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Summary Politics final

Summary; ‘Introduction to political science’ by Craig Pearson
Chapter 1; Introduction
Seeing Politics in the World
Politics; politics is the making of collective decisions.
People how want to escape politics strive for a state of nature; the human condition in an
imaginary time before the emergence of oppressive social organization and government. ->
strongest in US, due to former European inhabitants.
Also downsides ->
- dissolving of structure
- lesser benefits of modern life
- dominated by persons
- you’ll always end up with worse politics instead of free
Good example; Arizona and Afganistan (less politics is not better)
From politics to political ideologies and political science
The foundation of all independent, critical thinking is the ability to imagine alternative points
of view. -> goal is to teach you how to think about politics not what to think about it.
Imagine politics from 3 points of view;
1. Political description; The task of grasping how political life and action are organized.
2. Political philosophy; The project of evaluating the good and bad in politics, addressing
both how politics works and how it should work.
-> centers on normative argument; argument about how things ought to be, not about how
they are. -> also build in analytic argument; argument about how things are or how they
change, not about how they ought to be.
Alternative of political philosophies manifest themselves as political ideologies; the versions
of political philosophies that people use to organize political debates and action, like
liberalism or conservatism.
3. political science; The systematic effort to explain why politics works as it does. -> translate
the messy-looking world of politics into a small, organized set of ‘why’ possibilities.
Three explanatory approaches in Political science
(3 basic approaches about explanation)
1. Rational-material explanation: A clash of interests
Everyone is doing what anyone else would do if placed in the same place in the material
landscape. (e.g. democrat, republican; president choice)
People do what is in their interest (= In political science, the courses of action that most
clearly benefit someone given his or her positions in the world) and from there choose the
most reasonable strategy
2. Institutional explanation: playing by the rules of the game
Human made rules and structures, often called institutions, create obstacle courses of
incentives that reward or punish us for acting in certain ways. People take the most rational
path given the institutional landscape.
We think of politics as a game where everyone does what is best for him or her, given the
3. Ideational explanation: Beliefs and ‘culture wars’
Political choices are motived by cultures and beliefs (e.g. liberal democrats vs conservative
These are the 3 main explanations on why people take some political point of view.
However there is also a 4th one; explanations built on individual psychology (genetically
inherited, psychological makeup)
When you wanna know what kind of explanation ask; what material/ institutional/ ideas ?
Alternative methods to test and support explanations
There is a lot of discussions between these 3 explanations, but a big question is as well;
What is the best method (= The ways in which scientists test or support their hypotheses) to
evaluate the hypotheses and adjudicate between explanatory approaches?
Political scientists organize their search for evidence and evaluation explanatory claims
mainly through three kinds of methods.
1. Quantitative methods; sorting cross-case patterns
Quantitative methods (= ways to evaluate hypotheses that look for patterns in data,
represented as numbers, across a large number of cases) are used to see how its related to
patterns in similar political cases. The more we see a correlation (= A patterned relationship
between things that arise and change together) the more we feel confident about our
explanatory hypothesis.
2. Qualitative methods; within-case detective work
Qualitative methods (= ways to evaluate hypotheses that trace evidence for how an outcome
came about in particular cases) are used to dig deep into one or a few cases to see how well
the claim fits with observable processes.
This method tries to analyze richer, more complex data in a smaller amount of cases then
quantitative methods.
3. Game theory, Simulations and Experiments; exploring artificial environments
Game theory (= the mathematical study of strategic decision making that explores how
people would logically respond if placed in certain game situations) and computer
simulations (= the computer-based study of how people might act if placed in certain
situations that can be modeled with computer programming) are used to see whether realworld people would act in line with our explanatory hypotheses. Experiments (= In political
science, the method of manipulating people’s behavior to see how they react and the
drawing conclusions about how people might act more generally) are also used for this
Chapter 2; Political philosophy and its offshoot; Political science
Political theory in the ancient world: Plato, Aristotle and contemporaries
Political philosopher (=someone who thinks deeply about fundamental questions of power
and governance) think about how politics should be organized.
Plato (427-374 BC)(= An Athenian philosopher and author of the republic who argues for a
system of government led by philosopher- kings)
his core philosophy was the strategy of first imagining the perfect version of something –
what he called the ‘form’ or the ideal – and then considering how to approximate it in our
imperfect world.
He argued that the city would be ruled by philosophers. Plato built this claim by arguing that
a city was like a person. And he thought that the human soul has 3 parts; reason (rational
part seeking truth), spirit (assertive part seeking honor) and appetite (lusts after things).
To keep everyone in their appropriate role, we need rational truth seekers as philosopherkings (= Leaders in Plato’s republic who deserved to lead because they pursued truth in the
study of philosophy and kept on that path by having no private property or families)
Aristotle (384-322 BC) (An Athenian philosopher who saw the study op politics as the
master science that guides how society in general should proceed and argued for a
government balanced between the masses and an educated elite)
portrayed the study of politics as the ‘master science’ that set the rules and values of all other
activities and scholarship.
The rise of cities and governments can be explained from a psychological point of view;
human beings are naturally ‘political animals’ who want to live together. -> different systems
have different goals, ideational goals are the final cause that animates these systems.
Genuine people
Perverted people
Confucius (551-479 BC) (A Chinese philosopher who offered rules for virtuous behavior by
both subjects as emperors, but also suggested that people could challenge tyrannical
Kautilya (350-283 BC) (An Indian philosopher who first suggested reversing the priority of
analytic and normative thinking arguing that virtuous leadership depended on understanding
the roots of power and influence in the real world)
Political theory from the renaissance in to the enlightment: Machiavelli to Rousseau
Machiavelli (1469-1527) lived in the republic of Florence, then medici family, here he wrote
the prince which; argued explicitly against the Aristotelian approach of starting from
normative ideas about a morally ideal political model = the normative core is that the end
justify the means.
Three followers on Machiavelli, made the foundation of modern social science;
Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau
Hobbs (1588-1679) claimed that we must stay out of the state of nature by imposing a
strong government to impose order and offer protection. Even absolutism (= A government
that assigns absolute unchecked power to a single individual) was a correct form of it.
He created the social contract theory (= the notion that legitimate government is based on an
agreement among the governed to accept central authority.)
- State must act to serve both the interests of individuals as the state.
John Locke (1632-1704) built further on the idea of the social contract theory. He thought
that the state of nature is less bad. Came up with life, liberty and property.
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) argued that all human beings are naturally good.
He said that government and society are the chains that serve the interests of the rich, and
hold down the poor. Inequality (In economic terms, the unequal distribution of wealth; In
political terms , the assignment of rights to some people and not to others.)
Problem state of
Why the state arises
What kind of state is
What kind of state is
Scarcity of
Guarantee individual
Limited government
Explanatory legacy
Key concept
Provide security
Limited government
No problem
Protect property
rights of the rich
Government of the
according to general
The emergence of social science in the nineteenth century
From Locke’s line of thinking classical liberalism (=A political philosophy and ideology that
prioritizes individual political rights, private property and limited government) came to a rise
due to scarce resources and competition with others.
Liberal variant of rational-material thinking
Adam Smith (1723-1790) thought that If individual liberty was the natural preference of all
human being, and everyone focused on pursuing his or her own individual goals, how could
the narrow self-interests of individuals produce a collectively good society? Smith argued that
free markets provided a way to reconcile the individual pursuit of self-interest with the
collective goods.
A good society would work according to the invisible hand theorem. (= A free market notion
that competition to make money will channel everyone toward their most productive
individual strengths, sorting people and resources to their best use even without any
government leadership)
The Marxist variant of rational-material thinking
Karl Marx (1818-1883) said that Smith was wrong to think that markets were good for
everyone; instead, Rousseau was right that private property creates and reproduces
inequality. He stated that democracy was a false competition organized by capitalist.
The realist variant of rational-material thinking
Based on Hobbs, not focused on the economic side, but more on the security, threats and
physical violence, this is better known as realism (=The theory that international relations is
always dominated by an anarchical conflict between states)
Alexis de Toqcueville (1805-1859) wrote the democracy of America, an institutional story
about the organization of the political life in America. He stressed the notion of the strongly
local organization of politics, with a weak central u.s. federal government. A civil society (=
Arenas of action in a country outside direct government influence, such as associations,
churches, business, affairs, media and artistic expression) was important in his eyes to
mobilize together.
In his eyes focus on a strong us federal government would lead to tyranny of the majority (=
the possibility that democratic majority could choose to harm minorities or political
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) was a key pioneer of the institutional explanations. He thought
that human action was shaped by cultural beliefs and norms, and the study of society was
necessarily the study of the forms and effects of culture. Culture is made from social facts
(=Human created conditions of action that exist only because people believe in them.)
Max Weber (1864-1920) said that culture is at the centre of his explanatory approach.
Culture has a powerful impact on what exactly people see as rational and how they pursue
their well-being.
His treatment of power (=The ability to get someone to do something they would not
otherwise have done) and authority (=the legitimate right to exercise power) contributed t
political science.
The emergence of diversification of political science
Arthur Bentley (1870-1957) said that interest groups (= Associations in society that form
around shared interests and advocate for them in politics) is the way how natural, rational
people pursue their political interests.
Modernization theory (= A rational-material theory in the liberal tradition that sees history as
a march toward liberal democracy and capitalism) is a theory that arose after WW2.
Dependency theory (= The Marxist-related theory that sees all of human history in terms of
dominance of poor countries by rich countries), also said that poor countries are poor,
because the us and eu are rich.
Kenneth Waltz (1924-2013) offered a neo-realist theory, which stated that the deepest lines
of international politics always reflect stated responding to the raw distribution of power.
In the 70/80’s people argued that politics was more shaped by human made rules, then
material landscapes, economic resources or military capabilities. Because of this institutional
thinking became more important, institutions can have unintended consequences (= In
institutional thinking, this notion refers to how institutions created for one purpose may
channel later politics in unforeseen ways.
Out of a disciple of economics came rational choice theory (= A method for sharpening
rational-material or institutional arguments that proceeds by imagining how perfectly rational
people would act (and interact strategically) within material of institutional constraints.)
In the 80/90’s constructivism (= A version of ideational explanation that suggests that the
international arena is shaped primarily by what people believe about international politics)
Logic of psychological explanation saw an important expansion in political science. They
became more sophisticated in how they understood and studied how people form their
political views.
Also expansion in foreign policy,
Chapter 3; Ideologies
What is (and isn’t) ideology?
Ideologies are packages of conscious beliefs about how politics works and how, normatively,
it should work.
Knowledge of facts (and politics) is critical in understanding political thinking. Only small
group of people; political elite (= People who are knowledgeable about politics, actively
participate in it, and are well connected to powerful organizations or groups.) have high
levels of knowledge.
The public opinion (= The patterns of views across a population that can be identified by
polling) is an unstable one, since people are not educated enough, this also has to do with
political culture (= Ways of acting talking and thinking about political topics that people learn
to expect as normal for people like them.), this also explains the differences about Americans
and Europeans.
Expectations and practices of political culture are passed on through social interaction, better
known as socialization (= The processes in which people learn norms, practices, and ideas
from others around them). Differences in political expectations also arise in wider subcultures
(=Groups in society that identify and interact with each other, producing distinct clusters of
culture not entirely shared by others.)
The liberal tradition
What is liberalism about?
1. A defence of individual political liberties
2. Advocacy of open markets
We have 2 sorts of liberalism; classical liberalism and modern liberalism
Principle 1; political rights
John Locke; arguing that everyone is equal, should live to the rules of a social contract, that
guaranteed natural rights (= The idea that people are endowed with certain rights simply by
virtue of being human beings.) of all. Liberal thinkers also agreed that they sought protection
from both abuses, but also representation (= Processes in which people select others to
speak for them in collective decision making). -> the classical liberal political recipe came to
be defined as liberal right and elections or liberal democracy.
Principle 2; free markets
Economics liberty is desirable not only as inherently good for the individuals, but because
freedom to exchange led to the most productive society at a collective level.
After the rise of liberty in many countries in the world, the liberals began to disagree whether
they had reached their goals. Champions of modern liberalism said we had only achieved
negative liberty (= A conception of freedom centered on protection from abuse or restraint on
what should not be done to citizens.), but the real goal of liberalism was positive liberty (= A
conception of liberty centered on the capacity and opportunity to develop one’s talents, on
what citizens should be empowered to do.) \
Neoliberalism (= A political movement since the 1970s to decrease active government
intervention in market economies) is a term used for the renewed movement for free markets
and limited government.
In politics, progressive groups that advocate
social and political reform, usually through
government action, to improve society
In politics, conservative groups that seek to
defend current or past political and social
Modern conservatism and its variants
The most common version of conservatism combines themes of classical liberalism with
arguments about the wisdom of emphasizing tradition, authority, and experience in political
decision making.
Principle 1; classical liberalism
The advocation of small government, with the belief that cutting taxes and government
programs is good even for the most disadvantaged people. Conservatives hold classical
liberal views today; if government only seeks to guarantee a clear framework of negative
liberties, then individuals will be free to make the most out of their lives.
Principle 2; tradition, experience and authority over radical change
Edmund burke thought that society could be governed well only by tried-and-true experience,
aristocracy was best form of government in his eyes, since they had the most experience.
Authority and social traditions were most important to engineer social change, not politics.
And third option in people’s eyes to engineer social change was religion. The tea party is us
political party against government spending, they exist of religious right figures, but mostly
out of libertarianism (= The strand of conservative ideology that remains the most focused on
classical liberal themes of limited government and individual rights)
Neoconservatism (= The strand of conservative ideology that emphasizes the use of
American military power abroad to promote values of democracy, human rights and
markets.) is another strand that complicates the terrain of American conservatism.
Older alternatives to the liberal tradition; socialism and fascism
Principle 1; a critique of markets and capitalism
The core of socialism is the notion the free-market economies cause unacceptable
inequality. Karl Marx was the founder of socialism he opposed capitalism (= The making of
money through ownership or investment in a profit-making enterprise.) because it made the
rich, richer and the poor, poorer, through exploitation (= paying workers less than their labor
is worth.)
Principle 2; economic class conflict
The society is split up into bourgeoisie and proletariat and people stay in this class their
entire life, it is unequal.
The divide communism versus social democracy
Communists (= The radical version of socialism that calls for revolutionary rejection of
capitalism and private property.) wanted a revolution, but social democrats wanted to
advocate reform. The USSR and China could better be labeled as state socialism (= Political
systems run by communist parties that abolished capitalism but then focused far more on
enforcing their own power than on improving their citizens welfare.)
The people that believed in Marx, but didn’t want a revolution are better known advocators of
social democracy (= The reformist version of socialism that aimed at winning democratic
elections and aimed on implementing policies to moderate capitalism’s inequalities.), their
main goal was the nationalization (=The shift of businesses from private ownership to public
ownership under the government) of parts of the economy.
4 important pillars in fascism where nationalism, national purity, power and authority.
Principle 1; nationalism and national purity
Fascism was mostly focused on nationalism (= A political agenda that pursues unity and
political control of a state for the members of a cultural group), they were not progressive.
With this strong emphasize on cultural identity, there came a strong focus on excluding non members in the name of national purity.
Principle 2; finding meaning in power and authority
Fascist believed that the competitive elections of democracy created a weak, divisive political
system. They advocated the will to power (= The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s phrase
for a supposedly universal human need to assert and exercise power.)
Principle 3; defending mythical small-town life
Cultures and compatriots could only be protected with total war and dominance, the
defended small-town traditionalism which detested all progress.
Newer alternatives to the liberal tradition; environmentalism and Islamism
Concerning the natural environment and critiquing the destructive side of human endeavors.
Principle 1; value quality of life in a broad context
Nature was not an important point in political agenda up en till the 21ste century, people
became more understanding with nature.
Principle 2; the precautionary principle
The precautionary principle (= The idea that if our actions may produce catastrophic
consequences, we should act now to find solutions rather than wait until the consequences
become certain) is the rule we should by.
Political Islamism
Principle 1; replace secular law with shari’a
The politics and law should be based on the shari’a(= A system of law based on the qu’ran
and other foundational Islamic texts.) Moslim societies are so called corrupted by the western
world, liberal rights and electoral democracy are illegitimate western imports.
Principle 2; defend and purify the ummah
The ummah is the community of muslims.
Principle 3; jihad
The jihad (struggle) can be understood in multiple ways; an internal struggle of faith, a
struggle to improve muslim society or a defense of islam. Martyrdom (= A revered status that
one obtains by dying for a cause, especially for religious reasons) is highly praised in the
Chapter 4; state
Organizing a world of states: definition and origins of state sovereignty
State (=Organizations that claim a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence in a certain
territory); the organization that runs a country, states are the largest organizations on the
planet, states define the rules under which individuals and all other organizations can act on
their territories.
3 key principles of state sovereignty (= The principle that one organization holds supreme
authority over a territory)
1. states are territorial monopolies; claiming exclusive ownership of a piece of land.
2. control of violence is at their core; state’s power is built on the use of violence.
3. states monopolize legitimate violence; states control what is seen as (in)propriate
Alternatives and obstacles to the state model
The largest and most widespread form of political organization was the empire (= A political
system that claims domination over both a central, directly administered territory and other
territories that it governs in other ways), all the different empires had a different way of ruling.
After this, colonialism (= A form of empire with a state at the Centre that controls other
territories as colonies) came up. America colonies were governed by specially tailored
governments, European colonies had great impact of religion.
Medieval Europe was influenced not only by competing claims of secular and religious rulers,
but also the social rules known as feudalism (= A social system of obligations in which
people provide labor, produce, or service to a lord in return of land and protection.)
Economic change led to creation of new centers of power known as city-states. A
combination of religious change, welfare and trade eventually produced a cleaner, territorially
based lines of authority. -> a result was the protestant uprising that broke political claims of
the catholic popes, kings used this to become more autonomous from rome.
A shift in military technology and economic developments led to bigger and stronger armies,
this led to replacing feudalism with direct rule by the monarchy. The rulers gained sovereign
power for all mater due to the treaty of Westphalia in 1648 (= The treaty that ended the thirty
years war, proclaiming each territorial ruler right to choose a religion for his or her people.)
A nation (= A group of people who share a cultural identity and think of themselves as a unit
that deserves to govern itself) is different than a state, because people in a nation can verify
one with another.
When states created nations (France, UK)
States created nations to encourage loyalty, repress rebellions, and more easily build armies,
collect taxes and administer the territory. These states became nation-states (= A political
model in which inhabitants of a sovereign state share a cultural identity) in which nationalism
became more important.
When nations created states (Germany, Japan)
When people regard themselves as separate from the governing state, they often become
nationalists (= Those who seek unity, recognition, and a distinct state for the members of a
When states were imposed over nations (S-America, Africa)
Colonial domination awakened nationalism in colonized countries, this led to decolonization
(= The rapid process form the 1940s to the 1960s when European states, the unites states
and japan surrendered control of their previous colonies, creating many new states)
Variations among nation-states
Different people created different state model, due to own political traditions, cultures and
States have categories on how the control of their territory is organized
1. unitary states (= A state in which only one level of government has irrevocable authority)
All the power is in the hands of the central government. (UK and Japan)
2. federal states (= A state in which power is shared between 2 levels of government with
irrevocable authority), the power is in the hands of a central government and lower levels of
government. (US and Canada)
Legal membership in a state is better known as citizenship (= Legal membership in a state,
typically giving full access to privileges available to other inhabitants), in states with strong
national identities, citizenship is based on jus sanguinis (Germany and Japan) (= Latin for
‘right of blood’ this principle gives citizenship to those related by blood to other citizens), this
has changed due to naturalization (= The process of acquiring citizenship in a state after
having citizenship in another state or country).
Citizenship can also be based on jus soli (UK and France) (= Latin for ‘right of soil’ this
principle awards citizenship to those born a state’s territory)
In failed states (=A country where the central government is entirely unable to control the
territory, resulting in chaos.) effective political authority is completely absent, Afghanistan is a
good example of a failed state.
New challenges to the nation-state model
We currently live in an era of globalization (= Rising flows of goods, services, money, people,
and ideas across borders), globalization drains power away from the state.
The principle of state sovereignty is that a state is recognized as supreme within its own
borders, no outsider can tell it what to do internally. However, there have been a growing
number of entities that judge how a state functions.
1) Human rights (= Rights that ostensibly apply to all people simply by virtue of being human)
Some of these rights are also described in international law (= A set of rules that states
generally accept as binding)
But the most pressure comes from international organizations (= Entities created by
agreements between states to manage international cooperation or undertake specific
tasks), such as UN, EU, WTO.
Political ideologies and the state
States formed as security organizations, and the protection of citizens has long been seen as
their first benefit. The main points of fascism, need for defence for external threats and
groups identity, are still being used nowadays, but then mostly by the conservatives.
In classical liberalism, the state is seen beneficial less for providing security than for
supporting individual rights and representation, supreme authority is needed to do so. A
single authority for territory also offers a framework for representation.
The combination of rights and representation as we know is better known as liberal
democracy. In the eyes of modern liberalism, the ideology is more optimistic about human
nature and progress, they agree that the focus on security, order and tight national identity
isin’t that important.
The state as a source of oppression and exclusion.
Each benefit of a state has a flip side. Sovereignty may generate areas where rights and
representation can be enforced, but it also creates space for other internal rules.
(See page 118, for a sophisticated table)
Explaining a case: The whys of Afghanistan’s struggle with statehood.
The rational material story;
The institutional story;
The ideational story;
There’s a problem with the material lay of the land;
geography, poverty, and security threats. It is also landlocked
and divided by mountains. They never developed an
integrated economy and society, due to constant intervening
by powerful neighboring countries.
There are weak central institutions and anti-state rules in
society. Traditional organization of leadership in clans further
impedes the state. There are no earlier foundations.
There are conflictual identities and ideas, both tribal identities
and religious doctrines oppose huge challenges to state
control. The most radical form of Islam has taken root in
afghan community.
Research on cross case as well as within case processes are important.
Chapter 5; Governments
Governments, Authority and Power
Government (= The organization of political authority within a state) consist of rules and
processes by which people gain authority to make collective decisions for a state.
Authority is power that claims legitimacy (= The perception of something as rightful and
appropriate, regardless of whether it is liked.), every government mixes claims to legitimate
authority with incentives to respect its power.
Leaders assert that autonomy is legit for 3 reasons.
1. Traditional legitimacy; is justified by historical myths, legends and long-standing practice.
2. Charismatic legitimacy; is justified by the magnetic appeal of a leader or her ideas.
3. Rational- legal legitimacy; is justified by rules that are presented as logical, systematic,
and evenly applied.
When citizens endorse a government for raw benefits, we say the government is upheld by
effectiveness (= The delivery of benefits that can convince citizens to support a regime no
matter how it is legitimized). It is how governments use force, not the raw amount, that tells
us whether or not it plays a distinct role in upholding a regime.
All governments rely on effectiveness and force, then, but relate them to legitimacy in
different ways. Effectiveness supports all sorts of regimes, and that is not a bad thing: all
citizens want their government to deliver tangible benefits. It is only problematic when
effectiveness compensates for weak legitimacy, buying complacency for an abusive regime.
Force can be a distinctive tool to support government power. Governments with strong
rational-legal legitimacy exert force but do not rely on it directly.
Governments choose from 5 options to maintain support;
1. Effectiveness
2. Force
3. Tradition
4. Charisma
5. Rational-legal process
In the enlightenment people thought more about equality, here the notion of rule of law (=
The principle that laws are systematically and neutrally applied, including to top political
leaders, and that law itself regulates how laws are made and changed) arose, rulers should
govern within the limits of reasonable processes.
Because of this, kings were pressured to agree to constitutions (= A fundamental document
that defines rights and processes to limit what government can do)
Liberal democracies
Better known as democracy (= A greek-based term for rule by the common people
combining the words demos (for the common people) and kratia (power or rule))
The origin on democracy can be found in direct democracy (= A little used political model in
which citizens participate directly in decision making.) When society grow and the romans
got the power representative democracy (= The much more common political model of
indirect democracy in which decisionmaking power lies with citizens elected representatives
also known as republicanism.
The 2 main qualities of elections are;
1. Participation (= In the context of representative democracy, the principle that the breadth
of eligibility to vote must be as broad as possible.)
2. Contestation (= In the context of representative democracy, the principle that more than
one candidate must compete seriously in elections for government office.)
How can government possibly ensure that electoral representation maintains all these
qualities? Rights
The widespread right to vote is better known as suffrage (= right to vote), this upholds the
participatory quality of representation. The social space behind the government is better
known as civil society (= Arenas of action in a country outside direct government influence,
such as associations, churches, business affair, media and artistic expression.)
Within electoral vote, there is a risk of tyranny of the majority (= The possibility that a
democratic majority could vote to harm minorities or political opponents.), only strong
commitments to rights keep elections from producing unstable or repressive outcomes.
The strength of liberal democracy is its powerful rational-legal logic, where they support the
common people. The weakness is it is (to) demanding that it can be difficult to sustain.
Illiberal democracies
(= A government in which leaders are selected in regular elections but liberal rights are not
strongly respected), these countries state that too much emphasis on rights and legal
process prevents government from delivering results.
Limited rights might make sense as short-term emergency measures, but become less
persuasive the longer leaders stay in power.
Singapore is a good example of an illiberal democracy, they have effective results, yet
combining it with authoritarian practices.
Democratic rhetoric, authoritarian actions; Russia
Russia is the most prominent case of an slippery slope hypocrisy. Putin has not made that
many sufficient progress within Russia, the people do love them because he seduces voters
with nationalism and person appeal.
Exceptional illiberal success: Singapore
Singapore has combined effective results, elements of law and fair process and a
government that permits little opposition.
In muslim countries, the population are more tended to vote for illebral governments, they
think to have some degree of openness, individual liberty and positive social change, it is
necessary to limit voter’s rights.
(= A form of government that claims unlimited authority and is not responsible in any
systematic way to citizens input)
The most extreme form of authoritarianism is known as totalitarianism (= The extreme form
of authoritarianism in which government extends its control to all aspects of citizens life),
governing without limits is different to governing without principles, the most authoritarian
regimes claim a more rightest belief then illiberal democracies.
There are 4 different kinds of authoritarianism
1) Monarchy; (= A form of authoritarianism that lodges authority in a hereditary ruler)
2) Theocracy ; (= A form of authoritarianism that lodges authority in religious officials)
3) One-party regime; (= A form of authoritarianism that lodges authority in a political party
that claims special ideological insight into good governance)
4) Dictatorship (= (= A form of authoritarianism that lodges authority in a single person, or
sometimes in the military overall, in the name of providing stability and security.
Authoritarian governments take a steeper and faster descent into hypocrisy then illiberal
democracy, as they depart from their proclaimed principles, the look to repression and other
tools to shore up support. The reality of the rule of authoritarian countries are different from
their principles.
Cult of personality (= The use of propaganda to create a god-like charismatic image around a
leader, often making absurd claims about her or his virtues and abilities) is used to play up
charismatic politics.
Kleptocracies (= A regime that transparently plunders it country, making no attempt to benefit
the population), like in congo.
See page 155
Political ideologies and liberal democracy
The main advantage of liberal democracy is freedom and the guarantee of fundamental
individual rights. So how could people reject/ disagree with liberal democracy?
The first main critique is that individual freedoms are undesirable, meaning can only been
found as part of a nation. The second critique is the rights protected by liberal democracies
are just a cover from the rich to control the economy. The Islamic attack on liberal democracy
states that the freedom is oppressive, tempting weak individuals into a existence unmoored
from god’s guidance.
The mainstream critiques
1) money skews its system of representation and rights; the rich will influence the electoral
2) There is a big call for stronger common identity and patriotic duty to the nation.
Explaining a case: understanding the whys of Chinese authoritarianism
The rational-material story
The institutional story
The ideational story
Political regimes reflect the underlying distribution of material
resources in a society, above all wealth. In China the
communists took over a poor economy with no strong
business class to oppose them. The government made China
very attractive for foreign investments, which gave economic
growth. So their material interests align with maintaining the
status quo.
In China there have not been strong organizations, to build
up beyond the central state, therefore a decentralized system
like democracy wont work in China. So unless organizations
are able to develop autonomy from the central state, the CCP
will remain in power.
Since the Chinese culture is built op on the thinking of
Confucius, there is only little emphasize on individual rights
and more on the value of a stable, orderly community.
Chapter 6; Individual participation and collective action
The many forms of individual participation and collective action
Political actions try to send messages to decision makers in government, but some don’t
participate, these people fall into apathy (= A state of indifference and inactivity).
A table of ways of civil disobedience (= The peaceful but explicit refusal to respect laws or
rules) is shown on page 168.
Sorts of political action;
1) Individual expression; low intensity kind, they are trying to build and mobilize political
coalitions. Difference from country to country on what is acceptable.
2) Collective action (voting & joining) ; voting is an action of collective voting. You have to be
a collective to engage in political action. This raises collective-action problems (= A situation
in which successful depends on the involvement of multiple people, but rational individuals
would not see sufficient incentives to join in.
The contrast of one single vote won’t affect the entire outcome is known as Downs paradox
(= The idea that the cost of voting in individual’s time usually exceeds the likely benefits,
since a single vote rarely affects the outcome). There are some countries that incentivize to
vote, here the turnout (= the percentage of potential voters who actually vote in an election)
is high.
Within collective action there is also the free rider problem (= The category of collectiveaction problems in which individuals would prefer to let someone else do the work to obtain a
collective benefit.), this problem is often been offered by selective incentives (= Any
individually targeted benefit that attempts to resolve collective-action problems.)
3) Collective action (activists & political professionals);
Activists volunteer for significant positions in politically involved organizations and play a key
role in politics, activists that criticize strong regimes are called dissidents (=Someone who
opposes a political system or policy, usually in an authoritarian context where such
opposition is not permitted)
Social movements (= Short- or medium- term public campaigns that aim to achieve collective
goals), sometimes mushroom into a cycles of protest (= When small initial protests embolden
other people to join them or imitate them elsewhere)
Political professionals;
Employers’ organizations (= Associations that represent owners or managers of for-profit
businesses) and unons (= Associations that represent employees)are good examples of
societal input to the state.
4) collective action (rebels, revolutionaries and terrorists);
Rebels are people who take up arms against the government, they make a huge selfsacrifice
Revolutionaries are rebels with a new kind of government in mind, it can be a powerful tool
for collective action.
Terrorist is the use of violence to terrorize an opponent rather than trying to defeat them
military. Noncombats (= The legal term for civilians not taking part in an armed conflict) are
often the target or terrorists, to pressure governments and causing fear under the population.
National patterns in individual participation and collective action
Unites States;
The United States is losing its social capital (= A resource gained from making social
connections to other people in society) of a connected, participating citizenry.
The main cause of the decline in participation and collective action is technology -> the
process of individualizing, but the generation of the millennials are more civic-minded,
tolerant and have a can-do attitude. The us citizens don’t have a pro-protest attitude, mostly
due to the great depression.
France; French government is one of the more centralized liberal democracies. Membership
in politically engaged groups is lower than the US tho. France stands out because the
population is more included in bursts of radical process.
China; Everything is subject to government (cubs, organizations and internet). Business
wealth often influences public decision making in blatantly corrupt ways. Petitioning (= In
China, an ancient practice in which citizens bring complaints or demands to the attention of
central authorities.) is done through China’s own sina (fb en tw).
Political ideologies and participation
For classical liberals, individuals should be seen as autonomous persons who each have a
particular mix of interests and concerns that well up inside them. Each person should follow
their bliss as long as they don’t hurt other in doing so. Conservatives and modern liberals
agree with this but are slightly awkward with a vision of participating purely based on selfinterest.
A healthy society is one in which responsible people mobilize to build and preserve a certain
kind of enriching civil society that reinforces tradition families, religious institutions, and other
pillars of a stable lifestyle. -> limit choice. A good individual does not just participate by doing
whatever he or she wants, but also strives to respect and support these collective goals.
Within the communitarian point of view, motivations for political participation come more from
out attachments to community, collective norms, and identity than from separate individual
concerns. We should focus on developing and strengthening our communities, norms and
For convinced socialists, meaningful political participation must target the whole system of
economy and government.
Islamism defines the community, the individual and his or her political motivations and
Fascism is the most communitarian ideology, they think people should not only be
encouraged but forced, if necessary, to celebrate and contribute to national strength and
Explaining a case: understanding the whys of low voter turnout in the United States
The rational-material story
The institutional story
The ideational story
The US economy has high levels of inequality, and since the
likelihood of voting is highly correlated with wealth. So for
poorer people the relative costs of taking time out is high,
therefore they don’t vote.
In the US the people have to register to vote, this is
combination the voting day usually in a midweek, is an
explanation for the low outcome.
Antigovernment political sentiment is better developed in the
US then other countries, encouraging many citizens to see
government as inherently bad.
Chapter 13; Globalization and governance
The changing international political economy
Globalization (= Rising flows of goods, services, money, people, and ideas across boarders)
began to rise after WO2. 3 main contrast from the first (before WW1) and second (after
WO2) era of globalization are;
1. Trade; growth in international trade.
2. Foreign direct investments; expansion in direct investment across borders
3. Globalized money; globalization of financial markets
Further explained:
Trade has become more and more important in our economy. Trade-to-GDP ration (= The
sum of exports and imports as a proportion of a whole economy) is important to see the
impact of trade. Northern countries had more trade and profit due to higher value-added (=
The worth that a production process adds to its materials; steel has more ‘value added’ than
iron ore and thus sells for a higher price) products, this was also the reason these countries
had trade surplus (= When a country exports more than it imports , the trade surplus is the
Since economics became more important on national levels, it also become more important
in politics, this encouraged an inward focus and a sense of national control.
When the countries began to develop more, the got a trade deficit (= When a country imports
more than it exports, the trade deficit is the difference)
Foreign direct investment and outsourcing
Trade between national economies is stimulated by foreign direct investment (= When
foreigners own or fund businesses inside a country). This was also already done in the past
by multinational corporations (= MNCs, A business with significant operations in more than
one country). After the cold war etc, more cheap labor became available, due to which the
FDI shifter even more, and rich countries became more powerful.
Globalized money
Global flows of money grew, due to the increase in trade abroad, and different currency’s.
The increase of volatility (= The rate and degree of fluctuation in a market) was also
important, this was low for a few decades after WO 2 due to set exchange rate (= The cost of
one currency in terms of another, such as the number of Japanese yen and us dollar),
floating rates made the market more volatile.
International law and organizations
International law has its origins in the mutual self-interest of competing groups to set some
limits on their rivalries. Diplomatic immunity (= A status that protects diplomats from
mistreating or prosecution in other countries) has been around a long time, before this
immunity they had bilateral treaty (= A legal agreement between two (and only two)
countries). By time international law became more multilateral (= A legal agreement
between more than 2 countries).
The GATT and later NAVO agreed on diffuse reciprocity (= The practice of agreeing to
broad, general cooperation over time, placing less importance on highly detailed
commitments.), due this every trade privilege will be extended to every country.
The UN is a good example of an international nongovernmental organization (INGO) (=
Private, non-profit organizations with operations across multiple countries) which can be
under divided in a general assembly (= The main assembly of the united nations, it lack
major parties) and the UN security council (= The UN’s center of power, with ten rotating
members and 5 permanent members) these permanent member has the VETO right. This
global organization is important to solve international conflicts and worldwide governance.
There are different regional organizations, these can build on a political, but also economical
level an important example of an economical one is a customs union (= A preferential trading
arrangements that erases tariffs between its members and adopts common tariffs vis a vis
other countries). An example that included money is common markets (= A customs union
that also adopts some shared economic regulations across its members). The EU is different
than the states due to bigger differences in institutions, culture and politics.
Globalization’s effects at home
Machines have altered the jobs available to lower-skilled people more than global trade and
FDI. Globalization has reinforced technological trends by transferring many remaining low- or
semiskilled jobs to developing countries. Globalization contributes in enabling money,
investments and production processes to flow more freely around the world, it has increased
the profits available to those with money.
Globalization has sharpened economic divergences between relative winners and losers in
developed countries. Because the richer often have a higher level of education, stronger
marketable skills and more major resources.
To capture benefits from foreign investments and trade political stability, limits to corruption
and well-chosen investments are important.
Globalization may constrain national policies and so make citizens less able to choose their
own faits. On the other hand, openness and international coordination may empower national
democracies to obtain results they cannot reach alone.
After the great depression, and the war, many drew the conclusion that democracies should
seek to bind all countries into openness, human rights and international cooperation. The
cost would be to constrain themselves and the range of choices offered to their citizens. But
the benefit would be to press other countries to open themselves up and play with
international rules, another benefit was to empower democracies to resist their own internal
Political ideologies and globalization
The normative case of globalization is about the benefits of openness for all individuals.
Openness is also good for us, because of the stimulation of competition that makes us more
productive. Globalization can mostly find its roots in liberalism.
For socialists, the flaw in cl-liberalism faith in openness lies in a naïve view of regulated
economic, social and political interaction as equal and fair. It only brings opportunity to those
who are positioned to take it, it brings new treats of being dominated.
Obama and Clinton their view of globalization is better knowns as goldilocks, which includes
domestic investments to support education and economic opportunities for the
disadvantaged – ideally maintaining openness but helping all citizens to compete within it –
as well as international agreements to raise environmental standards worldwide.
Globalization benefits and costs p.477
Explaining a case: uncovering the whys of US government support of free trade
The rational-material story Most Americans are well-positioned in the overall material
landscape of the global economy to benefit from free trade.
The institutional story
Two features of US institutions empower free trade
advocates. The strength of congress in policy making creates
many opportunities for business lobbies to influence trade
policy, and the lack of legal limits on giving money to
politicians campaigns allows big businesses to make sure
that the government remains committed to free trade whether
or not it is good for the population overall.
The ideational story
Capitalism and free markets are celebrated especially
strongly in American society, especially within the political
and business elite.
Chapter 7: Inside liberal democracy 1; representation
Alternative principles of representation
The three contrasting principles of representation are;
1. Majoritarian principle (= The principle that a group’s representatives should be those who
receive the broadest support among the group), it does not need a majority but a plurality (=
The largest number of votes cast, whether or not it is a majority.
2. Proportional representation (= The principle that a group’s representatives should
proportionally speak for diverse views within the group)
3. Descriptive representation (= The principle that a group’s representatives should
proportionally reflect racial, ethnic, gender and other kinds of diversity within the group.
Voting rules: how citizens choose
The majoritarian option is known as single member plurality (SMP) (= Majoritarian voting
rules in which individual candidates compete to win the most votes for a single seat
representing a district.) this is used in the US, Canada, India etc. It rewards the loudest
voices with overrepresentation (= A situation when a group receives more offices than its
population share suggests, sometimes called disproportionally.)
The proportional option is known as proportional representation (PR) (= Voting rules in which
parties are assigned the same share of offices that they win in votes.) With the PR system,
to representatives speak out of national interest, however with SMP every district has their
own representative, which can lead to pork-barrel politics (= The practice of securing
government spending for an official’s constituency without considering goals of desirable
2 examples that can tweak an SMP model to temper its winner-take-all qualities;
1. Two round system (= A modified version of SMP voting rules, also known as a runoff
system) here if no candidate receives an outright majority of 50%, they have to compete in a
second vote. (France)
2. Alternative vote (AV) (= A modification of an SMP system where voters rank candidates in
order of preference.) (Australia)
PR can also be modified to diminish risks of fragmentation by the threshold rule (= Under PR
voting systems, a rule that parties receive a share of seats only if they receive more than a
certain percentage of votes, typically from 2 to 10 %.) (Israel)
There is a possibility to combine these systems; mixed-member systems (= Voting rules in
which some seats are won under SMP rules and some seats are won under PR rules)
There are voting rules which to mix descriptive representation, there are gender quotas (=
Rules that incentivize or require that a certain portion of candidates or elected officials be
woman.) In SMP it’s also possible to engineer descriptive racial or ethnic representation by
gerrymandering (= Within SMP systems, this term means the redrawing of electoral districts
to capture certain kinds of voters.)
Political parties; intermediaries of representation
4 major services that organizations render to democratic representation
1. Aggregating interests; see what is most important in society and providing representatives
to appeal to them.
2. Packaging and branding voter’s options; specific brand or core commitments of a party.
3. Mobilizing citizens and recruiting leaders; prod citizens to vote, develop political views and
get off the couch in general.
4. Giving direction and coherence to government; hold groups of representatives together
around common agendas.
Among US parties, the concern is mostly about the use of closed party primaries (= Elections
to select candidates for a party in which only registered party members can vote.), the
problem is that the party base (= Voters who are most strongly committed to a party) turns
out in the greatest numbers to vote in such primaries.
Duverger’s law (= The observation that SMP rules encourage two-party systems, since they
favor large parties, and that PR rules encourage multiparty systems.)
There are 3 major configurations of party systems;
1. Dominant- party systems; one party manages to stay in government in election after
election. (S-Africa)
2. Two-party systems; 2 large contending states (US)
3. Multiparty systems; at least 5 or 6 parties play significant roles in representation.
(Germany, the Netherlands)
Several interlocking reasons about the fact that the 2 main parties in the US more act like
1. Voting rules; the difference between the PR and SMP system leads to different interests.
2. Candidate selection; ˆ
3. Campaign finance; the parties mostly collect the money.
Elected offices: executives and legislators in the presidential model
In all democracies, candidates for representation compete to win 2 kinds of elected offices;
executive (= A government’s leading officers with responsibility for setting a policy agenda,
making immediate decisions, and implementing politics.) and legislative (= Representatives
in an assembly, or legislature, who propose, debate, amend and approve laws.)
The separate-channels model is known as presidentialism (US) and single-channel model is
known as parliamentarism.
The presidential model (separation of power);
Behind the presidency stand the separation of powers (= The principle that branches of
government hold separate authority, keeping each other from abusing their power.) by
creating several poles of power, each with a legitimate claim to power, abusive government
becomes less likely. This creates a variety of checks and balances (= More specific powers
assigned to separate branches of government to allow them to prevent each other’s abuses.)
Some governments have 2 house (bicameral) and 1 house (unicameral) systems (= These
terms refer respectively to legislatures consisting of two houses (-bi) or one (-uni).)
Presidentialism (principles of representation)
The American norm is divided government (= A situation in a separation -of- powers system
in which representative branches of government are controlled by different parties.)
The case for presidential representation;
- Only broadly represented policies get past the checks and balances; the key
advantage lay in its separation and balance between legislature and executive.
Representation has a unifying national face; a chief elected by its citizens plays a
powerful symbolic role, it gives a personal connection to their leader.
Clear leadership on a predictable timetable provides stability; the relative prediction of
the winner, may foster stability, it avoids ambiguous power-sharing arrangements.
Voters are consulted frequently and in varied ways; it offers frequent opportunities for
representation, they can for example use split ticket voting (= Giving votes to
members of different parties in the same election.)
Elected offices; executives and legislators in the parliamentary model
The parliamentary model is built on the fusion of powers (= The organizing principle of
parliamentary government, in which the executive depends directly on the support of a
legislative majority.) The real authority of elected offices in parliamentary models lies with the
prime minister, they are chosen by the lower house majority, the ‘president’ in parliamentary
democracies purely has a symbolic task.
Most parliamentary governments are formed by a coalition government (= A government in a
parliamentary system in which the prime minister and cabinet depend on the support of more
than one party in the legislature to form a majority.)
4 dynamics of parliamentary government;
1. The vote of no confidence; (= A vote by a legislative majority to withdraw its support from
the executive in a parliamentary system.)
2. Changing executives without an election; a party can always change its prime minister
3. Snap election; Snap elections can be called by executive to dissolve the legislature (= The
act of the head of a parliamentary system to deliberately resign, requiring all legislators to
resign as well, and a new election to be held.)
4. An irregular electoral calendar; the future timing of elections can be unpredictable.
Parliamentarism and principles of representation
Within a parliamentary system, the leaders are usually made out of several parties, this gives
minorities a bigger voice, since they can be in the government then as well.
The case for parliamentary representation
- The connection to voters is simple and clear; citizens know where to focus their
attention, since there is only one major channel of representation.
Representatives can deliver on their promises; it is easier for a single channel of
authority to deliver their promises.
Disagreements lead to bargaining, not impasses; they have to bargain to form a
coalition, else there will be new elections.
Parliamentarism adapts to changing societies; The people choose and the parliament
has to adapt to the outcomes.
Adaptability has special appeal for divided societies
The executive’s independence with the legislature can bring instability. If there are too many
parties, or if parties cannot maintain agreement on a coalition, votes of no confidence or
dissolutions can become frequent.
A combination of both these models is known as semi presidentialism (= A democratic
institutional model with both a directly elected president and a prime minister who is
responsible to a legislative majority.) (France).
Political ideologies and the design of representation
Fascists, devout socialists, and islamists are skeptical about electoral representation overall.
Environmentalists is sympathetic, but does not carry a distinctive message about how
representation should be shaped.
Explaining a case; understanding the whys of Iraqi Sunnis and representation (p.234)
The rational-material story We can explain sunni attitudes as a response to raw threats
and competition for material resources. Sunnis are also afraid
that they are being cut of from the oil reserves by the majority
run Iraq by shi’as. Sunnis insist more on proportional
representation and other Nona majoritarian rules than
minorities in less threated positions elsewhere.
The institutional story
The deepest problems for Sunnis lies in the weak
infrastructure within the Iraqi institutions established to
protect rights and the rule of the law. So having better
protected rights and a strong leadership might make them
more willing to step toward majoritarianism.
The ideational story
The Shi’a and Sunnis believes clash and makes them
separate. They might still want proportional representation
because they see themselves fundamentally distinct from
other Iraqis.
Chapter 12; Political violence: war and terrorism
The rise (and fall) of major war
War; sustained, organize violence between groups
Technological changes over the past decades encouraged the rise of much larger armier that
drew more on lower-class troops. -> expansion with arrival of gunpower.
After French revolution (against the monarchy) many European leaders were afraid of
revolution so they implied conscription (= A requirements that all young men serve in the
military, sometimes called ‘the draft’)
After world war 2 it came to a standoff between the US and USSR. The shift of the world
went from
multipolar The term for an international system with multiple major centers of power
Bipolar The term for an international system with 2 centers of power that surpass all
This resulted in the cold war. During the cold war both sides used nuclear weapons for
deterrence (= The use of threats to deter another party from attacking) and they entered a
state of Mutually assured destruction MAD (= A situation of successful deterrence in which
adversaries cannot strike without being destroyed in return.) After the cuba missle crisis, the
world fell into a proxy war (= Wars fought through representatives or ‘proxies’ rather than
between the main antagonists.)
US and USSR after the cold war both fought against the opposite ideology -> their opposition
were guerilla warfare (= Irregular warfare that uses highly mobile, surprise-based tactics like
ambushes and sabotage.) The bipolar are ended with the collapse of USSR in 1991. After
the collapse of the USSR Russia turned pro-capitalist and many said that the new era was
known as unipolar (= This term describes an international system with one state that is so
dominant that no other state or combination of states can truly threaten it.)
There are 3 connections that have drawn great power into post- cold war conflicts.
1. Humanitarian crisis (= situations in which the safety or health of large populations are
threatened.) e.g. Rwanda, Darfur, Libya.
2. local conflicts over resources, religion or ethnicity can threaten what great power perceive
as their interests in either economic or security terms. (gulf wars)
3. the instability of some developing countries emerged in a way that threated the great
The age of terrorism
Terrorism (= Politically motivated violence that aims to terrorize an opponent rather than
trying to defeat them militarily), most radical people are anarchists (= A political philosophy
that calls for erasing government or reducing it to a very small scale.)
There are 3 main events that cemented the ties between radical islam and terror;
1. The soviet invasion of Afghanistan
2. The Iranian revolution
3. The terrorists attacks of October 1983
Rest is about 9/11 and fact that terrorism is only small fraction of deaths but people are afraid
either way.
The roots of international violence
The roots of international violence can be under divided in The psychology of human nature,
political institutions, ideas and culture.
1. When we look at the human nature and violent conflict, the security dilemma (= The
common problem that one group’s defensive moves are seen by others as preparation for an
attack) plays. (upcoming conflict us and china)
2. Another explanation is to see the oppressive regimes as the reason for war and terrorism.
-> democratic peace (= The observation that no 2 democracies have ever fought a war with
each other.), because within democracies their hands are tied due to the rule of law.
3. Patterns of violence can are rooted in cultural beliefs and ideas.
4. a final view traces the roots to the basic structure of international relations itself.
International violence differs from culture, one example is realism (= The theory that
international relations is always dominated by an anarchical conflict between states) this view
states that international violence is inevitable, this also has to do with the balance of power
(= The distribution of military capability around the world, which realists see as shaping how
states act in any given era.) -> realists see this as the main reason for the 2 world wars.
There is a way for a unipolar system to keep peace -> hegemon (= A state that becomes so
powerful that it dominates the world), the salience of international terrorism is largely a
consequence of unipolar dominance. See page 429 for alterntive expl of political violence.
Political ideologies and international violence
Treats of violence can be interpreted as
1. see people as culturally bent (suicide bombers)
2. inevitable parts of our world.
Support for standards of just war tend to be built on beliefs about the potential for progress in
human societies, this hope for progress is the leads modern liberalists and social democrats
to advocate for government action that is roughly the opposite of what conservatives tend to
Explaining a case: Understanding the whys of the 2003 invasion of Iraq (p. 438)
The rational material story
The institutional story
The ideational story
The psychological story
It reflected the importance of oil in the international balance of
power, the US depends on the Iraqi oil big time.
Due to the electoral system of the US, Bush became
president and since he is republican, he was for the war
against Iraq. There is also always a tension between
democratic US and authoritarian Iraq.
The triumph of neo-conservative ideology, which stated that
Iraq should be rebuild in the US format.
Bush and govt were eager themselves to fight again Hussein.
Chapter 8: Inside liberal democracy 2; power & policymaking
Executives and legislators in policymaking
Citizens make certain demands and the government makes policies (= Series of decisions
that establish goals and patterns of government action in an issue area.) to respond.
Policymaking begins with a formulation stage, in which officials identify goals or problems
and propose new laws, regulations, or action. Policy making ends with the implementation
stage, in which officials put the policy into practice.
The role of the legislature is in the middle, since not every policy has to pass through lega
ground. It is possible to use a vote of no confidence, which happens when a legislature
withdraws support and forces a prime minister to resign. -> this happens very rarely since
then people have to run for reelection and it could cost you your job.
Within the parliamentary system it is possible for the legislature to unseat the executive and
is subject legislation to executive veto (= The ability to block a law or decision, like a
president’s refusal to sign a bill passed by the legislature in a presidential system).
The presidential system gives legislatures autonomy, they also have their own separate
electoral bases.
A legislature ability to stand up to the executive depends on 3 things, if legislative leaders
control the legislature’s agenda, has strong internal committees, and if individual legislators
hold substantial resources in staff and budgets, then legislatures can make policy.
The most obvious condition is agenda control (= In legislatures, the power to schedule what
will be debated or voted on and when.)
Unelected policy experts: the power of bureaucrats
Bureaucracy(= A hierarchical organization of salaried professionals that apply systematic
rules to accomplish tasks.) is used by executives to help formulate and implement policies.
4 key elements of bureaucracy;
1. Knowledge-based recruitment; through schools and examinations
2. Salaried professionals; a fixe salary
3. Systematic procedures; impersonal application of rules to discourage uncertainty and
4. Hierarchy; lower level units report up a chain of command
The normal relation between bureaucrats and politicians is that politicians call the shots and
bureaucrats provide technical support. But in reality this differs, bureaucrats can use their
expertise to shape how politicians perceive policy options, and thereby change the choice of
politicians as well.
Informed bureaucrats often have to deal with ill-informed politicians, since bureaucrats keep
the same position over a lifetime they gain more knowledge than switching politicians, even
though the politicians are the bosses of the bureaucrats.
In Europe and Japan have a tradition of civil service (= Nonmilitary career professionals
employed by government, classically with guarantees of neutrality from party politics.) while
the US is more focused on the libertarian sector. -> this also caused patronage (= The
allocation of government jobs as rewards for political support.)
Within several countries politicization (= The selection of promotion in civil service to
bureaucratic posts due to political views rather than merit or seniority.) is a big issue,
because of this people are able to push their political agenda through, by employing likeminded people.
Unelected legal experts: the power of judges
The rule of law should not be like the us system, in which judges are being elected by the
public, since the authority of law than depends on whether people like them.
In the US, outcomes are also partly based on precedent (= A court ruling that suggests how
laws should be applied to subsequent cases.) , this precedent is part of the common law (=
The legal system that casts judges as impartial interpreters of unsystematic laws, ruling
substantially be precedent.), it is less common across liberal democracies than code law (=
The legal system that attempts to create more systematic laws and regulations and leaves
less interpretation to judges.)
Judges in common law (UK, US, Canada (commonwealth countries)
The origin came from the written down of outcomes of older cases, starting long before
modern society. These explicit laws together created a statue law (= Formal laws passed
through legislation.) -> later additions were the constitutional law (= Formal laws included in
constitutions.) -> which designated administrative law (= Regulations within a statutory
framework that specify how government agencies act and implement policies.) p. 263
Key features;
- Case-based rulings; all rules are understood as fundamentally incomplete, therefore
judges have to look at judicial rulings in similar cases.
- An emphasis on precedent; Judges can reinterpret or modify previous rulings in the
light of new circumstances.
- Judges as arbiters in an adversarial system; the decision is often made by a jury, and
judges can be seen as impartial referees.
- Judges as deeply independent from the state; judges in higher levels are chosen for a
life time therefore they are independent from the state and political pressure.
Judges in code law (Europe mostly)
Code law systems craft more systematic, comprehensive laws that leave less to
interpretation. They shift influence to bureaucrats or politicians who draft
comprehensive statutes and detailed regulations that leave judges less room for
Key features;
Comprehensive lawmaking: statutes and regulations are as comprehensive and
detailed as possible.
Judges apply the code more than precedent; the role of judges is to know the details
of the law and apply them, since the code of law is regarded as comprehensive.
Judges in an inquisitorial role for the state; judges are state officials charged with
finding the truth, the judges play a way smaller role than in the common law system.
And there often is a jury but they deliberate with and not separate with the judges.
The jury only decides whether the evidence adds up to guilt or innocence.
Judges as semi-bureaucrats; judges in the code law normally work for the
In terms of policies, code law judges have much less opportunity to alter anything
through their decisions. They rarely shape policy as much as common law judges.
Judges are called to resolve political uncertainties through the judicial review (= The
ability of judges to question the constitutionality of statutes or regulations and to void
them in the event of contradictions.) in countries with a parliamentary sovereignty (= The
principle that all fundamental authority flow from parliament, implying that judges cannot
overturn parliamentary statutes.) there is a less ambiguity in politics.
There are 2 major model of judicial review:
1.Supreme court in the US model;
The supreme court is the first invented judicial review.
Key features;
- A process of concrete review; the judge’s task is to rule on concrete cases, but along
the way she or he may find that statutes or regulation must be struck down or
changed to resolve contradictions with constitutional rights in this case.
- Review within all courts; judicial review within a case ruling is allowed in all US courts.
- Supreme judges set their own agenda: the supreme court chooses itself which cases
they want to address.
2. Constitutional courts in the European model;
The came in place because of a new commitment to rights and decentralized power.
Key features;
- A process of abstract review; statutes can be reviewed before their enactment, its
abstract because it takes place before the law has attracted any concrete objections
in a real case.
- Review in a specialized constitutional court; special courts to decide on the
constitutionality of laws.
- An agenda set by politicians; the review of the constitutionality of laws can be
requested by executive, leaders or substantial groups in the legislature.
A combination of common law and complex political institutions tends to produce the
most powerful judges.
American political ideologies and unelected authority
The idea of bureaucracy and the plus-minus points of it still differ from country to country.
The danger of bureaucracy is the key theme of American conservatism, they are skeptical
about the technical expertise in policymaking in general. Americans on the right and left
accept that unelected officials help make policymaking more stable and far-sighted.
Rest is bullshit blabla p.277
Explaining a case: uncovering the whys of the weak American bureaucracy p.278
The rational-material story
The institutional story
The ideational story
Strong bureaucracies arise in countries where populations
face strong pressures for coordinated central action against
major treats or policy challenges. The US had an opposite
situation due to early material conditions in which the scream
for bureaucracy wasn’t that high.
The today’s weak bureaucracy is seen as a direct legacy of
the early US institutions. And higher education was focused
on channeling people away from bureaucracy.
America’s founders believed in limiting central government.
Americans accept judicial authority, because it focuses
mainly on arbitrating political battles that have developed
among citizens or elected officials.
Chapter 9; Political economies
Nuts and bolts of economies
Wealth of countries is measured in gross domestic product (= The total value of goods and
services produced in a country.), to get an accurate look at it we have to calculate the GDP
per capita (= The most common measure of average wealth, calculated by dividing GDP by
population.) Variation in the main sources of wealth is commonly described in terms of
industrialization (= The adoption of modes of production include mechanized technology and
the separation of jobs into specific roles for each step in a production process.) in this the
division of labor (= The specialization of roles in a economy.) is also very important.
The most common measure of inequality is gini index (= The most widely used measure of
There are different kinds of economy, the most common distinction is between market
economy and command economy. A market economy (= An economic system based on
private property where people can freely exchange goods and services.) is also known as
free markets. Within these markets there was a comparative advantage (= Whatever a
person can produce relatively more efficiently than other people.) also known as the invisible
The command economy (= A system in which government authorities dictate the production
and distribution of goods and services.) also known as planned economies. In principle this
system saves people from the uncertainty and potential for inequality in a market. Command
economy is often described to as a socialist system (= A system where government owns
most or all economic activities, with little private property.)
In the real world, there currently isn’t a world economy that comes to close to the two above
described economies. Economies resulting from the market economy normally take a
laissez-faire (= Let them do what they want, a synonym for unregulated markets.) stance.
We currently live in a world of mixed economies (= An economy that combines market
capitalism with various kinds of government policies that shape the market.)
The varying political shape of mixed economies
The US is seen as the most market friendly country in the world. The labor market (= Parts of
the economy in which employers hire (and perhaps fire) employees. Yet collective bargaining
(= The process of determining pay or other conditions of work in negotiations between
representatives of workers and representatives of employers.) is not as developed in the US
as in other developed countries.
The US also counteracts the market by redistribution (= The transfer of income from richer
people to poorer people, classically through government programs.) such redistributive
programs are better known as welfare state (= The set of policies that redistribute wealth
from rich to poor in market capitalist systems.)
Germany is often referred to as a social market economy (= A mix of market capitalism with
policies and institutions that help disadvantaged people in the market.) The taxes in
Germany are higher than the US, they have slightly more regressive- ( progressive taxes =
Taxes are progressive when richer people pay a higher proportion of their income and
regressive when poorer people pay a higher proportion of their income.)
German employers and employee interact in a system of codetermination (= A system in
which workers have a say in company management.) On the contrary with the us, german
economy doesn’t rely on stock markets but mostly on big loans from big banks.
Malaysia’s economy is different to the one of Germany and the US. It undertakes commanmarket forms of intervention (planning, regulation) with a mix of intensively market-capitalist
policies. The redistribution and gini index of Malaysia is close to the results of the US. The
Malaysian government mostly is focusing on the strengthening of the private market, they do
this by channeling favorable loans, tax incentives and infrastructural support. See table on
Political ideologies and political economies
When we talk about markets as naturally good, we can trace these arguments back to
classical liberalism. Markets are the naturally rational, efficient, and liberty-enhancing way to
organize societies.
Critique against the markets normally come from a Marxist perspective. Taking the surplus
value of labors, is like stealing.
Whether they think markets are good or bad, they agree that markets are the same
everywhere. See table p.308.
Explaining a case: uncovering the whys of German redistribution
The ration-material case
Germany industrialized very late, therefore
it felt huge competitive pressure from it
neighbors to catch up. West German
leaders saw powerful reasons to buy the
population’s support with redistributive
The Institutional case
Due to a combination of political
decentralization and strong societal
organization, Germany developed a strong
societal organization. On which
redistribution was a key aspect.
The Ideational case
The main cause of redistribution in a
political culture that has long emphasized
stability, social order and national solidarity.
Their first priority often also was an orderly
national community.
Chapter 10: Economic development and growth
Basics of market-based growth
Economic growth (= Expansion in the volume of goods and services exchanged in an
economy.) people like economic growth, since this brings wealth and wealth brings power.
There also is economic development (= Processes of reorganization in poorer societies that
create the conditions for sustained economic growth.) is a broader process in the historical
background to growth.
Therefore a country where ongoing reorganization takes place is better known as a
developing country (/developed= Labels commonly attached to poor or middle-income
countries on the one hand and rich countries on the other.) Since most countries were mostly
focused on economic development, it devalued the other aspects of life. Human
development (= A concept that sets wealth as one criterion alongside others like health and
education as measures of social progress.)
Any business draws support from the following features in the surrounding economy:
- Political and legal stability; it is more beneficial for a business to have a safe and
stable political and legal environment.
- Clear property rights; legal guarantees of ownership that make market exchange
possible in a fundamental way. This is also possible in an intellectual property rights
(= Ownership rules for creative products such as books, music or inventions.)
- Some government-provided infrastructure and basic services; infrastructure,
education, health policies developed by government are important for a stable
- Sound money; an stable level of inflation (= A general rise in prices, which means a
drop in the value of money.)
- Investment: there has to be access to capital (= Another word for money, often used
with respect to government.)
- Some openness to the world; there must be a possibility for international trade,and
the country has to be open for other countries.
p.322 for table.
There are also some common problems in economic policy, for example unemployment.
When economic activity slows down and jobs become scarcer the unemployment rate (= The
percentage of the population seeking a job but unable to find one) rises.
When unemployment rises, governments most common policy is to pump extra money into
the economy, these steps are called economic stimulus (= Government action to inject
money into a weak economy.), this is based on the keynian model, and it knows 2 forms.
1. Fiscal policy (= Policies of government budgets, including revenue (taxes) and
government spending.)
2. Monetary policy (= Policies that affect the availability of money, like when the central bank
raises or lowers the interest rates it charges to private banks.), of which the key tool is
interest rates (= The additional amount of money a borrower must pay back in addition to the
borrowed sum. Interests rates set the price of borrowing money.)
Another problem is inflation, inflation is just as dangerous as unemployment, because of the
devalue of money. In the worst case it is known as hyperinflation (= Extreme drops in the
value of money, which are devastating for an economy.) A less dramatic version of this
problem can arise when governments run deficits (= The shortfall in a budget when an
organization spends more than it takes.)
Monetary policy is the most common tool to cool down inflation. Because it helps to take
money out of the economy. These solutions are also being called austerity (= Policies that
cut government spending severely) on a rare occasion, stagflation (= A rare conditions of
simultaneous slow growth ( and so unemployment) and inflation.) occurs as well, since it
sometimes can be hard for the government to find a moderate way between these 2.
Another problem is better known as rent-seeking and stagnation, markets can fall into
stagnation due to insufficient competition. Competition takes care for efficiency and
innovation. The pursuit for anticompetitive advantages are also known as rent-seeking (= In
economist lingo, any excess payment beyond a reasonable compensation for contributions
to production.) rent here means any payment not related to productive processes.
The classic government response to the problem of rent-seeking is to encourage more
competition, this way is also called liberalization (= Policies that encourage market
competition in an economy.), this often accompanied by privatization (= selling of
government assets or activities to private owners.) another tool is competition policy (=
Policies that prevent businesses from avoiding competition, such as the breaking up of
Another problem is known as distributional problems, people want wealth for themselves, not
for the society as a whole. But when wealth grows, offshoring (= Relocation of a business
practice from one country to another.) occurs -> this also causes brain drain (= The
departure of talented people from a location to places with better opportunities.) which is
quite problematic from developing countries. Also common in poorer regions are infant
industry problems (= Challenges relating to creating new firms under pressure from more
experienced competition elsewhere.)
The solutions for distributional problems are protectionism (= any policy that provides
advantages to local business over outside competitors e.g. tariffs.), but some governments
also take an industrial policy (= Policies that actively seek to strengthen particular local or
national industries or firms.)
Development: alternative pathways from poverty
3 different kinds of development advice
1. Washington consensus (= The open-market package of advice for developing countries
formulated in the 1980s by the international monetary fund, the world bank and US
This consensus gives 3 reasons on why countries are poor.
1. they tend to lack capital for investment, as well as technology and top-notch business
2. governments tend to intervene to heavily in markets.
3. they tend to spent to much, and run large deficits.
It advises the following policies:
- Openness; cut back protectionism
- Domestic liberalization: relax domestic regulation to stimulate internal competition.
- Clarification of property rights to attract investment: establish clear records and rules
of ownership.
- Sound money: aim for a low and stable inflation
- Infrastructure only: spending that’s only fixed on infrastructure, education and public
This policy is also referred to as neoliberalism (= A political movement since the 1970s to
decrease active government intervention in market economies.)
After the fall of communism some countries like Poland had a shock therapy (= In the context
of post-communist or very poor economies, government action to suddenly deregulate,
liberalize and privatize to open up markets.)
The WC would put some countries in a dependency (= The notion that developing
economies are trapped in disadvantaged positions in world markets.)
2. import substitution industrialization (ISI) (= An economic strategy to end dependency
by limiting imports from rich countries and building up domestic industries for the home
Elements of this policy are;
- Protection: set tariffs or quota on import
- Large investments in infrastructure: more spending on a more advanced industry.
- Promotion of large public corporations: create large government owned firms to
promote domestic production.
- Steering of investment to certain sectors: use government influence over interest
rates and regulations to encourage banks to lend money out
- Deals with foreign firms to support domestic growth: use government power to
bargain with foreign multinationals.
The key weakness of ISI was dependence on foreign investment.
After these models there also was the Asian model, in which the idea of state-led growth
could be possible with the reinvigoration of the state’s capacity. Since Asian countries were
really poor, they felt the need to grow due to the treats of their communistic neighbours and
dominant American industry. Some elements of this Asian model are;
- Targeted protectionism; protect prioritized sectors with tariffs and quota.
- Steering of investment to certain sectors; through government owned banks or
- Deals with foreign firms to support domestic growth: better bonds with foreign
countries for trade and technology development.
They mostly targeted interventions in market-conforming.
They initiated:
- A focus on exports and technology; prioritize firms that show promise in technology
and exports, done by lower taxes, less regulations, special infrastructure.
- Promotion of internal competition; allow weak firms to die out
- Strong property rights; intervene by offering incentives
- Fiscal restraint; keep taxes and government spending low, rely more on private sector
- Sound money; prioritize low and stable inflation and a stable currency.
Much economic growth also comes from state-owned enterprises (= Commercial businesses
owned by government organizations.)
The main point a country needs to develop are: Political stability, property right, sound
money, decent infrastructure, and international engagement.
Growth: alternative strategies in developed countries
Neoliberalism refers to the revival of the classical liberal emphasis on liberalized markets.
They saw rent seeking and government intervention as the cause and liberalization as the
remedy. Rich countries must create an era of small government by;
- Cut back regulations; deregulated markets could better solve social problems.
- Privatize; nationalized businesses sets a hold on efficiency and growth.
- Trim welfare states; too much welfare is bad for the economy.
- Lower taxes: Taxes weaken motivation to work and innovation
- Minimize government debt; if people invest to much in government bond, they tend to
spend less on private activities.
Neoliberalism is used in most developed countries, and it also shows its results since all
these countries have significant growth.
During the great recession, there was a lot of debate about the neoliberal way of acting, the
main points of this discussion were:
- Housing bubbles; due to a financial bubble (= When prices for something rise very
rapidly to implausible levels, typically leading to a sudden collapse.) The American
bankmarket collapsed.
- Easily available loans; borrowing money became easier than ever. People also
borrowed more than they could afford.
- Newly risky lending; bank also give a loan to people with an unstable income.
- A tightly interconnected financial system; mortgages became more securitized (= The
practice of taking something that cannot usually be bought or sold, such as a home
mortgage, and turning it into a financial product that can eb bought and sold.
Political ideologies and economic growth
What is the
Analysis at
best path to
macro level
Markets tend
to allocate
spending and
resources and
resist the urge
to use
except in
government to
liberalism/ social
Support the
participation of
people in
activity broadly
by investing.
Markets tend
inequality and
are subject to
crisis that selfcorrect only
very slowly;
can stimulate
the economy
to faster
markets with
Analysis at
micro level
can identify
their strengths
and respond
to incentives
efficiently only
if market
signals are
not blurred.
Even rich
depend on
investments to
make markets
work well,
poor people
need direct
Rich people
tend to
Interventions to
dependent on
support and
less able to
reach full
Only the
action to
support the
including some
redistribution of
wealth, does a
market based
economy offer
morally fair
equality of
Markets are
that guarantee
inequality and
thus tend to
fall in conflict
succeed in
without much
effort; harder
for poor
environmentalism Growth should
be a secondary
goal at most
Political Islamism
Growth is
Growth is
for allocating
wealth; a moral
society must
be built on a
A moral life
goals with the
pursuit of
A moral life
focuses first on
A moral life
focuses first on
the glory of the
Explaining a case: uncovering the whys of the Taiwanese miracle
The rational-material story
As china’s closest enemy, they got a lot of support from
the US, and gained a lot through a lot of export to the
US. This combined with their openness to global
The institutional story
After WW2 Taiwan combined a free market economy
with effective government support. A powerful economic
bureaucracy set long term strategies and highly
competitive foreign markets kept Taiwanese firms away
from protected rent-seeking
The ideational story
Taiwan population stress hard work strive for eduction
and self-improvement. And their anti-china hostility made
them very pro-capitalist.
Chapter 11: political change; authoritarianism and democratization
Inside authoritarianisms
Authoritarians have developed 4 main ways of meeting this organizational challenge.
1. Personal networks (= Ties of personal loyalty that can allow leaders to control large
2. Militaries; some authoritarian states see themselves as then security sources-> think of
a military regime that have military but also solve the challenges of governance.
3. Dominant parties; more sophisticated regimes, use one party regimes to gain power,
these are also called cadres (= Groups of party officials that supervise and manage a
one-party states)
4. Religious leadership; a theocracy, a country in which religion is central for the state,
use of clerics (= Members of religious orders, or the clergy.)
Nowadays countries that still are kinda authoritarian are called hybrid regimes (=
governments that incorporate features of both authoritarian and democratic government.)
Countries that used to be fully authoritarian, are now becoming a bit more democratic, but
they never developed beyond very partial forms of managed accountability (= When citizens
have opportunities to vote or criticize government within parameters managed by leaders
whom citizens cannot choose.)
How authoritarians fall
Rich and powerful democracies exert nonmilitary power on authoritarians by;
- Comprehensive economic sanctions: imposing of block trade and financial market ->
sanctions (= In international relations, penalties imposed by some countries on others
to force changes in behaviour.)
- Targeted economic sanctions; direct economic pressure on political leadership.
- Conditionality (= offering support such as foreign aid, trade access, or diplomatic
recognition on condition that a country adopts specific behavior.)
- Civil society programs (= Policies usually funded by western countries to promote the
development of prodemocracy groups in authoritarian countries or illiberal
The most common transition from authoritarianism to democracy is by coup d’etat (= An
unconstitutional and sudden removal of a government usually by a small groups of insiders
including the military.), the next most common outcast is due to uprisings.
Many authoritarian collapses came from an unstable domestic economy. At a low level of
wealth, authoritarian government are often to strong to be brought down. The same accounts
for very rich countries. So it is only possible in a middle-income country, since the economy
is to unstable then.
Military regimes have the shortest life span of all authoritarian regimes, its an off the shelf
form of concentrated authority, which is easy to dismantle. They are also usually focused on
being a protective body of the government, not the leading.
Perceptions of corruption are the key weakness in dictatorships, since this refuses the rule of
law. Also personal enrichment normally stands more central than stabilizing the country.
Single party regimes tend to be the longest lived authoritarian regimes because the are the
political professional form of authoritarianism. The ccp is a good example of a regime where
theres a lot of corruption in, but due to the anticorruption campaigns (= Showy government
action to convince citizens that corruption is not tolerated.), the Chinese people still believe in
the plausibility of the ccp.
As history has thought us, revolution normally are contagious, since a lot of countries fall in
revolution, if on does so. This is also known as contagion (= In a political context, when rising
opposition to a government encourages opposition to other governments as well.)
The challenges of democratization
Market based economies support, but do not cause democratization. Succesful market
development depends on literacy and information, and so it tends to produce a relatively
educated class of people. The idea that democracy and economic development naturally go
together is known as modernization theory (= A rational-material theory in the liberal tradition
that sees history as a march toward liberal democracy and capitalism.)
Economic growth does not necessarily create convinced democracies but it helps
consolidate (= The process between establishing democracy and making it an unchallenged
system of governance.)
New democracies usually tended to democracy to gain political rights and a stable economy,
this is known as double transition (= When a country simultaneously attempts
democratization and major economic reforms.)
The core of liberal democracy is meaningful electoral competition, representation supported
and bounded by rights. In a successful democracy there are pacts (= Attempts to persuade
antidemocratic leaders to accept democratization by allowing them to retain certain privileges
or immunity from prosecution.) -> this decreases the change of instability and violence.
Political ideologies and the promotion of democracy
Modern liberals prefer to engineer change through support for disadvantaged people and the
construction of persuasive incentives, not through harsh consequences and force. Liberals
favor similar tools, pro-democratic forces can be boosted with aid and advice, they hope, and
authoritarians can be pressured with nonmilitary sanctions. Only when authoritarians harm
their own people, do liberals turn to military power.
When we look at the conservative side, within neoconservatism has increasingly argued for
an approach that confronts the most problematic neighbors and calls in the police. -> they
are neo, in their unconservative ambition to shake up the world.
Conservatives think that you should try to solve other peoples problem, many conservatives
that defend this old view are called realists.
Explaining a case: uncovering the whys of the arab spring
The rational-material story
The arab spring rose because of a huge democratic wave of
young people, a weakened economy and the long term
absence of jobs. Technological change strengthened the
political opposition
The institutional story
The countries that fell had the most personalized
dictatorship of the arab world.
The ideational story
For democratization to succeed, leaders must recast
national identities to represent democracy.