GOV_298_25 - The Olympics Culture vs Institutions READING...

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The Olympics: Culture vs. Institutions READING ASSIGNMENT: Bernard, Andrew B. and Meghan R. Busse. 2004. Who Wins the Oly The Review of Economics and Statistics 86 (1):413-417.
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Plan 1. Make explicit what has been implicit 2. Laws vs. description 3. Institutions vs. culture 4. Who wins international competitions?
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One of the course take-aways: Institutions matter… The international arena partly depends on domestic What is an institution? A set of rules (structures/constraints/mechanisms) that govern the behavior of a given set of actors in a given context An equilibrium held together by self-interest
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What international institutions do 1. Cooperation Recall Prisoner’s Dilemma, collective action problems, tragedy of the commons, free rider problem 1. Commitment Hands tying of present governments signaling resolve to foreign and/or domestic audiences (trade, staying in power) Hands tying of one branch of government to gain leverage over another two level game – veto players Hands tying of future governments LOCK-IN! 1. Laundering / Dirty work
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Culture vs Institutions
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Culture My languages : Spanish, French, (Haitian Creole) Places I’ve gone for work (chronological order): http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/jrv24/friends.html
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Intercultural Center If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail We often rely on cultural lenses Attribute differences in levels of economic development, political regime, crime rates, gender inequality to… “culture” This class offers a non-cultural lens individual incentives and constraints shaped by institutions (domestic & international)
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Culturalist explanations? Does culture explain? “They are different because of culture” = “They are different because they are different” WHY ARE THEY DIFFERENT?
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This class: Apply GENERAL theories to specific cases Names/dates do not matter The theories are meant to apply generically Risk: False generalization Reward: General statements Statements apply regardless of spatio- temporal location Non-culturalist (weakly culturalist) approach
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Goal: Replace proper nouns and dates with the names of variables
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What does it mean “to explain”?
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vs. Idiographic (descriptive) approaches Law-like statement: Whenever & wherever X occurs, X is in a certain relation to Y. Descriptive statement:
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  • Spring '10
  • Staff
  • Olympic Games, International Olympic Committee, international reserve currency, international institutions, international institution, culture vs

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GOV_298_25 - The Olympics Culture vs Institutions READING...

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