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Chapter 4

POLI 212 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Dependent And Independent Variables, Authoritarianism, Artists And Repertoire


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLI 212
Professor
Vincent Post
Chapter
4

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How did Europe Democratize? (Ziblatt) Reading Notes
Central question: How did Europe democratize? In other words, level of democracy is
the dependent variable for all these authors. Focus on the overarching argument
presented by Ziblatt.
The four books that this article reviews suggest that rather than deviations, the
atideoati uets uttig aoss Euopes deoati age ee ke pats
of the deoati age itself. We a da lessos fo Euopes tuulet age
for our own in which efforts at democratization so often result not im smoothly
futioig lieal deoati egies, ut istead i illeeal deoaies,
oepttie authoitaia egies, o hid egies, hee deoati ad
antidemocratic institutions, rules and practices coexist.
Indepdent variables: things that cause democratization. Ziblatt looks at this in three
related ways: what prompts democratization, what are the hey actors, and what secures
democracy.
What promts democratization? Using a lot of rational choice theory
Boix: economic inequality and asset specificity
o As economic inequality declines with economic development, democracy
becomes less threatening to nondemocratic leaders. Since democracis
reflect the preference of a wider spectrum of citizens than do
nondemocraties, they tend to tax the rich and redistribute more. As
inequality declines, the potential costs of redistribution reach a point
where they are below the cost of repression. It is in these moments that
a democratic transition is possible.
o Asset specificity the mobility of the main assest in society (ex:
agricultural capital is less mobile than human capital), determined the
likelihood of democratic transition. Is elites control immobile asets such
as land or oil, they fear that democratization will bring heavy taxation
that they will not be able to evade. When economic assets become more
mobile and less specific, as tended to happen with industrialization and
economic development in 19th century Eyrope, elites do not fear taxation
to the same egree. Elites, again, are not as threatened by the costs of
democracy.
o A uial pat i Bois aguet is the ipat of the iddle lass o
democratization.
o This argument is ambititous, parsimonious and finds some empirical
support
A&R: degree of economic inequality and the structure of societal income
o Relevant actors: the rich, middle-class, and the poor
o Prefenreces of these actors is straightforward: the rich fear
democratization because of potential costs of redistribution, the poor
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