chapter7_cq--C+print - Principles of Comparative Politics...

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1 Principles of Comparative Politics Chapter 7: Cultural Determinants of Democracy Classical Cultural Arguments Cultural Modernization Theory Immature society Mature society Large agriculture Small agriculture Small industry Large industry Small service Large service Primitive culture Civilized culture Dictatorship Democracy Classical Cultural Arguments Problems inherent in Montesquieu’s and Mill’s arguments continue to characterize culturalist arguments to this day. What are they?
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2 Classical Cultural Arguments Problem 1: What is it about culture that matters? Mill and Montesquieu provide a whole host of things that might matter for democracy. Most of these things are left rather vague. What particular morals are incompatible with democracy? Which customs are problematic? Both theorists point to noncultural things that matter as well. If culturalist arguments are to have any explanatory power, they must distinguish and specify what it is that matters. Otherwise, it will never be possible to conclude that culture does not matter. Classical Cultural Arguments Problem 2: What is the causal relationship between cultural, economic, and political factors? Does culture cause political institutions such as democracy? Does it also cause economic development? Or do political institutions and economic development cause culture? Which way does the causal arrow go? Democracy Economic development Culture Democracy Economic development Culture Democracy Economic development Culture Some Potential Causal Relationships
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3 Democracy Culture Economic development Democracy Culture Economic development Culture Democracy Economic development Culture Democracy Economic development Some Potential Causal Relationships “the state of Kerala has the highest rates of literacy . . . and longevity . . . in India. But it also has, by a very wide margin, the highest rate of reported morbidity among all Indian states. . . . At the other extreme, states with low longevity, with woeful medical and educational facilities, such as Bihar, have the lowest rates of reported morbidity in India. Indeed, the lowness of reported morbidity runs almost fully in the opposite direction to life expectancy, in interstate comparisons. . . . In disease by disease comparison, while Kerala has much higher reported morbidity rates than the rest of India, the United States has even higher rates for the same illnesses. If we insist on relying on self-reported morbidity as the measure, we would have to conclude that the United States is the least healthy in this comparison, followed by Kerala, with ill provided Bihar enjoying the highest level of health. In other words, the most common measure of the health of populations is negatively correlated with actual health.” (Sen 2002)
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4 Do you agree democracy is the best form of government?
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