Comparative Method: This method investigates the relationship between cause and
effect through comparing and contrasting two cases, and ultimately reaching an overall
conclusion. Typically empirical, rarely normative
● Empirical v. Normative
○ Empirical: observations and factors of given phenomenon from these observations we can then link cause and effects and offer claims
○ Normative: arguments emphasizing the way things should be; tend to rely more on opinion and bias and can often concern morality or ethics
○ Scholars prefer to approach cases empirically bc they can apply a scientific method approach to gathering, data, forming hypothesis, and determining causation. CP's are ultimately trying to find links between certain events or cases
● 3 designs for research studies (to analyze cause and effect):
○ Most Similar Systems design:
■ 2 cases which are similar in many ways, but have a particular outcome which is different.
■ focuses on factors which are different in the two cases that may have caused this outcome
○ Most Different Systems design (inverse of most similar)
■ 2 cases which have a great number of differences, but a common
■ focuses on factors which are the same in both cases to explain this
○ WithinCase Comparison
■ Looking within a single case to compare variation that takes place over time.
What is the difference between causation and correlation?
● Correlation reveals that there is a shared relation between variables, while one
increases the other may decrease or vice versa. However correlation does not necessarily mean causation. Causation occurs when two variables not only correlate, but they correlate because one variable has a direct effect on the other. Correlation does not always mean causation, as there could be an intervening or omitted variable, not being measured affecting the variables that are being measured.
Quantitative vs Qualitative: Research also involves dealing with two different kinds of data, qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative data is nonmathematical data pertaining to events and phenomena, whereas quantitative data is concerned with the numbers and statistics of data. Both are often used in formulating conclusions about research.
Theory:general explanation about how something in the world works, backed by a great deal of evidence (shows correlation)
Hypothesis: specific prediction about cause and effect which can be tested. (attempts to establish causation)
Problems in establishing causality:
Falsifiability:independent variable = dependent variable (relationship is nonsensical) Reverse causality:independent and dependent variables are switched Endogeneity: both variables are so closely dependent on each other that one cannot be established as the independent variable.
Spurious correlation:no causal relationship actually exists in any meaningful way (relationship by chance)
Omitted variable:argument may attempt to connect to variables in a cause and effect relationship when in fact they are highly correlated because they are dependent on a third independent variable which affects both, omitted from the argument. The two variables are not directly related because they are both the effect of another variable.
Intervening variable:independent variable causes two dependent variables, one intervening (the independent causes one which in turn causes the other).
a. Measurements used:
i. per capita: per person
1. income per capita: GDP, GNI, PPP
a. GDP:GDP is the Gross Domestic Product of that state. It is about the average income measure that is made within that state
b. GNI:Gross National Income and it is the average income measured from a people group from a state, but they are not conformed to the borders of the state like GDP is, it is just based on a people group or nationality and the income they bring in
c. PPP: What the PPP does is it takes a "basket of goods approach". A selection of universal goods are grouped together and priced out on all currencies so that manipulation can be cut out
ii. poverty: under an established line of income
iii. inequality: "unfair" distribution of wealth
b. strengths and weaknesses:
i. per capita: per person, individual, everyone is different however,
discounts a group.
ii. poverty: a strength would be that it categorizes others in a way that is
easier, politically, to measure and set standards from. Weaknesses: the line is different between different countriesit is not a very good universal measure.
iii. inequality: strength: ability to use the Gini coefficient for measurement deciphers a country's GDP.
c. Table 4.2 BUT ACTUALLY, table 4.1:America's inequality comes from the culture America has in regard to the American dream. For instance, Americans believe that they are able to make their lives anything if they go for it. So, it creates a greater economic and also social divide based on the "go getters" and the "slackers". This is different from Europe because the culture is different and there is no sense of "american entitlement"> you can justify any theory as long as you talk about the theory and why it works.
2. Markets and States:
a. Market led:Market led is a theory based on Adam Smith's invisible hand. In this theory, the market efficiently allocates resources sans government interference. It is the opposite of autarky and relies on the natural abilities of each person. The point where the invisible hand/laissez faire ideals can be thrown off is when the natural abilities of people in the market don't equal the same amount of pay. However, these inequalities are like anyone would get in life. Adam Smith's theory is all based on efficiency and what needs to happen so that the states can be the most successful.
i. Nigeria is a product of a bad state led market at first glance. The corruption consumes the industries so it is not able to flow well. It is state led but, the government isn't leading the state as its suppose to. It is not encouraging investment, coordinating actors, or protecting domestic investments from competition.
b.state led: States play an integral and necessary roles in the market. States encourage investment, coordinate actors, and protect domestic industries from competitionstates are completely handsin in this type of market. the caveat of a state led market argues that these theorists argued for a specific state intervention which is one that values the quality and the nature of the state.
i. I believe that the domestic structures theory could be a supplement to both the market and state led theory in the case of Nigeria. This is because so much of Nigeria's problem is corruption and lack of distribution which the domestic structures theory is based on. The core of Nigeria is not strong enough to help the periphery. Instead, its keeping to itself so the resting of the country is unable to unite and become more developed.
c. Opinion question: options to use are geographic, cultural, or domestic and international culture.
i. Nigeria can be a supplement to any of these options. However, we believe the strongest case would be cultural or a domestic and international culture. If you choose cultural, one could explain Africa and the surrounding areas. Domestic and International would be domestic life in Nigeria and its effects on the world or the worlds effects on it based on trading and imports and exports.
Various types of Authoritarian Regimes
-Authoritarianism is seen at the opposite of democracy on a scalar basis
-Autocracy, oligarchy, bureaucracy
o Few limitations, total power, tends to be fewer people in power
o Ex. Nazi Germany, North Korea, Communist China
o Religious leader, usually oligarchy (clergy)
o Divine right
o Ex. Iran, Vatican
• Personalistic Dictatorship
o Autocratic, complete domination
o Heavily on strength of state apparatus, strength of opposition, and threat to leadership
o Usually charismatic, likeable
o Ex. Chavez, Hitler, Lenin
• Bureaucratic Authoritarian
o Larger amount of people, political party or military dominance
o Control most aspects of people's lives
o Ex. PRI in Mexico, Communist Party in Soviet Union
Semi Authoritarian Regimes
• Illiberal Democracy
o Fair election, leaders not held accountable
o No rule of law
• Delegative Democracy
o Democratic but electorate delegates all power to executive
• Competitive Authoritarian
o Some form of competition
• Chinas meritocracy
• Electoral Authoritarianism
o Authoritarian regimes nominally compete in elections
Strategies and Techniques to Maintain Control
o Works camps or mass execution
• Ideological (God vs. You)
o Divine right
• Appeal to Public Interest
• Barriers to Collective Action
• Historic Institutionalism (coalition of people who will benefit from authoritarian regime)
o Exogenous shock i.e. Recessions, famines, war i.e. Berlin Wall falling, Egypt
• Povery and Inequality theory
o Too busy trying to survive to participate in politics
o Linked to Moderinization theory
• State weakness and failure
o Predatory state, begins to consolidate power
o Lack of institutions
• Political Cultural Theory
o Slightly racist
o People have innate acceptance, certain cultures value submission and obedience
• China and Confucian Values
• Barriers to Collective action
o No freedom of speech
o Can't rally
o Theory assumes want democracy, but not necessary for risks involved
Rise of Hitler and Mussolini
• State weakness and failure
o War reparations
o Wrecked economy
• Poverty and Inequality
o People just trying to survive
US Democracy Promotion
• Encourage free speech and no censorship
• Being a better example
• Militaristic to diplomatic
• WHAT'S YOUR OPINION
Biggest Challenge to Promote Democracy in North Korea
• Breach government to get media into the country
• Encourage coalitions among the people
• Reduce sanctions
• Culture Bomb
• What's your policy?
Constitutionalism is "the limitation of government through a constitution". Constitutionalism varies by different countries and governments. It serves as a check on government's power. There are various ways constitutions can be designed. First, a constitution can either be rigid or flexible. A rigid constitution requires a special process to amend a state's constitution that is much stricter that passing a regular law. The United States Constitution is an example of a rigid constitution. A flexible constitution is designed so that it can easily be changed or amended. An example would be New Zealand's Constitution. Separation of powers refers to the number of branches a state's government has. The United States has three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branch. Separation of powers also included implicit versus explicit powers. Explicit powers are those explicitly written powers of the government in the constitution. Implicit powers are not strictly written, but implied and interpreted by the different branches. Judicial review is an example of an implicit powers: it's not strictly written but has been interpreted as a power of the Judicial branch over time. Levels of government refer to whether a constitution uses federalism or unitarism. Federalism is a type of constitutional design that gives separate powers to the central and subnational levels of government. The different layers of government have autonomy in their specific territory. Unitarism is when the power of subnational governments are limited by the central governments. The majority of countries around the world are unitary states including Iran, France, and the UK. Power is not constitutionally divided between levels of government but resides in the central government. Central government can create sub national levels but they are dependent on the central government. Flexible constitutions are beneficial because they adapt to changing expectations of the citizens over time but they are less stable and are more easily manipulated by leaders. Rigid constitutions are more stable and consistent but may be out of sync with the majority. Judicial review is a good check on the constitution and the other branches but can be argued that it is undemocratic. The fear of "judicial activating" or "legislating from the bench" is accompanied with judicial review. The strength of parliamentary sovereignty is that there is no worry of unelected people have influence on policy but there is no check on parliament and theres no interaction between different branches. Unitarism is good in countries with homogeneous populations. It provides a strong national system that can be more efficient. It can lead to too much unchecked power and an ineffective way to govern large, heterogenous populations. There is less of a focus on regional issues.
Federal constitutions can be either good or bad for social stability, democratic rights, and the economy depending on the structure of the state. Federal constitutions are good for social stablility because they give people more political representation and feelings of greater autonomy. It's a compromise between central and state power. But a downside is that it can exacerbate differences and undermine stability because you're dividing lines between separate territories which can lead to conflict. Quebec nationalism is very strong and can overwhelm other provinces in Canada. Federalism is good for democratic rights because people can engage in local governments and people have more say in regional legislation. An example would be abortion rights in different states. This can also be interpreted negatively because it causes unequal rights between citizens of the same country. For example, it can be argued a fetus has less or more rights depending on which state it is in. It is said that decentralizing power helps induce healthy competition by allowing people to sort themselves into different jurisdictions that align with their policy preferences. This allows states more freedom to tailor their own economic policies so they can be competitive. The downside is there can be misrepresentation based on population. There is risk involved in allowing each state to negotiate its own policies. It can lead to inefficient resource allocation.
The constitutional convention part is your own answers based on whichever group you were a part of. You should look over your answers to remember what happened with your specific group so you can give examples of how a constitution should or should not be designed.
What is a legislature?
• A body of individuals that shape laws and policies in their given state/country
• For the most part, legislators within the legislature represent a population
What are the basic functions?
• Explicit: the functions directly written in the Constitution, such as the "power of the purse" and the power to declare war (specifically in America), though the "power of the purse" is common in other states as well
• Implicit: so what is inferred from the constitution (not explicitly written out) such as establishing congressional hearings
Differences in unicameral and bicameral in terms of form and function
• Bicameral: consists of two chamber; balance of power varies depending on the state
o Upper chamber: tends to be smaller than the lower chamber, considered to be more elite and statistically tends to be higher educated, longer terms, highly regarded
o Lower chamber: closer to direct representation and tends to be larger in size; in America, they are elected every two years so they are constantly "in check" by the population
• Unicameral: consists of one chamber
o Tends to be in smaller, more homogenous countries and also in countries that are under an authoritarian regime where there is one single party in control
Different Electoral Systems
o District systems: geographically defined districts, these are referred to as constituencies
o Single-member district system: where each district has one representative
• First-past-the-post system: where the district holds elections and the candidate with the most votes wins
• Runoff system: the top two candidates face off so there is assurance that the winner will have received a mandate by winning a majority of the votes between the two
o Closed party, PR systems: set list of potential representatives and people vote for the party; the percentage of votes the party receives is the percentages of seats the party will get in the legislature
o Open list: vote for individual candidates and these votes are combined with the votes to their party
o Mixed/hybrid electoral systems: tries to incorporate the best of both PR and district-based systems
o Mixed member PR: voter gets two votes (one for the party and one for an individual); half of the seats are dependent on the party vote and the other half are dependent on the candidates and their districts
• Parliamentary: closer relationship, more control over the executive; more likely to fall within party lines and it is more likely that the executive and the legislature can compromise better because of this relationship; laws are more easily passed;
• Presidential: Chosen by the people, executive and legislature are supposed to have the ability to create more middling policies but many times this relationship leads to partisanship and gridlock between the two branches; Example: In U.S., one party controls the executive while the other controls the legislative
What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of proportional representation and district-based systems, when viewed in terms of representation?
District system disadvantages
• Gerrymandering: redrawing of irregular district lines in order to achieve a specific political outcome
• Malapportionment: where districts of different sizes receive the same amount of representation
• Sidelining: In our district system, it can be argued that those whose candidate did not win office are sidelined until the next election
District system advantages
• Direct accountability from the representative to their constituencies
• Voters don't have a specific candidate representing their interests as the representative is not directly held accountable
• Ideological parties are guaranteed at least a small amount of power/vote in the legislature
• More compromise is supposed to happen under these systems
Should voting be mandatory to elect legislators? Why or why not?
• Though it is an opinion question, you can use the information provided to back up your argument
o Executives (Overview)
§ What are the roles of executives?
1. Head of government
2. Formulate government, formulate policy, and implement policy
3. Execute and administer laws passed by the legislative body
4. Often have the power to veto or disapprove bills passed in the legislative body
§ What is the difference between a head of state and a head of government? Please give a real-world examples to illustrate.
1. Symbolic representation of the state
2. (i.e. Queen Elizabeth II)
3. Head of government
4. Formulates, influences, and enforces policy
5. PM Cameron In the U.K.
o Executive Powers
§ What are the formal, partisan, and informal powers of an executive? Please explain any differences between presidential and parliamentary powers in these areas when relevant.
1. Formal powers are those powers vested in the executive that are explicitly stated within the government's constitution.
1. (Dissolving the legislature, vetoing bills, issuing executive orders, etc.)
2. Informal powers are powers that are not explicitly stated in the constitution.
1. Influencing decisions, executive bureaucracy,etc.
3. Partisan powers are simply the powers given to the executive that state that the head of government is also the chief representative of their political party within the legislature.
1. Given the executives party is in power within the legislature, the president may have more power in implementing policy
2. In a parliamentary system, the executive has much more power in the legislature
2. Executive Branches
o What are the key roles and characteristics of the executive branches (i.e. the bureaucracy in government)?
§ Executive branch is arguably the most powerful branch in most governments around the world
§ Known for the idea of standardization and following protocols
§ In the United States, the structure and scope of the executive branch make it the largest and most influential governmental force
§ Key terms: Technocrats, policy wonks
3. Presidents vs. Prime Ministers
o Summarize at least three of Linz's argument on the relative merits of presidential and parliamentary government
§ Linz finds the presidential system lacking when compared to the legislative authority of a parliamentary government
§ Linz was anti-presidential system
§ Problems with term limits, electoral process, concept of 'winner take all'
§ Presidencies are more authoritarian because PM's have to negotiate more
§ Sidelining of parties, potentially half the population
o How did Horowitz respond to these three arguments?
§ Cites examples of presidential systems in South America
§ Proponent of the presidential system
§ States that the arguments Linz used were very subjective and analyzed with severe bias
§ Linz assumes a certain electoral system that isn't always implemented
o Who do you think is right in each case?
§ Decide for yourself based on the analysis of the two arguments
Political Parties, Party Systems, & Interest Groups
What are the different types of political parties that can form?
Elite: membership/scope largely restricted to small number of political elites
Mass: consists of large numbers of citizens as members and that undertake massive political mobilization (ex: communist and socialist)
Catch all: flexible on their ideological positions and aim to attract support from a broad range of interest groups and voters
What are the different types of party systems?
Dominant party: country contains only one large political party that predominates politically, often controlling the legislative and executive branches
Two party: pol party system consisting of two significant parties that have a duopoly on opportunities to govern
Multiparty: pol party system consisting of more than two significant parties that have opportunities to govern
What is the difference between pluralism and corporatism? Which is better in your opinion, and why?
Pluralism and corporatism both have their share of advantages and disadvantages in policy outcomes and representation. Pluralism, for example, asserts equal opportunity for different groups to influence politics, which also allows rights to organize against the government. As result, interest groups have equal representation; however, collective action problems may arise from this type of system.
Corporatism, unlike pluralism, designs political representation with more structure. Dickovick and Eastwood claim that corporatism is more efficient at integrating interests and ensuring the structured representation of major groups in society. Corporatism is less likely to become clustered by interference from outside groups. Since the there is more structure, policy can be organized effectively.
Party Systems & Representation
What are some factors (noted in the textbook) that help to shape different party systems?
-District electoral system: leads to two-party system because it is a zero-sum game(the loser does not gain any representation). The two dominant parties usually represent both ends of the political spectrum which means that voters who identify with a smaller party end up voting for one of the dominant parties because they know their party does not have a chance of winning any representation in a district system.
-Proportional Representation: leads to a multi-party system. Because a party gains representation based on how many votes they acquire, every party could potentially gain representation.
-Ideologies shape party systems. For example, most communist countries that have single or dominant party systems, value Marxism which has led them to value communism.
Were you to work for either a Democratic or Republican candidate for president in 2016, how you you target the median voter if gun regulation were the key policy issue?
Democratic: In the primaries, I would target the median voter by advocating for high gun regulation. I would not advocate for all guns to be banned, because this is a constitutional right but would want automatic and semi-automatic weapons to be banned.
In a political campaign for the 2016 presidential election, a Republican candidate would have the advantage on issues of Gun Control. However, much depends on if the candidate is currently in the primary or the general election phase. In each election, the candidate would have to strategically position their ideology to maximize on the connection with the median voter.
During the primary, a Republican candidate would want to position him/herself closest to the target demographic on the ideological spectrum. During this time period, the candidate may have to align their preferences with values outside of their usual constituency. Most identified Republican voters seek to minimize gun control. A smart republican campaign would rally around defending 2nd amendment rights and avoid promoting any form of gun regulation policy that would cause constituents to fear an infringement on this right.
Party Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa
Interest Groups & Representation
What are the relative advantages of pluralism and corporatism in terms of (a) policy outcomes and (b) representation?
Pluralism is a form of interest group involvement that is heavily based on market values
Interests group compete to influence government positions and public policy
In this system thousands of interests groups can potentially form for a wide variety of issue. From groups of worried citizens to massive corporations any organization can form interest groups to endorse practically any issue.
Pluralism- smaller/weaker organizations less likely to influence government
Corporatism is a form of interest group involvement where the relationship between states and interest group is extremely intertwined.
interaction is very structured where governments explicitly state who is to represent a specific issue
It allows for governments to easily interact with interest groups much easier
The process by which issues are dealt with is much more efficient here than with Pluralism
problem with corporatism is that it is much more difficult for new issues to be brought up and new solutions to be formed as the same groups of people constantly represent the already established interests.
Would you be interested in seeing the United States move from a more pluralistic to corporatist model? Would this change mean less influence of money on politics? Why or why not?
Much more efficient
much more structured
Less innovation in solution making
No limit to how many interest groups
very easy to form an interest group
groups with the largest resources gain the most influence
lack of money and resources means that ideas, even if good ones, are not addressed.
Party Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa
Which factor do you think best explains why most of the party systems in Sub-Saharan Africa are dominant party systems? Why is this more important than the other factors discussed in class?
-Powerful presidents: They highly influence politics and their party usually dominates.
Democratic dominant-party countries like South Africa and Authoritarian centered dominant-party countries such as Ethiopia have one key difference. The difference that exists results from the type of political system and electoral processes that exist, rather than any predominant cultural, historical, economic, or ideological difference.
• Non-revolutionary vs. Revolutionary
• What Is "Contention"?
▪ Contention is defined as when "conflict between parties or between parties and the state cannot be solved through formal political channels (such as an election)
▪ the pursuit of collective goals broadly outside of formal political institutions
◦ How do revolutions differ from other forms of contention?
▪ A Revolution occurs only when the idea of revolution already exists and aim to achieve dramatic changes in either the political structure or the social structure.
◦ What are the key factors that distinguish the different types of contentions.
• Social Movement: Social Movements are commonly regarded as organized collective action in the pursuit of social or political reform of some kind.
◦ lot of autonomy (and a strong civil society),
◦ ample material resources (lots of money),
◦ strong social networks,
◦ good mechanisms for communication
• Everyday Resistance: consists of groups that resist and express discontent in the absence of the resources needed for complex organization and coordination.
◦ Little to no autonomy (Individual led)
◦ no access to material resources
◦ no social networks
◦ no mechanisms for collective communication in place
• Insurgencies: a type of revolution of formalized violence, often takes militaristic form in the absence of large-scale civilian mobilization, and targets the state or specific group.
• Terrorism: a tactic used by some participants that involves violence directed at non-military targets
◦ What are the major points of disagreement among scholars about how to define terrorism?
• A broad comparative politics scholar assumes that the perpetrator of terrorism is the state
◦ it targets civilians and state officials,
◦ its goals do not matter.
• A "Narrow" view of terrorism assumes that the perpetrator is the individual,
• it targets only civilians,
• it does so to instill fear into a population.
2. Why do revolutions occur?
▪ In answering this question, consider the similarities and differences among the theories of revolution.
• Relative Deprivation Theory: States that in a society 1. Social equilibrium is the norm and that 2. when one group perceives itself as having less than another reference group, they begin to mobilize.
• Political Opportunity and Resource Mobilization Theory: Political Opportunity/Resource Mobilization theory assumes that political openings in the government and the already established economic and mobilization capacity among key groups of actors will increase contention, and occurs when the current political institution has low capacity to repress protesters and numerous large political groups already in place.
• Cultural Theory: Suggests that contention emerges and strengthens as the ideology of "Arab Spring" spreads the thought that radical change is necessary.
• Rational Choice: The Rational Choice theory assumes that the lack of oppression of early protesters changed actor's views on the risks of contention, thus reducing the "cost" element of the cost-based analysis of Rational choice.
▪ Do any of the theories above help to explain the Arab Spring?
• Give a general answer and then choose one of the following states to further illustrate: Syria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, & Saudi Arabia.
3. Explaining Iran
▪ In your opinion, what key factors led to the success of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 that were not present in 2009?
▪ Is there a theory of revolution that could apply to Iran today? That is, could revolution occur in Iran at present. Why or why not?
Social identity if another group or your own group put more emphasis on it, it becomes less malleable, as it becomes less for you and more for your whole group. In modern day, it is much easier to change one's identity as society becomes more accepting. For example, sexual orientation and identity are more accepted and easier to change. Nationalism is the foundation of one's political and social life and the state should reflect such beliefs of political life. Whereas a nation is a large group of people who share an identity, not limited by state boundaries.
Primordialists believe that nationalism has always been around and is just another form of societal in-group/out-group. Modernists believe that the nation is a modern invention started in the 1600s of Europe. Nations are meant to be sovereign and representative of the community. All nations want to have a nation-state, in contrast with perennialists. Perennialists believe nationalism is not necessarily associated with a specific time, nor is it always related to primordial bonds. Not all nations will seek out a nation-state. We believe that primordialists have the best approach, nationalism has always been present, regardless of whether we pay attention to it or not.
Western v. Eastern is the oldest distinction, with western nationalism more hospitable to liberal democracy and eastern nationalism more hostile towards foreigners.
Civic v. Ethnic is a modern adaptation of the dichotomy above Civic nationalism is based on territory and citizenship, whereas ethnic nationalism is based on ancestry and birth.
Individualistic v. collectivistic Individualistic nationalism respects the rights and liberties of the individual, whereas collectivistic civic the state is more important than the individual and collectivistic ethnic nationalism the ethnicity is the most important.
Primordial ties nationalism stemmed from an evolutionary need for survival, creating an in-group/out-group. Bellicist theory holds that the creation of the state and nationalism helped create the collective action necessary for a modern state. Structural forces hold that capitalism used nationalism as tool to create a workforce with a common language. Cultural construct theory holds the nationalism is a construct used to further the interests of the elite.
Germanness began with the Germanic tribes converted to Christianity. Political institutions would hold that Bismarck's unification brought about nationalism. Structural forces say that the creation of the welfare state created nationalism. Cultural constructs hold that Nazism used nationalism to further its goals.
Primordial bonds hold that conflict happens when group feels threatened.
Culturists hold that conflicts are created when some artificial borders and divisions are erected among people.
Material interests say that groups use nationalism as a tool for other purposes. And rational calculation is similar, viewing conflict as a cost-benefit analysis.
Primordial bonds since there is a long history of power struggle between the Tutsis and the Hutus.
Race & Ethnicity
◦ What are some basic differences between the concepts of race and ethnicity?
Race: biological features, more rigid. Based on skin color.
Ethnicity: socially constructed through common heritage, common language, and overall history.
You can have only one race but multiple ethnicities.
◦ What do you think the future of the Kurds will be?
Continued division due to 5 separate states consist of the Kurd population. The Kurds are divided upon language, region, and religion. Continued division due to the lack of a common goal.
Unification. Currently the Kurds are given aid and almost a sense of legitimacy internationally in order to fight ISIS. They are given some legitimacy from states. Before all of this the Kurds had relative autonomy in the region. They aren't going to get legitimacy from some states, but some are not going to budge, states Serbia and Turkey and Iran because they are consolidated in state hood. Seria and Iraq more destabilized so they may sacrifice some territory. Bellicist theory, war establishing state hood.
◦ Please compare the concepts of gender, sexual identification, and sexual orientation.
Gender is defined as culturally construed roles or identities one has by virtue of being ascribed the status of male or female, to be distinguished from illogical sex. (Concept of masculinity, symbolic)
Sexual identification is biological categories based on sexual organs. This is when you have either a male or female. Transsexual refers to when one does not identify with the sex they were born with. (Actual biological features)
Sexual Orientation is the individuals enduring pattern of sexual attraction ot another group. (Who you are attracted to)
◦ Why do you think there are no gender political parties, but there are ethnic political parties?
Gender is too broad.
Specificity of gender.
Ethnic group having more connections to
Base their platform from rigid cultural beliefs.
Mala Htun (India Case study in book) uses the logic to explain that ethnic groups tend to coincide with other forms of cleavage, whereas gender tends to crosscut them. Gender can be difficult to define into a single group, as it covers so many social classes, ethnicities, etc.
2. Identity Politics in India
◦ Please discuss the issue of gender and sexual orientation in India.
Inequality of gender socially and politically as women are suppressed through education and employment. They hold less political positions. Marital rape is legal and sex trafficking still prevalent. The State though can say more than the U.S. and are more progressive because they have had a woman prime minister and president. But this just shows the complications of measuring gender inequality.
Sexual orientation issues: The "polluting class" the Hijras Their main challenges have been secularization of society has left them with little economic opportunity; many have turned to prostitution. Though faced with great challenges, they have some political achievements. They say the Rama legend had told men and women to return to their homes, dedicated Hijras, being neither, stayed and were blessed by Rama. This group continued into the time of Colonial Rule but was considered the "polluting" class.
◦ If you were in charge of an NGO working in India to empower women and those of other sexual orientations which than heterosexual, which forms of empowerment would you use (e.g. quotas, social movements, etc.)?
- Quotas and affirmative action creates backlash.
- The fundamental istituional design feature that has been used in a quota system, which reserves a certain number of candidacies or seats for members.
- Social media, social movements.
- Working in the legal system in order to change the system.
Difference between International Relations and Comparative politics
a. IR: generalizations, theorize, the interactions between federal governments; states, major players depending on paradigm looked at.
b. CP:Morehandson,details,looksatthewholestory;cultures, governments, pools of different groupings of people.
2. Paradigms of IR:
a. Realism: more militant,one side gain, power, absolute gains, war=everything.
Security dilemma is the foremost issue.
b. liberalism: give and take, trade, compromise, relative gains; trade is the foremost issue.
c. constructivism: the more "hippie" mindset, looks at everything: culture, history,
background then, from there, it can make a decision on the state.
3. Constructivism: liberalism and realism can fall into it because of values. No matter what you value, it is constructivist because if you value power, you will see everything as a realist but the world will still be constructivist. Not necessarily, just one because for realism, the security dilemma has been on the backboard. Next, it would be liberalism because of trade. And, we believe the frontrunner is constructivist is because there are so many different organizations that shape the world now therefore, more thought and research has to be dug up to properly assess and handle a country.SO, constructivism. 4. Different Topics: Topics in politics one's research questions can fall into
Globalization and Trade
International Institutions and integration immigration
environment and sustainability transnational networks
nuclear threats and terrorism
5. Example of research Question: THIS IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE, feel free to use your own personal project.
On which topic area did you focus?
● My research proposal is focusing on the different ways the United States
interacts with foreign states. We have multiple mechanisms of foreign interactions including executive agreements and the formal Senate treaty process. I want to explore this area further to gain a better understanding of the differences in usage for different situations, policy areas, and states.
What was your main research question?
● The main questions I am researching are: what best explains the factors that
influence the two different paths taken in US foreign policy? Why are certain
agreements done through a treaty process versus executive agreements? What was your initial answer to this question?
● There is a large body of literature in this area of research. There have been studies done on whether or not executive agreements function as a way for the executive branch to circumvent the traditional treaty process, but the prevailing understanding in the field is that executive agreements and treaties now are used for different state interactions. Treaties, which require ratification by the Senate, may be easier to pass when the deal is with a state that the United States has more in common with. If the U.S. has a friendly or amicable relationship with a foreign state a treaty may be easier to pass through the Senate. On the other side of this if the United States has a strenuous or less than amicable relationship with the state, an executive agreement may be a more streamlined process to reach a deal. As the details of a negotiation with a hostile state may be more polarizing an contentious in the Senate, the president may choose to act unilaterally and form the deal using executive agency expertise. The current nuclear deal that is being worked out with Iran and several other nations is a good example of this. While it may be easy to work out a treaty with Canada or the UK, the president has taken the initiative and attempted to form an executive agreement with Iran. While this is merely anecdotal evidence to support my initial
answer to this question, the theory seems sound and is a foundation for future
empirical research into the topic.
In what ways is this an IR study, and in what ways is this a CP study?
This topic falls more along the lines of an international relations study, but with a touch of comparative politics mixed in. The main focus of the research would be into the different ways that the United States interacts with foreign states, with the various paradigms of international relations being useful tools for looking at how different types of deals may be forged under the impressions of different theories of state relationships (such as realism, liberalism, constructivism). Explanation of how each would be applicable.
Comparative political analysis is also useful here in the sense of a withincase analysis of different types of agreements. Additionally, mostsimilar and mostdifferent analysis could be utilized to look into the differences and similarities between the foreign states. This would allow the researcher to identify important characteristics of states that form executive agreements with the U.S. or those that are dealt with through a formal treaty process. These characteristics could be put into a formal model of predicting when and how the United States may choose to interact with foreign nations in the future based off of predictive factors.