Government 20 Term IDS

Terms in this set (65)

• Primordialism is a theory of ethnicity which posits that ethnicity is invariable and is defined by one's "primordial attachments," which stem from the "assumed givens of social existence." (Geertz). Primordialists view ethnicity as something that is deeply rooted and triggered by ancient hatreds. People have a basic human need for identity because a sense of belonging is critical to one's self-esteem. Even when competing ethnic groups have sustained peace for long periods of time, primordialists believe that ethnic conflict can still be instigated by certain triggers. For example, primordialists explain the ethnic conflict in Yugoslavia in the 90s to be the resurgence of deeply rooted hatreds which had been briefly quelled under Tito. This structuralist explanation views these primodial attachments to be the reason for the violence, not leaders like Milosevic who simply ride the wave of ethnic conflict. Thus, primordialists are pessimistic about the future of pluralistic states, because, sooner or later, cultural pluralist societies are going to line up along ethnic lines, and violence will occur.
• Instrumentalism, on the other hand, is a theory of ethnicity which views it to be a strategic choice one makes in order to obtain political and material ends. While some characteristics like skin color may be impossible to choose, societies can control the extent to which innate characteristics are emphasized. According to Bates, people find that grouping along ethnic lines is a good way to secure access to valuable resources, as is the case in much of Africa. Inter-ethnic grievance, instrumentalists believe, is the result of inequality, scarcity, and fear. One sees ethnic conflict to arise often in areas where certain underprivileged groups desire the same advantages as other groups or when one group expresses physical insecurity. But, when economies are doing well and people do not have to compete for survival, ethnic conflict seems to fade. Instrumentalists also argue that ethnicity persists because it is useful for people to capitalize upon it, and examples such as Hitler and Milosevic demonstrate to instrumentalists the ability ethnic entrepreneurs have to use ethnicity to achieve their political goals. Politicians often emphasize ethnicity because it is simply the most efficient way to pursue power, playing upon ethnic grievances to amass votes from a dominant group. As a result, instrumentalism coincides with voluntarism because ethnic identities are very fluid, and the extent to which they are emphasized depends upon the individuals with power in a given society. However, if this was the case, opponents of instrumentalists, argue, ethnic change ought to occur much more frequently than it does. Instrumentalism also fails to explain why people often form ethnic groups in situations where no benefits can be found or why people from some ethnic groups readily embrace their leaders while others do not.
• Constructivism, while rejecting the primordialist notion that ethnicity is fixed or inherent, recognizes that ethnic conflict cannot be explained entirely through instrumentalism. Constructivists believe that ethnicity is socially constructed and is part of the context in which we are born and raised. While there is some degree of fluidity to ethnicity, ethnic groups are indeed formed, at least to some extent, from one's family and kinship ties, and as a result, not simply the sole product of strategic choice. In addition, Nagel argues that "political structural arrangements that spotlight diversity institutionalize ethnic differences, and increase the level of ethnic mobilization and conflict." Thus, certain institutions may encourage people to align along ethnic lines. For example, because the British possessed the power in their colonies, the ethnic lines that they set up had to endure because there was no other way to get ahead. Over time, these identities were strengthened, eventually leading to the tense relationships that currently exist among the various groups in the former British colonies. The same situation occurred when the Belgians encouraged the division of the Hutus and the Tutsis in Rwanda.
The Hutu and the Tutsi are two ethnic groups in Rwanda, which suffered a period of devastating ethnic conflict in 1994. In Rwanda, the Hutu represent about 80 per cent of the population while the Tutsi are about 10 to 15 per cent. When the Belgians colonized Rwanda, they favored the Tutsis by giving them better governmental positions and systematically denying Hutus equal rights. Over time, the two groups began to buy into the ideology. Angered, the Hutus began to rebel against the Tutsi and right before the Belgians left, they switched sides and began to empower the Hutu. Eventually, a single party dictatorship was established which began to discriminate against the Tutsi in 1973, but the dictator did not actively promote violence. In the 80s, the economy crashed, and support for the dictator waned. The government was then opened to multiparty elections, and various groups began vying for power. At the same time, the Rwandese Patriotic Army from Uganda, which was dominated by Tutsi, began to invade Rwanda and fight the Hutu-dominated Rwandan army. Looking for ways to obtain power, the hardline mafia-like group, the Madame's Clan, began to espouse Hutu supremacist ideology that openly called for violence against the Tutsi. Hutus from neighboring Burundi began to flee to Rwanda because "Tutsi aggression" had led to the assassination of their Hutu president. On April 6, 1994, the Hutu dictator was killed, and genocide was in motion. Machetes were imported to the extent that one three Hutus were given one. Militias went village to village, and Hutu who refused to participate were killed themselves. Within 6 weeks, 2/3 of Tutsis died, which amounted to 20,000/day or 5 times the rate of the Nazis. By the end of May, few Tutsi were left. The event can provide an example of constructivism.
In plurality systems, the legislative or executive seat is determined by the candidate who receives the most votes (Carey). This arrangement is most compatible with presidential regimes, and there are both benefits and drawbacks to a voting system solely determined in this fashion (Carey ). Coinciding with the nature of presidential regimes, plurality systems operate in a "winner-take-all" fashion. This system unfortunately discourages political actors from participating if their support only represents marginal electoral support (Carey). Also, under plurality systems, the tendency for candidates to "cultivate personal reputations among voters" is high because voters directly elect candidates rather than parties or ideologies (Carey). As a result, party cohesion is weaker, which allows candidates to make cross-party coalitions on various issues and reduces the tendency for legislative deadlock (Carey). However, because candidates must invest time to establish their personal reputations among voters, the quality of public policy suffers (Carey). Another important characteristic is that plurality systems often promote the establishment of a two-party system, a phenomenon known as Duverger's Law (Carey). While this arrangement can, again, encourage the formation of interparty agreements, it can also create more instability within the legislature.
• At the other end of the spectrum is proportional representation (PR), an electoral voting system more commonly associated with parliamentary systems (Lijphart). Under this type of system, seats in parliament are divided according to the percentage of votes that each party receives (Lijphart). Accordingly, PR systems give rise to multiparty systems because barriers to enter the political area are lower than in plurality systems (Lijphart). Instead of having to amass the required votes to beat all opponents, the target for a particular candidate is only the amount required to reach a predetermined quota (Lijphart). Thus, PR systems avoid the conflict initiated by majority rule, which is especially important in ethnically divided states (Lijphart). In addition, multiparty arrangements are better for divided societies because they encourage the formation of coalitions (Lijphart). '"It was no accident...that the earliest moves toward proportional representation (PR) came in the ethnically most heterogeneous countries"' (Lijphart). While these benefits are important, PR also has some drawbacks. Critics argue that PR systems institutionalize the ethnic divisions within society (Lardeyret ). In addition, in many PR formats, party leaders are given considerable power because they often can select which candidates within the party are given the seats in parliament (Carey ). This arrangement encourages strict adherence to party doctrine, weakening the incentive for members of parliament to willingly reach across the aisle (Lardyret ). The formation of coalition governments, as a result, takes considerable time, which may not be a luxury in matters of national security and other pressing issues (Lardyret).
• Trying to get all the parties together at the table
• Iraq - parliament gets elected --> presidential council, one from Kurds, Sunni, Shi'a. they help select a PM.
• Want to have all the players at the table, system in Northern Ireland
• Not 100 % democratic
• Rarely proportional
• More of a quota system
• Multi-member districts
Voted for a party but not necessarily a

• Consociationalism is a set of institutions through which ethnic groups explicitly share power and resources. It has five key characteristics:
Parliamentary systems with PR
Grand Coalitions - in order to make sure that no ethnic group is left out of the political process, the government must be made up of broad coalitions.
Quota systems - for positions like parliamentary seats, judicial appointments, jobs, contracts, and education spending, and equal or proportional division of funds among each ethnic group.
Mutual Veto - power to veto the majority rule-- granted to each ethnic group, regardless of size, mutual veto power to insure that no ethnic groups gets slighted.
Segmental Autonomy - ethnic groups are allowed to attend to their own matters(issues like education and social policy are left to each group to decide)., while issues like foreign policy, defense, and macroeconomic policy are handled by the government,
• Critics of consociationalism argue that the system is not very democratic because quota systems and mutual vetoes place limits on democracy. In addition, to avoid dispute, certain issues are not addressed even when the majority of the population may feel a certain way. Also, critics argue that consociationalist governments aren't very effective because they must appease everyone. According to Lipjhart, these problems are necessary in ethnically divided states. Consociationalism proves effective in the Netherlands but it failed greatly in Lebanon, many attribute this to the rigidity of the system. In the Netherlands many of these rules were informal and could therefore evolve in time, in Lebanon, their codification had awful results leading to Civil War