to govern state relations beyond national borders ­ Where individual states present themselves to the international community ­ State – most important actor in international politics o Recognized political unit with a defined territory and people o Central government administration o Considered sovereign  A monopoly of power over territory, people and resources  Creates boundaries consisting of legal elements that prevent external interference and reinforce internal solidarity AUTHORITARIANISM ­ States that preserve their authority through the direct use of threats and fear among citizens and groups o Totalitarian states:  Not only control social interactions but is also marked by a desire by the government to force its objectives and values on citizens in an unlimited manner  Fundamental reordering of societal values and belief systems to match the wishes of the rulers THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM ­ Any grouping of 2+ states that have organized and regular relations with one another o E.g. – NAFTA (Canada, Mexico, the U.S.), EU (European Union), NATO, etc. o Framework of the international system is the most important factor of how a state can achieve its goals o Actors in the international system are distinguished and divided on the basis of relative power  The capabilities may be compared to those of anothe
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