PLCP 3410 FINAL EXAM STUDY GUIDE PART I

Lust chs 5 16 lebanon ch 5 actors public opinion and

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Lust, chs. 5, 16 (Lebanon) Ch. 5: Actors, Public Opinion, and Participation This chapter examines citizen motivation for political participation and the pathways through which they do so o Motivations: Improving the lot of citizens Influencing change on the individual level- securing employment and achieving better pay Parliamentarians better as service providers instead of as political representatives
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Citizen Attitudes in the Arab World: daily economic situations and other regional problems; support democracy and Islam; frustration and resentment over external forces in their country o Economic Problems and Emigration Most cited problem by Arabs- poverty, unemployment and inflation Considerable percentages of people indicate they would like to emigrate Contribute to Arab brain drain; more professional opportunities in the West o Democracy Skeptical towards U.S.'s intentions- don’t think U.S. democracy programs in the region have been successful Believe that democracy is the best form of government Have strong grasp of the concept of democracy despite few democratic regimes in the region Understand that they don’t enjoy the rights and liberties that citizens in other areas of the world enjoy Believe that the tenets of Islam inherently democratic o Religion Degree of piety does not change belief that democracy is the best political system Persistence of authoritarianism in the Arab world cannot be explained by religion Some support role of Islam in government and politics Divided over this question Also: should religious leaders lead democracy? Majority follow news and politics Formal Avenues of Political Participation o Gradual increase in multiparty competition o Number of voters also increasing due to growing access to information and media in the region o Political Parties and Elections Articulate interests, mobilize voters, allocate support to certain policy positions Play important but limited role in Arab society Populist Era (1960s and 70s): only pro-regime parties, government parties (Baathist, FLN, etc.) Additional parties broke through in the 80s and 90s due to economic crisis and structural adjustment pressures Regimes allowed so many parties possibly to counter the dominating influence of the Islamist movements o Why are political parties weak in the Arab world? Many remain personalistic, tribal, kin-based, and narrow Clientelistic distribution instead of constituency interest aggregation Possible reasons that political parties have not developed to have issue-based platforms: Have been unable to influence meaningful policy changes because of weak legislatures
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o Without meaningful changes, no incentive to develop wide policy-oriented perspectives Because they are incapable of influencing policy they remain key sources of patronage and connections to government services o Keep constituency loyalty through distribution of benefits o
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  • Spring '13
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  • The Republic, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Pahlavi dynasty, Islamists

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