1.29 - Political Science 2 1.29.08 Review I Examined the...

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Political Science 2: 1.29.08 Review: I. Examined the causes of famine 1. Why doe famines occur? 1. B/c of what the gov did and did not do 2. Either gov does not do anything or it does actively participate in policies bad for citizens 2. When did the gov act to prevent famines? 1. Democracy works 1. Free speech and opposition important in preventing famine 3. Why are some countries democratic and some not? 1. Culture 1. Religion, cultural norms, way of thinking that prevents some countries from being democratic Roadmap: Today we're going to discuss the cultural argument. Start with two definitions, of democracy accepted in political science, and then what political representation means. Then discuss the role of culture by examining the first and the most salient issue dealing with culture / work of economic development dealing with arguments of Max Weber. Effect of culture on economic development and on capitalism. Definitions: Democracy: - 1) Minimalist way - free and fair elections - (Ie: once Iraq has free elections it has achieved democracy) - 2) [More widely accepted made by Robert Dahl] (Polyarchy) Democracy - Control over government decisions is vested constitutionally in elected officials - Free and fair elections - Practically all adults can vote - Practically all adults can run for office - Citizens can express themselves without fear of retribution - Info and access to it is “free” - Citizens can form associations and political parties - (By large majority says this is reasonable, if the nation meets these conditions it is a democracy. In this class we will be working with this democracy) - N ote: he does not know what “true democracy” is so do not use that phrase!!!!! Political Representation: - 2 arguments - 1) Procedurally correct - Established procedures for electing a representative - People agree that the person/rep was elected according to procedure
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- 2) For a representative government to be considered as such the governed should be able to initiate government activity - Citizens should be able to get the government to respond - Govt should be responsive - There is a potential for responsiveness (Pitkin) - Keep in mind this def does not discuss outcomes...it says govt should be responsive but it does not say that the govt should deliver the outcomes you wanted - Basically it is just a system which is procedurally correct and the citizens can get the government to be responsive - Role of cultural norms; social divisions; and Institutions - Ex: in Asian societies where people care about social harmony will be different from societies in which social divisions matter - Kenya: one ethnic group controls the govt, and other ethnic groups are unhappy -
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