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Lecture+11+October+26 - Today in Comparative Politics...

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Today in Comparative Politics Transitions to, and toward, democracy Revolutions from below Collective action problems Tipping models Elite-sponsored transitions
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Collective Action Problem Would you join a pro-democracy protest like those in East Germany or would you stay at home? You know that one person is unlikely to be the decisive factor in determining whether the protest is going to be successful. You also know that it is costly to participate in the protest.
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The lure of non-participation If the pro-democracy rally fails, non- participants bear no costs. If it succeeds, non-participants can “free ride” because everyone benefits from the establishment of democracy whether they participated in the protest or not.
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Collective Action Problem Benefit to each if both participate = B Cost of participation = C > 0 Suppose B > C
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3 players: need 2 to succeed Player 3: Don’t Participate (0, 0, 0) (0, - C, 0) Don’t Participate (- C, 0, 0) (B - C, B - C, B) Participate Player 1 Don’t Participate Participate Player 2 Player 3: Participate (0, 0, - C) (B, B - C, B - C) Don’t Participate (B - C, B, B - C) (B - C, B - C, B - C) Participate Player 1 Don’t Participate Participate Player 2
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Nash equilibria Player 3: Don’t Participate (0, 0, 0) (0, - C, 0) Don’t Participate (- C, 0, 0) (B - C, B - C, B) Participate Player 1 Don’t Participate Participate Player 2 Player 3: Participate (0, 0, - C) (B, B - C, B - C) Don’t Participate (B - C, B, B - C) (B - C, B - C, B - C) Participate Player 1 Don’t Participate Participate Player 2
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Nash equilibria 2 types No one participates. Exactly the minimum number needed participate. These properties generalize.
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Suppose group needs k of n Again, 2 types of Nash equilibria No one participates. Exactly k do. In such equilibria, no one has reason to reconsider his action. When is any given player pivotal to the group’s success? When exactly k – 1 others participate. To attain such equilibria, k players need to think that they are among the exactly k people who are going to participate.
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Size of n The size of the group ( n ) is important because it influences the likelihood that you will view yourself as critical to the collective action. Should you run the risks associated with participating in a pro-democracy protest if n is large? If hardly anyone is protesting, then your individual participation is unlikely to matter. If lots of people are already protesting, then your individual participation is unlikely to matter.
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Size of n The bottom line is that larger groups find it harder to overcome the collective action problem than small groups. Counterintuitive implication: small groups may be more powerful than large groups.
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This game has ___ Nash equilibria: A. 4 B. 3 C. 2 D. 1 E. 0
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