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Unformatted text preview: PSC 002 02/09/2008 12:59:00 What is politics? The process on which we embark to determine a course of action Conflict, bargaining, compromise are necessarily built into the political process. Not necessarily popular ideas but they are part of politics. An outcome is reached a course of action there are costs and benefits. Usually political processes give something to somebody and try not to take away. The challenge is to create winners and losers but have the losers remain part of the system. You do not want the losers seceding from the system. Why have a political system in a government? We have a govt to provide order for society. One chief function is to try and assure a degree of peace and stability. (this is one of the least controversial things that the govt does). To provide and distribute public goods. The challenge is that people do not necessarily have an incentive to maintain the quality of a public good, i.e. the air. o The govt solution is to find a way to provide incentives for citizens to maintain the air. The govt can try and essentially regulate the public goods. We will start with the ideas and the rules that created h A vocabulary for understanding politics 02/09/2008 12:59:00 Collective action problems the problem arises because often times members of a group find it difficult to interact. They even might have an incentive not to participate in a collective action of some kind but instead to pursue their own needs. To make sure collective action happens is the essence of politics. Given that we have citizens with diverse preferences, how do we go about determining a course of action? 1) Coordination o means that we are working together, basing our actions on the actions of others. o Difficult because we dont necessarily know what other people are going to do. o We might be able to base our actions on theirs but were not sure what actions they are going to take o Potential for disaster. 2) The Prisoners Dilemma o Cooperate or dont cooperate o Implications of Prisoners Dilemma for Collective Action Participation in collective action depends on benefits of participation minus costs of participation (or B-C) a) free rider problem o someone that makes use of a resource but does not pay for it....
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- Spring '05
- American Politics