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Enduring Issues in Political Science Fall 2003 J óhanna Kristín Birnir Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science Overview Why Study Politics? ‘Politicos’ versus Political Scientists Theory, Concepts and Ideas in Political Research Political Science?

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enduring issues in political science fall 2003

Enduring Issues in Political ScienceFall 2003

Jóhanna Kristín Birnir

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

overview
Overview
  • Why Study Politics?
  • ‘Politicos’ versus Political Scientists
  • Theory, Concepts and Ideas in Political Research
  • Political Science?
  • Brief history of political science.
why study politics
Why study politics?
  • “Primitive” societies man was one with nature.
    • Development of strict hierarchies
  • Men are “political animals”
      • Aristotle (Politics)
  • Bible full of political intrigue.
contemporary politics some preliminary definitions
Contemporary Politics - Some Preliminary Definitions
  • “Who gets what, when & how”
        • Harold Lasswell, 1936
  • “Politics is the exercise of power”
        • Robert Dahl (and other ‘realists’)
  • “Politics involves the authoritative allocation of values for a society”
        • David Easton, The Political System, 1953
recurring themes
Recurring themes
  • Power
    • Who holds it (authority)
    • How do you get it (politics)
politics
Politics
  • The processes whereby a society makes binding decisions
      • who pays how much tax?
        • Flat tax versus progressive/regressive schemes
        • Who controls social security investments?
      • How to regulate commercial activity?
        • How much can a polluter pollute?
        • What content is permissible in radio/television/movies?
      • How to regulate civil activity?
        • Should/can same sex partners marry?
        • Should terminally ill be able to choose to die?
why study politics7
Why Study Politics?
  • Important issues
    • liberty / justice
    • stability / order / anarchy / terrorism
    • regulating important sets of activities
  • Size of Public Sector -
    • federal government employs 2.9 million
    • state & local gov'ts employ 14 million (growing)
    • -federal budget is $1.5 TRILLION annually
politics and its objects
Politics and its objects
  • Ideas and interests
    • Democracy, Justice, feminism etc.
  • State/Government
  • Institutions
    • Legislatures, Federalism, Political parties etc.
  • Citizens/Communities
  • Processes
    • Elections, Socialization, Policy making etc.
the challenge of democracy
The Challenge of Democracy
  • Democracy is more than a set of institutions
      • It depends on citizen involvement
      • It is therefore an achievement
  • Most of us are not born democrats
      • Or at least, if we are born democrats, our experience in our defining years is hardly conducive to the development of participatory behavior
        • Authority patters in family, church, schools, etc. all tend to authoritarianism
  • Political science as a discipline born with a ‘civic education’ mission
        • As a result of diminished political participation (here and abroad) this has been reinvigorated today
why study politics10
Why Study Politics?
  • "The heaviest penalty for declining to engage in politics is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself."
      • (Plato)
the course
The Course
  • Lectures- regular attendance expected
  • Readings - Text & online readings
  • Three exams
what we will study for example
What we will study - for example:
  • Regime types
    • What is a democracy?
    • Why might we want/not want to establish a democracy?
    • What are the issues and alternatives in democratic construction?
select topics
Select topics
  • Foundation for selection of topics
    • Western political thought
    • Development of liberal democracy
what we will study 2
What we will study 2
  • Development.
    • What are the differences between a more and a less developed economy?
    • How does an economy develop?
    • Can we help economic development along?
    • Is there a relationship between politics and economic development?
    • What kind of politics spur economic development?
what we will study 3
What we will study 3.
  • The current status of social groups.
    • What is the relative status of social groups such as women/minorities/religious groups/linguistic groups in terms of:
      • Political representation?
      • Economic development?
    • How do we change/should we change the relative status of social groups such as women/minorities/religious groups/linguistic groups in terms of:
      • Political representation?
      • Economic development?
how will we study the topics of interest or what makes a political scientist a scientist
How will we study the topics of interest or What Makes a Political Scientist a Scientist ?
  • Lots of people have an ‘interest’ in politics
    • Watch the news; may even know quite a bit about political life
      • Know every twist & turn in the Condit affair, e.g.
    • Some may be involved politically
      • Campaign for local office
      • Work for a campaign
      • Join local associations, etc.
  • We could not conclude that these people are political scientists, though
  • Contrast ‘politicos’ w/ ‘political scientists’
politicos
‘Politicos’
  • interested in politics of the day
  • often fascinated by political trivia/anecdotes/stories
  • often immersed in the personalities and struggles of the day
  • willing to generalize, but normally in a casual way
  • ‘political junkies’, maybe activists/partisans
political scientists 1
Political Scientists - 1
  • may be outwardly similar to ‘politicos’ in many respects, BUT
  • interested in observing general patterns in political life
  • interested in developing generalized explanation for many events
  • interested in testing general explanations
political scientists 2
Political Scientists - 2
  • interested in systematic knowledge or inquiry
  • develop a specialized set of skills, methods, and vocabulary (concepts) to assist in the systematic accumulation of knowledge about politics
theory
Theory
  • generalized explanation
  • “…a scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment…” (OED)
concepts
Concepts
  • need a common, clearly understood, vocabulary to communicate/ accumulate knowledge
  • “a general idea about something, usually represented by a single word or short phrase…” (Anthony Heywood)
  • may be general or reasonably specific
slide22

Science

  • “A branch of study which is concerned either with a connected body of demonstrated truths or with observed facts systematically classified and more or less colligated by being brought under general laws, and which includes trustworthy methods for the discovery of new truth within its own domain.” (OED)
a science of politics
A Science of Politics?
  • Reasonable people can differ on this!
  • Every student of political science ought to be able to articulate a position on this question!
  • Clearly, political research involves MORE than scientific research
      • since a science is necessarily based on observation, and since some political research also incorporates ethical/philosophical inquiry
some things to consider
Some things to consider
  • What kinds of questions are left out in a ‘science’ of politics?
  • what, if any, are the advantages of approaching at least the empiricaltype of political research from the point of view of a science?
  • what are the costs of NOT doing so?
types of political research 1
Types of Political Research - 1
  • Ethical/Philosophical
      • establish goals for collective life - the ‘good life’
      • questions of value - what ‘ought’ to be done
      • logical consistency/moral coherence of arguments
      • critiques of existing practices and situations based on how things should be done
      • debate about the ends of political action
      • often called “political philosophy” or sometimes called ‘political theory’
types of political research 2
Types of Political Research -2
  • Empirical
      • what actually happens or exists in political life?
      • focus on what “is” as opposed to what “ought to be”
      • search for patterns based on observation
      • accumulation of knowledge about political life in all its manifestations
types of political research 3
Types of Political Research -3
  • Prudential
      • combines ethical and empirical research to inquire into what is best or most efficient given certain ethical or normative ends
      • evaluation of policy and political action in terms of their efficiency in achieving desired outcomes
      • involves an application of judgment
empirical v normative studies
Empirical v. Normative Studies
  • Empirical: What is observed?
  • Normative: What “ought” to be?
  • Political Science involves BOTH the empirical (recognizing we can measure and find what is true) and normative (recognizing that we can make recommendations as to what ought to be).
major sub disciplines
Major Sub-Disciplines
  • Political Theory/ Political Philosophy
  • American Politics
    • Public Policy
    • Public Law
  • International Politics
  • Methods
  • Comparative
    • Area studies
    • Functions
psc 100 enduring issues in political science fall 2003

PSC 100 -Enduring Issues in Political Science Fall 2003

Jóhanna Kristín Birnir

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

last time
Last time
  • Why Study Politics?
  • ‘Politicos’ versus Political Scientists
  • Political Science?
today and next week
Today and next week.
  • A brief history of the research traditions in political science.
    • The Greeks
    • Middle ages
    • Renaissance
    • Enlightenment
    • Legalism
    • Behavioralism
    • Post-Behavioralism
    • Eclectisism (Including behavioralism and perestroika)
    • The scientific study of politics
politics as philosophy brief history of the discipline
Politics as Philosophy: Brief History of the Discipline
  • Foundation of Politics as a study is in political philosophy.
  • Rooted in normative emphasis.
  • Based on idea that man behaves INTENTIONALLY. We have free will and choose to take certain actions.
  • Study of politics was structured around opposing views of human behavior: man is ultimately good; man is ultimately self-serving.
normative foundations of discipline
Normative Foundations of Discipline
  • Focus on human behavior in interacting with others
  • First emphasis on what “ought” to be
  • Political Philosophy focused on ideas like
    • Rights
    • Equality
    • Justice
    • Freedom
the ancient greeks
The Ancient Greeks
  • Philosophy: Philos = loving, Sophia = wisdom.
  • 2,500 years ago, Greek civilization emerged
  • city states (‘the polis’) the center of political life
  • the polis was center of the universe
  • ‘idiot’ - word to describe someone with no interest in politics
plato 427 347 bc
Plato (427-347 BC)
  • Founder of a lyceum (school) for politics and law (first of its kind)
  • philosopher whose pedagogy was based on a dialogue b/w student & teacher
  • his political philosophy presented essentially in The Republic
  • Deductive theory
  • advocated a system of ‘enlightened dictatorship’ by ‘philosopher-kings’
plato continued
Plato (continued)
  • Philosopher-Kings were selected from childhood
  • subjected to an incredibly intensive education in ethics, theoretical and practical politics, etc.
  • groomed to lead from a very early age
  • “who shall guard the guardians?” a key question
deductive theorizing
Deductive theorizing
  • Deduction follows structure of logically valid arguments:
  • If premises are true then the conclusion is necessarily true if the argument is valid.
  • (1: All books on philosophy are boring, 2: this is a book on philosophy 3: This book is boring. 1 and 2 are the premises 3 is the conclusion).
  • If the premises are not true or the conclusion does not follow then the argument is invalid. 1:some books on philosophy are boring 2: this is a book on philosophy 3: this book is boring. 3 does not necessarily follow from 1 and 2 )
inductive or empirical research
Inductive or Empirical Research
  • Focus on rigorousobservation
  • Systematic (reliable) observation and study
  • Control (ability to isolate variables)
  • Based on the scientific approach
  • Capable of being repeated (reliability) and challenge)
  • May be both quantitative (involving numbers) or qualitative (involving non-numeric description, explanation).
aristotle 384 322 bc
Aristotle (384-322 BC)
  • Plato’s best know student
  • normally considered the ‘father’ of political science
      • in fact, he argued that politics was ‘the master science’
  • first to undertake a systematic empirical (inductive) survey of political life (The Politics)
      • a survey of patterns across approx. 350 city states
the ancient greeks43
The Ancient Greeks
  • Questions of Ethical/Philosophical and Prudential nature (Normative)
    • What is the good life for humans
    • Who should rule
  • city states (‘the polis’) the center of political life
  • Different approaches
    • Deductive (Plato)
    • Inductive or Empirical (Aristotle)
middle ages 5 th 15 th century a d
Middle Ages (5th-15th century A.D).
  • a subordination of political thought to theology
  • objective of political theory was to identify the will of God and the most appropriate way to organize secular life according to the Divine Plan
    • Human government & law subordinate to divine will and order
  • Natural law
  • So long as the objective was to subordinate political life to theology, genuine political thought was not possible
political thought during the middle ages
Political Thought During the Middle Ages
  • From roughly the 5th Century AD to the middle/end of the 15th Century
  • a subordination of political thought to theology
  • objective of political theory was to identify the will of God and the most appropriate way to organize secular life according to the Divine Plan
middle ages church
Middle ages church
  • According to the church the kingdom of god is not political and therefore there is no reason for man to engage in a struggle for power. Heaven is a spiritual state where one is indifferent to power.
  • Authority is unquestionably in hands of the church as the agents of god on earth. (draws on Augustine and the City of God).
  • Politics removed from the hands of the common man.
the middle ages continued
The Middle Ages (continued)
  • Reconciling the ‘heavenly’ and the ‘secular’ cities of God
      • boils down to a relationship b/w church & state
  • Political authority, normally monopolized by a monarch, was legitimated by means of a claim for a monarch having a special relationship to God
  • ‘the Divine Right of Kings’
    • Origin of rule to the benefit of the subjects (Thomas Aquinas - Summa Theologica - 1267)
transitions to modernity
Transitions to Modernity
  • So long as the objective was to subordinate political life to theology, genuine political thought was not possible
  • ‘renaissance’ - a ‘rebirth’ of thought, culture
  • based on ‘humanism’
      • belief that humanity, not God (or a Deity) is and should be the central focus of concern in philosophy, the arts, politics, etc.
historical currents underpinning the renaissance and enlightenment
Historical currents underpinning the Renaissance and Enlightenment
  • During the late Middle Ages, peasants moved in increasing numbers to the towns.
  • As trade and communication improved during the Renaissance, town-dweller increasingly questioned the absolute authority of the church in favor of emphasis on their individual merit and hard work, unlike the inherited wealth of traditional aristocrats.
renaissance re birth
Renaissance: “Re-Birth”
  • Intellectual focus back to human action
  • Machiavelli (1513): control of state can be used to individual ends. Power can be controlled.
  • Politics seen as means to end; power as an end in itself.
renaissance thought
Renaissance Thought
  • Emergence of the notion of ‘statecraft’ - governing well or governing badly
  • two examples
        • Marsiglio of Padua (1275-1343)
          • physician
          • ‘commonwealth’ should serve the ‘good life’
        • Machiavelli (1469-1527)
marsiglio of padua 1275 1343
Marsiglio of Padua (1275-1343)
  • Padua by his own account a devout catholic innocent of heresies wrote the “Defencor Paxis” or (defender of the peace) about Separation of Church and state.
  • He insisted on explicit and unique control of governance by the state. The actions of the state he argued were based not on spiritual right or wrong but on the need for exercise of power by the state for the maintenance of peace
niccolo machiavelli 1469 1527
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)
  • Mid-level bureaucrat - Medici family in 16th Century Florence
  • Ambitious
    • ¬wanted to get back an advisory position in the government of Lorenzo di Medici who ruled Florence from 1513 to 1519.
  • The Prince (pub. 1515) most ‘notorious’ work
  • the state conceived as an ‘autonomous association
      • state and ruler were ‘ends in themselves’
machiavelli 2
Machiavelli- 2
  • The Prince was necessary to provide order
    • a ‘how to rule manual’ to contribute to this
  • centered on the notion of POWER
  • Rulers had to be both ‘lions’ and ‘foxes’
    • “Lions cannot defend themselves against traps, and foxes cannot defend themselves against wolves. You have to be like a fox to see the traps, and like a lion to terrify the wolves. If all people was always totally trustworthy you only had to be like a lion. In reality you have to be like a cunning fox at times. Princes that are cunning and strong as appropriate always succeed better as princes that are only as lions” (W. K. Marriott)
machiavelli 3
Machiavelli -3
  • Amorality of his work
        • (neither moral nor immoral), but today “Machiavellian” is an adjective used to describe an immoral person for whom the ends justify the means
        • couldn’t get much further from medieval political thought!
recurring theme research tradition responds to changing times
Recurring theme - research tradition responds to changing times
  • Individuals questioning the status quo
  • Note how Machiavelli is responding to the times.
  • Very turbulent times, Italy was constantly being invaded.
  • Leaders needed “tools” to govern.
enlightenment 18 th c
Enlightenment- 18th C.
  • Further increasing emphasis on reason and science
  • Emphasis on “rules of behavior” – theorizing and predicting human behavior
  • Study of causation and empiricism
the enlightenment 18th c
The Enlightenment - 18th C.
  • Philosophical movement characterized by a reliance on reason
      • liberate morals and religion from tradition & prejudice
      • replace these with science and rationality
  • an enormously optimistic period!
  • Marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794)
        • known today for his voting methods and mathematics
        • Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de l'esprit humain (1795)
condorcet 1
Condorcet - 1
  • “If man can, with almost complete assurance, predict phenomena when he knows their laws, and if, even when he does not, he can still, with great expectation of success, forecast the future on the basis of his experience of the past, why, then, should it be regarded as a fantastic undertaking to sketch, with some pretense to truth, the future destiny of man on the basis of his history? The sole foundation for belief in the natural sciences is this idea, that the general laws directing the phenomena of the universe, known or unknown, are necessary and constant.”

Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de l'esprit humain,1795 (chpt.10)

baron de montesquieu
Baron de Montesquieu
  • Forms of government will differ according to political and social climates
    • Despotic rule most appropriate for large empires
    • Democracy for small city states
  • Separation of powers is necessary for an efficient and successful government.

(The Spirit of the Laws 1748)

montesquieu s method
Montesquieu’s Method
  • Observation
      • Northern armies are more successful than Southern
  • Hypothesis
      • Cold climates account for this by causing nerves to withdraw into the skin
  • Refinement/consequence
      • soldiers from northern climates can withstand more pain
  • Test of Hypothesis
      • experiment with frozen sheep’s tongue
the birth of a discipline preconditions
The Birth of A Discipline Preconditions
  • Distinctive specialized subject matter
      • sufficiently distinct from history and philosophy to require its own academic organization
  • emergent institutions of democracy
      • questions of constitutional engineering and design, political and institutional reform
  • concerns stemming from industrialization
      • political order and stability increasingly problematic throughout the 1800s
      • sociology founded around this time also
academic foundations
Academic Foundations
  • first department of political science -1876
      • Johns Hopkins Historical & Political Science Assn
      • Columbia University - 1880 - School of Pol. Science
  • American Political Science Association
      • 1903 - with 214 original members
  • steady growth in APSA members
      • 1985 - 9,450
      • now around 10,000
  • 1985, one estimate that there were 175 political science journals published!
twentieth century growth
Twentieth Century Growth
  • “…9 out of every 10 political scientists in the world today are American, and probably 2 out of every 3 political scientists who ever lived are alive and practicing today.”
      • Gabriel Almond (1967)
  • in 1988, of the roughly 2,000 universities & colleges in the US, 760 had separate departments of political science
      • 121 of these offered a doctorate in political science
traditional formal legal political science
Traditional (“Formal-Legal”) Political Science
  • Methodology
      • description; explanation primarily of specific phenomenon
      • historical analysis/explanation
  • Institutional Focus
      • analysis of structure, function of political organizations
          • legislatures; parties; executives; bureaucracies, courts etc.
      • assumes that these constitute the distinctive elements of political life
traditional political science 2
Traditional Political Science - 2
  • Legal Analysis
      • focus on constitutions, policy & law as the distinctive OUTPUTS of political process
      • product of institutions
a crisis confronts a new discipline
A Crisis Confronts a ‘New’ Discipline
  • considerable optimism about political science and its ability to improve the world
  • the history of the decades following the establishment of the discipline did not, however, instill confidence
contributors to the crisis
Contributors to the Crisis
  • World War One
  • World War Two
      • failure of League of Nations
      • failure of ‘the Weimar Republic’
  • the “Great Depression” 1929-36
  • development of the atomic bomb
  • mounting pressures to de-colonize
mood method post wwii political science
Mood & Method Post WWII Political Science
  • “From the days of Aristotle, political science has been known as the master science. Although political scientists today might be accused of being over-ambitious or imperialistic if they were thus to cast their net so broadly, their subject matter is nevertheless central to the solution of our present social crisis…”
      • David Easton, The Political System, (1953)
mood method post ww ii political science
Mood & MethodPost WW II Political Science
  • “Yet, in light of what society demands from them, and of what is in fact possible for political science, they would be compelled in equal honesty to set all pride aside & confess that in its achievement in research American political science has grave difficulty in measuring up to the tasks imposed upon it…”
      • David Easton, The Political System, (1953)
mood method post ww ii political science72
“Mood & Method”Post-WW II Political Science
  • “Many cogent reasons could be offered for the disappointing results of a discipline already 2,500 years old. It is the burden of this study that among these reasons and at the forefront we must place the constant reluctance in American political science to adopt and teach seriously the standards of valid thinking, observation, and description that today we are prone to associate with something vaguely called scientific method.”
  • David Easton, The Political System, (1953)
the behavioral revolution 1950 1970
The Behavioral Revolution 1950-1970
  • Focus on Explanations:
    • Systematic theory and hypothesis testing
    • Emphasis on Scientific Technique
    • Development of new methods to study political behavior
    • Dominates modern study of political science
the behavioral revolution 1950 197074
The Behavioral Revolution1950-1970
  • Identifying & explaining regularities the goal
      • systematic hypothesis & theory testing
      • integrate political science with other social sciences
  • Scientific Method
      • separate ‘facts’ from ‘values’ (‘value-freedom”)
      • techniques of inquiry important
      • quantify wherever possible for added precision
the behavioral revolution 2
The Behavioral Revolution - 2
  • Maintain focus on ‘pure scientific problems’
      • don’t allow research agenda to be dictated by the current events problems of the day
      • need to accumulate basic knowledge about politics
      • policy and/or contemporary relevance would have to wait until we had acquired sufficient knowledge to be reliable and useful to politicians
psc 100 enduring issues in political science fall 200376

PSC 100 -Enduring Issues in Political ScienceFall 2003

Jóhanna Kristín Birnir

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

last week
Last week
  • A brief history of the research traditions in political science.
    • The Greeks
    • Middle ages
    • Renaissance
    • Enlightenment
    • Legalism
    • Behavioralism
this week
This week
  • Finishing the brief history of the research traditions in political science.
    • Post-Behavioralism
    • Eclectisism (Including behavioralism and perestroika)
    • The scientific study of politics
  • New topic
    • Ideas in political science
      • Liberalism
politics as philosophy brief history of the discipline79
Politics as Philosophy: Brief History of the Discipline
  • Foundation of Politics as a study is in political philosophy.
  • Rooted in normative emphasis.
  • Based on idea that man behaves INTENTIONALLY. We have free will and choose to take certain actions.
  • Study of politics was structured around opposing views of human behavior: man is ultimately good; man is ultimately self-serving.
milestones
Milestones
  • Deductive theory (Plato)
  • Inductive theory (Aristotle)
  • Theory testing (Montesquieu)
  • Legal Formal Tradition (descriptive)
  • Behavioral Revolution (Empirical)
recurring theme research tradition responds to changing times81
Recurring theme - research tradition responds to changing times
  • Individuals questioning the status quo
  • Research traditions as a response to the times.
the growing backlash against behavioralism post behavioral movement
The Growing Backlash Against Behavioralism - Post behavioral Movement
  • Growing awareness of, and concern for, social injustice in the 1960s & 1970s
      • Civil Rights Movement
      • ‘Great Society’ - ‘we can change the world’
      • Vietnam War
  • College campuses were hotbeds for protest and student radicalism
      • UB a site for many protests; some riots in Buffalo
      • North campus - “the spine” built to control crowds
  • Dependency theories.
the showdown apsa convention sept 1968
The Showdown: APSA Convention, Sept. 1968
  • David Easton president of APSA
  • “Caucus for a New Political Science” forms and announces that it will challenge the selection of the next APSA president
the credo of relevance
“The Credo of Relevance”
  • 1) Matters of substance ought to take precedence over questions of technique
      • recognition that research had piled up on things that were easily measured (e.g., voting)
      • other important topics that were more difficult to measure (“operationalize”) were being ignored
          • e.g., civility; authority; power; etc.
  • 2) political science ought to address questions of relevance to society
the credo of relevance 2
“The Credo of Relevance - 2”
  • 3) behavioral research conservative
      • focus on describing and explaining what is, however scientifically grounded, detracts attention from constructing value-based (normative) critiques of the status quo
      • e.g., “democracy”
          • descriptive science of democracy defines it as elite competition for the right to rule (Schumpeter)
          • very little ‘mass participation’ required
          • critics argue that democracy an ‘ideal’ to aspire to
          • maximal citizen involvement the goal
the credo of relevance 3
“The Credo of Relevance - 3”
  • By stripping normative concepts of their ‘value content’ political science may have rendered these terms more descriptively accurate (something a science requires), but
  • the concepts have lost their ability to sustain a critical understanding of how politics could be made better
the credo of relevance 4
“The Credo of Relevance -4’
  • 4) Political Scientists have a public as well as a professional responsibility
      • should act on the basis of the knowledge they produce
      • have a responsibility to society to improve life
contemporary currents
Contemporary currents
  • Qualitative vs. quantitative methods.
    • Post behavioral revolution
    • Post-behavioral backlash
    • Perestroika
the 1980 s and 1990 s
The 1980’s and 1990’s
  • Behavioralism and rational choice approaches that emphasize development of deductive models that then are tested empirically made a forceful comeback in the 1980’s.
  • Emphasis on
    • Non-normative inquiry
    • The scientific method
    • Formal (mathematical) models
    • Empirical tests
perestroika
Perestroika
  • Letter to the editor of the NY Times
  • The backlash continues against:
    • “…rational choice theorists, formal modelers, and those who do exclusively quantitative research.”
    • Claim that these types of scholars have ‘taken over’ the major organizations and publications of political science
    • That they aim to make their work ‘hegemonic’ or dominant
perestroika 2
Perestroika – 2
  • For years many political scientists complain that they ‘can’t read the articles in the APSR’ because of the heavy mathematics
  • First volley came in the form of a critique of the APSR in an on-line internet forum
    • Signed “Mr. Perestroika”
      • Ada Finifter, APSR editor, acknowledged that 75% of articles published were quantitative
  • Dozens of others reported colleagues denied jobs, experience trouble publishing their work, etc. because their research methods didn’t conform to those preferred by the powerful minority
perestroika 3
Perestroika - 3
  • Reform objectives
      • Restore political philosophy to center
      • Expand methods training beyond statistics – qualitative methods also
      • Focus research on substantive problems – reverse decline of policy study
      • Promote interdisciplinary research; cross-cultural studies
apsa 2003
APSA 2003
  • The proper research method - still contentious.
    • Usually respectful and professional
      • Red buttons, APSA debate.
    • Occasionally in bad taste
      • Playing cards
the nutshell contemporary political science at the turn of the millennium
The Nutshell:Contemporary Political Science at the Turn of the Millennium
  • Nothing has been lost over the 2,500 + years of political research
  • three types of political research now flourishing
          • philosophical/ethical/normative
          • empirical/scientific
  • the relative mix of these activities varies by department, time, etc.
central question today political science
Central Question today:Political Science?
  • Is political science a science?
  • The 9 stages of scientific inquiry
aim of politics as science
Aim of politics as Science
  • Formulate and verify empirical generalizations
  • Develop Systematic Theory
  • Explain and predict
problems with politics as science
Problems with politics as science
  • Politics phenomenon is too complex
  • Indeterminacy of human behavior
  • Problem of Reaction
  • Researcher values
  • Measurement
does political science matter
Does Political Science Matter?
  • Triviality of Political Science findings
    • Common sense
      • Problems with common sense
        • Selective often biased
the solution as practiced at ub scientific inquiry 1
The solution as practiced at UB.Scientific Inquiry -1

1: Formulate Research Idea.

2: Review the Literature.

3: Formulate Testable Hypotheses.

hierarchy of theory
Hierarchy of theory

.

PARADIGM

THEORY

HYPOTHESIS

paradigm
Paradigm
  • “A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.” (AHD)
theory102
Theory
  • generalized explanation/model
  • “A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.”(AHD)
hypothesis
Hypothesis
  • “A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation.” (AHD)
scientific inquiry 2
Scientific Inquiry - 2

4: Define Concepts.

5: Operationalize Concepts.

concepts105
Concepts
  • need a common, clearly understood, vocabulary to communicate/ accumulate knowledge
  • “a general idea about something, usually represented by a single word or short phrase…” (Anthony Heywood)
  • may be general or reasonably specific
conceptual definitions
Conceptual definitions
  • Concepts do not really have any “real” concrete meaning. They are terms we assign specific meaning and we may disagree about their meaning.
  • Difficulty in Defining Concepts can we define and later measure everything (patriotism vs patriotism)
concepts continued
Concepts continued
  • However, conceptual definitions are usually built around indicators.
  • Indicators are benchmarks that we associate with the concept.
  • Ex: we can agree that political activism involves something like frequent voting, and attention to political events.
  • Ex: Religiosity might involve attendance in a house of worship, reading of religious texts, participation in religious rituals.
psc 100 enduring issues in political science fall 2003108

PSC 100 -Enduring Issues in Political ScienceFall 2003

Jóhanna Kristín Birnir

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

last time109
Last time
  • Finishing the brief history of the research traditions in political science.
    • Post-Behavioralism
    • Eclectisism (Including behavioralism and perestroika)
    • The scientific study of politics
today
Today
  • 2) Finish the scientific study of politics (next time).
  • 1) New topic
    • Ideas in political science
      • Liberalism - Locke
ideas in political science
Ideas in political science
  • Now that we have discussed the foundations of politics as science we will revisit ideas in political science.
    • Remember the normative foundations of political thought - even in empirical political science.
  • Today we will begin to examine the ideas that underpin liberal democratic thought.
  • Next week we compare liberal thought with other ideas.
  • Second part of course we examine empirically the practical implementation of these ideas
recurring themes112
Recurring themes
  • Ideas develop in response to real world events.
  • Underpinnings of liberal thought revolve around power - who has the right to it and how we get it.
historical currents underpinning the renaissance and enlightenment113
Historical currents underpinning the Renaissance and Enlightenment
  • During the late Middle Ages, peasants moved in increasing numbers to the towns.
  • As trade and communication improved during the Renaissance, town-dweller increasingly questioned the absolute authority of the church in favor of emphasis on their individual merit and relationship with the king.
  • Questioning “divine authority” of the king.
enlightenment 18 th c114
Enlightenment- 18th C.
  • Further increasing emphasis on reason and science
  • Emphasis on “rules of behavior” – theorizing and predicting human behavior
philosophy love of wisdom
Philosophy = Love of Wisdom
  • Philosophy has practical application – affects the real world
questions of philosophy
Questions of Philosophy
  • What is the good life for humans?
  • Who should rule?
  • What is the best form of government?
  • Is there a higher law?
  • What is justice? What is liberty?
the early modern philosophers 17th century
The “early modern” philosophers 17th century
  • Hobbes
    • Little faith in Humanity.
    • State of Nature (removing political authority) is anarchy and war.
    • Social contract as a means to provide peace and stability.
the social contract
The Social Contract
  • Hobbes hypothetical solution to the state of nature.
  • Every man agrees to be ruled by a sovereign who “shall act, or cause to be acted, in those things which concern the common peace and safety.”
        • (Leviathan ch. XVII)
locke s contributions to the social contract
Locke’s contributions to the social contract
  • Development of the Social Contract as a historical reality not in response to a hypothetical problem.
  • Majority rule replacing Hobbes hypothetical consensus.
  • “the origin of government is the consent of the governed and the people have a right to revolution if the Sovereign becomes a tyrant or abuses the terms of the social contract”. (E&J) Origin of popular sovereignty.
  • Separation of executive and legislative powers, the latter placed in hands of assembly.
locke a democrat
Locke a democrat?
  • Not in the contemporary sense.
  • Suffrage was still to be limited to men of significant means.
intellectual traditions in political philosophy
Intellectual traditions in Political Philosophy
  • Chart. (Book page 64. Figure two)
  • Citizen Locke.
    • Recurring themes
      • Reacting to the environment
      • Power - who holds it but now also who has the right to it and how should it be organized?
why such emphasis on locke here
Why such emphasis on Locke here?
  • Recurring themes the underpin much of our subsequent institutional analysis derive from Locke.
    • Consent of the governed /popular sovereignty.
    • Majority rule
    • Separation ofpowers.
citizen locke
Citizen Locke
  • “This program gives us Locke the man and the thinker. It states, explicates, and clarifies Locke’s principal views by placing him in conversational settings as he returns from exile in Holland and in flashbacks with the Earl of Shaftesbury and others. What emerges is the character of Locke as well as his philosophical positions, which are explained against the political background of his time, when he himself is exiled, and friends, no more revolutionary but perhaps less discreet, were drawn and quartered.” (ITS - MLC)
psc 100 enduring issues in political science fall 2003124

PSC 100 -Enduring Issues in Political ScienceFall 2003

Jóhanna Kristín Birnir

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

last week125
Last week
  • Finishing the brief history of the research traditions in political science.
    • Post-Behavioralism
    • Eclectisism (Including behavioralism and perestroika)
    • The scientific study of politics
  • New topic
    • Ideas in political science
      • Liberalism
      • Locke
this week126
This week
  • Finish politics as science
  • Ideas in political science
    • Political philosophy vs. ideology
    • Classical liberalism
    • Traditional Conservatism
    • Socialism
    • Reform Liberalism
    • Liberal Conservatism
    • Socialism
      • Communism and Social Democracy
    • Other ideologies
      • Feminism, environmentalism, nationalism
political science
Political Science?
  • Is political science a science?
  • The 9 stages of scientific inquiry
the answer as practiced at ub scientific inquiry 1
The answer as practiced at UB.Scientific Inquiry -1

1: Formulate Research Idea.

2: Review the Literature.

3: Formulate Testable Hypotheses.

hypotheses
Hypotheses
  • Educated guesses about the processes we are interested in.
  • Testable best guesses are our hypotheses.
hypotheses130
Hypotheses
  • articulate the precise effect one variable has on another.
    • Hypotheses involve an Independent variable (cause) and a Dependent (effect) variable.
    • Articulates the mechanism of how the Independent variable causes the Dependent variable.
scientific inquiry 2131
Scientific Inquiry - 2

4: Define Concepts.

5: Operationalize Concepts.

conceptual definitions132
Conceptual definitions
  • Concepts do not really have any “real” concrete meaning. They are terms we assign specific meaning and we may disagree about their meaning.
  • Difficulty in Defining Concepts can we define and later measure everything (patriotism vs patriotism)
concepts continued133
Concepts continued
  • However, conceptual definitions are usually built around indicators.
  • Indicators are benchmarks that we associate with the concept.
  • Ex: political activism involves something like frequent voting, and attention to political events.
  • Ex: Religiosity might involve attendance in a house of worship, reading of religious texts, participation in religious rituals.
why do we care
Why do we care?
  • To study the normative questions we are interested in, empirically, we follow the scientific method.
empirical political science
Empirical Political Science

Questions in political science:

Example:

  • Does the electoral college need to be reformed as a result of the 2000 presidential elections?
  • The question looks like a “what aught to be ”Normative question if we regard it as a question of justice.
  • Is the electoral college just in current form or does it need to be reformed? This is clearly a matter of opinion and depends on an individuals idea of justice.
electoral college cont
Electoral college cont.
  • If however, we continue and define “justice” as:
    • the apparent current consensus that the electoral college reflect the popular vote in a state

(note that this is not the same idea as when the electoral college was founded when it was supposed to act as a check on the “tyranny of the majority” but definitions change)

electoral college continued
Electoral college continued
  • By defining Justice precisely we now have an empirical question that we can formulate a testable hypothesis around.
  • According to our definition of justice this is now a question of whether the electoral college accurately reflected the popular vote in each state.
electoral college normative
Electoral college Normative
  • Note that we could have taken the normative direction with the question about the electoral college.
  • If we focus the debate on what is just rather than assigning a definition to the concept of justice the question remains normative.
  • In that case the need for reform depends on your individual notion of justice.
empirical answers
Empirical answers
  • Empirical answers are not necessarily simple. For instance, to answer the question whether the electoral college accurately reflected the popular vote in each state we have to figure out whether the vote was counted correctly - as we all know this was no small task.
empirical questions and answers
Empirical questions and answers
  • Other complex empirical questions:
  • Why did the Soviet Union Collapse?
    • More clearly empirical
  • Are affirmative action policies fair?
    • Normative or empirical depending on how we treat the question. Define “fair” precisely and the question can be answered empirically. Debate the meaning of fairness in the context of these policies and the question stays normative.
scientific inquiry 3
Scientific Inquiry - 3

6: Measure and Collect Data to test our hypothesis.

7: Analyze Data.

8: Draw Conclusions

9: Write a Report.

scientific vs normative
Scientific vs. Normative
  • Scientific. (Empirical)
    • Verifiable/falsifiable
    • Empirical statements
  • Normative (Philosophical)
    • Neither verifiable nor falsifiable
the nutshell
The Nutshell
  • Political science evolves around normative ideas. Liberty Justice etc.
  • However, normative questions can be answered empirically IF
    • We follow the scientific method
      • Including precise definition and operationalization of the concepts involved.
back to the new topic
Back to the “New Topic”
  • Ideas in political science (political philosophy)
definition of political philosophy
Definition of Political Philosophy
  • “critical, systematic argument about the ends (purposes) of human life, and about how our society or community should be ordered so that citizens can best attain those ends.”
          • (Eagles & Johnston,)
current research activities in political philosophy
Current Research Activities in Political Philosophy
  • Examine the lives of earlier political philosophers
        • study their work in relation to their personality, beliefs, attitudes, social relationships, intellectual influences
        • study their work as it evolved over their lifetime
  • “Contextualizing” Political Philosophers
        • temporally/geographically
        • intellectually (precursors and successors)
  • Develop new theoretical frameworks in response to contemporary conditions.
        • Globalization
last time 1
Last time -1
  • Political philosophy
    • Underpinnings of liberal thought
      • Hobbes
        • State of nature
last time 2
Last time -2
  • Locke
      • Reacting to the environment
      • Power - who holds it but now also who has the right to it and how should it be organized?
      • Questioning divine authority
      • Redefining the social contract
  • Ideas
      • Consent of the governed /popular sovereignty.
      • Majority rule
      • Separation ofpowers.
today and thursday
Today and Thursday
  • Political Philosophy vs Ideology.
  • Liberalism in current form
  • Other ideologies
  • Ideology as a framework for analysis
definition of ideology
DEFINITION of ideology
  • “a more or less consistent set of beliefs about the nature of society … and about the proper role of the state….”(E&J)
ideology
IDEOLOGY
  • Ideology is
  • 1) SYSTEMATIC: interrelated, ordered
  • 2) NORMATIVE: based on what one feels society “ought” to be Ideology reflects how we see the world
  • Shapes are perceptions of reality
how it differs from political philosophy
How it Differs from Political Philosophy
  • 1) Less abstract and complicated
  • 2) involve a larger number of people than does activity of ‘political philosophy’
  • 3) Ideology motivates action (find their roots in political philosophy, but add in ‘action items’ designed to motivate and inspire action that is, mobilization)
  • 4) More sensitive to context, current political environment
why do we care about political philosophy and ideology
Why do we care about political philosophy and ideology?
  • Ideas - many of the ideas that we base our system of government on are rooted in ideology. To evaluate them we must understand where they come from and what the alternatives are.
  • Political analysis sometimes draws on an ideological framework.
    • Class analysis
    • Feminism
components of ideologies 1
Components of Ideologies -1
  • View of Human Nature
      • ‘…essential and immutable character of human beings. It highlights what is innate and ‘natural’ about human life, as opposed to what humans have gained from education or through social experience’
        • are people good or evil?
        • are they social beings or solitary individuals?
        • are they naturally competitive or cooperative?
components of ideologies 2
Components of Ideologies - 2
  • Theory of Society
      • related to the view of human nature
      • how do individuals behave in society?
      • is society ‘natural’ or an ‘artifact’?
      • are they naturally aggressive/self-interested?
components of ideologies 3
Components of Ideologies - 3
  • Theory of Politics
      • 1) Politics a Good Thing
          • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
          • John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)
      • 2) Politics a Necessary Thing
          • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
          • John Locke (1632-1704)
      • 3) Politics an Unnecessary Evil!
          • Karl Marx (1818-1883)
          • Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921)
modern ideologies
MODERN IDEOLOGIES
  • CLASSIC LIBERALISM
  • TRADITIONAL CONSERVATISM
  • SOCIALISM
  • REFORM LIBERALISM
  • LIBERAL CONSERVATISM
  • COMMUNISIM AND SOCIAL DEMOCRACIES
  • ANARCHISM, POPULISM, FEMINISM, ENVIORMENTALISM, NATIONALISM
classic liberalism
CLASSIC LIBERALISM
  • STATE OF NATURE
    • Primary value placed on individuals
    • Society is an artificial state
    • Society should contribute to individuals’ self-interest
    • SOCIETY EXISTS TO PRESERVE INDIVIDUAL WELL BEING – ALLOWS INDIVIDUALS TO FREELY PURSUE SELF INTERSTS
classic liberalism continued
Classic Liberalism Continued..
  • Government is a NECESSARY evil
  • People are free by nature
  • We surrender liberty to state in exchange for security
  • Governmental power is LIMITED
  • Government must protect INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
classic liberalism continued160
Classic Liberalism Continued..
  • UNDERLYING PRECEPTS
  • 1) CONSTITUIONALISM: formal limits on governmental power/authority
  • 2) POPULUAR SOVEREIGNTY: legitimate power depends on consent of governed
classic liberalism continued161
Classic Liberalism Continued..
  • FEATURES of CLASSIC LIBERALISM
  • 1) RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT: executive must have legislative support.
  • 2) MIXED GOVERNMENT: or SEPARATION OF POWERS
  • 3) REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT: composed of representatives (not a pure democracy)
  • 4)ECONOMIC LIBERTY: protection of individual property rights.
  • 5) SOCIAL AND MORAL LIBERTY: free speech and participation, religious and individual autonomy
laissez faire government
Laissez Faire Government
  • Minimal government intrusion in property rights/interests
  • An open and competitive market protected by the rules of the state
grounded in rational individualism
Grounded in RATIONAL INDIVIDUALISM
  • Man is rational, has self interests
  • Man should be free to pursue those interests
  • Humans should be guided by their own reason and will
  • Limited Government preserves individual freedom and order in society
  • People are FREE and EQUAL and SELF INTERESTED
traditional conservatism
TRADITIONAL CONSERVATISM
  • Even more tied to time and place than other ideologies (what is conservative depends on the status quo)
  • Dedicated to preserving the existing order
  • Emphasizes COMMUNITY values over individual freedom
  • Value order of tradition, custom, conventions and time tested institutional practices
toryism original conservatives
TORYISM (original conservatives)
  • Society has a hierarchical order
  • Aristocrats have obligations (privilege = responsibility)
  • Members of society must conform to their roles
  • Order and stability and adherence to duty is emphasized
  • Prefer a small state but one with power to PRESERVE tradition (Strong but inactive)_
  • Heavily influenced by NATURAL LAW
  • Closed Participation in System
toryism continued
TORYISM continued…
  • Views market system as a challenge to conservative values (eventually made peace with the market but insist that the market serve the community more akin to economic nationalism than laissez-faire)
  • Favors aristocracy of WEALTH as well as BIRTH
  • Support TRADITION values, norms and rules (conservative on religion and public morality)
  • Low tolerance for deviance from tradition and accepted values
socialism
SOCIALISM
  • Reaction against liberalism
  • Reaction against economic free market system
  • Believes all humans are EQUAL by BIRTH
  • Favor equality of OUTCOME (where liberals favor equality of opportunity)
  • Oppose concentration of wealth and exploitation of lower class
  • Believe equality of opportunity where there are unequal resources is a myth
  • Wealthy don’t act on any sense of obligation
socialist views of the state
SOCIALIST VIEWS OF THE STATE
  • Strong state is necessary to prevent class exploitation
  • State should manage resources
  • Wary of individual rights (leads to inequalities and ALIENATION: loss of control over one’s own fate)
  • State should replace private market
  • State should redistribute wealth, values according to EGALITARIAN principles
  • Collective interests not self interests should be supreme
shifting contexts
SHIFTING CONTEXTS
  • The liberal and conservative position on issues varies by issue and over time
  • Ideologies change with time
  • Debate over nature or nurture as motivation for individual behavior rages
  • All 3 ideologies (liberalism, conservatism and socialism) have undergone changes
reform liberalism
REFORM LIBERALISM
  • Basic precepts are the same
  • Scope of liberal concerns have broadened
  • Modern liberalism: still focuses on INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS – broadened to female and minority equality
  • EXPANDED ROLE OF STATE – more active state with an affirmative role (freedom from/negative rights – freedom to/positive rights)
reform liberalism enhanced state role
Reform Liberalism: Enhanced State Role
  • No more laissez faire minimal role
  • State and Government should
    • Incorporate political democracy: expanded participation and suffrage rights
    • Expand INDIVIDUAL rights – freedoms and rights protected by government
    • Become involved in market regulation – protect working classes, workplace and salary equity – toward welfare state
liberal conservatism
LIBERAL CONSERVATISM
  • Accepts the basic precepts of modern liberalism
    • Market economy,
    • Individual rights (especially property rights)
    • Constitutionalism, rule of law, popular sovereignty
  • Mix of traditional conservatism and liberalism
  • Diverges from liberalism in Emphasis on community standards of morality and behavior (religious fundamentalism)
  • Belief in economic liberalism, commitment to moral principles
socialism communism and social democracy
SOCIALISM: COMMUNISM AND SOCIAL DEMOCRACY
  • Split on HOW to transform capitalist society: Gradual reform or drastic revolution?
  • MARX: socialist views – change was 2 stage process
    • 1) political revolution of working classes
    • 2) Social revolution toward a classless society that would not require a state– true communism
reform of socialism
Reform of Socialism
  • Marx’s socialism – evolutionary, led by the working classes
  • Lenin: more revolutionary approach. Drastic change led by a van guard
  • SOCIALISM: democratic reformist and peaceful
  • COMMUNISM: authoritarian, revolutionary, and committed if necessary to violent struggle
communism versus socialism
Communism versus Socialism
  • 1) Anti-democratic concentration of power in the hands of the state
  • 2) Total commitment of state’s power and authority to communism’s ends
  • ONLY one party is permitted to exist whereas socialism accepts political opposition
  • Communism is TOTALITARIANISTIC – state has power in virtually EVERY sphere of interests
  • Socialism: accepts boundaries between persons and the state
social democracies
Social Democracies
  • Socialism accepts some role for democratic reform – reform should be evolutionary and driven by working classes
  • Modern socialism has accepted democratic participation, private property interests
  • Accept market participation – no longer reject corporate rights
  • Still favors nationalism (state control) of some industries/interests
  • Accept role of welfare state
other isms
Other “isms”
  • Anarchism:
    • rejects and state authority through coercive force
    • Favors a “natural” state
    • Emphasizes voluntary consent of ALL citizens
    • Some anarchist ideologies favor strong individual rights without societal constraints
    • Has not been a dominant modern ideology
other isms178
Other “isms”
  • Populism:
    • Anti-elitist disposition
    • Emphasizes return of power to common man and away from special interests
    • Sometimes is employed by one set of elites against another
    • Rarely has challenged economic elitism
    • Has an anti-intellectual strain (the common man is often the uniformed man)
other isms179
Other “isms”
  • Feminism:
    • Has a vision and program
    • Combined with other various ideological perspectives
    • Challenges patriarchal structure of society
    • Devoted to gender equality and institutionalization of gender discrimination
    • Are divides within feminism about approach, policies and goals
    • No clear definition of feminism
other isms180
Other “isms”
  • Environmentalism:
    • Recent – 1960s and 1970s
    • Ecological perspective: conservation of resources, sustainability and preservation of nature
    • Rejects industrial and post industrial values of property and economic interests
    • Like feminism, many branches and internal disagreement over values, policies and approaches
other isms181
Other “isms”
  • Nationalism:
    • Identification of a “nation” of interests
    • Preservation and advancement of those interests
    • Goal of achieving autonomy and independence for these interests
    • Creation of national identity, control of particular territory
    • Protection of nation-state
    • Covers a variety of goals/values: self determination, national preference, nation building
nihilism
Nihilism
  • All values are baseless and nothing can be known or communicated.
  • Often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence.
  • A true nihilist believes in nothing, has no loyalties, no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.
  • Most often associated with Friedrich Nietzsche.
      • (Internet encyclopedia of philosophy)
ideology as framework for political analysis
Ideology as framework for political analysis
  • Foundation of government
    • Ideas about role of individual, structure of government, and structure of market.
ideology as a frame for political analysis
Ideology as a frame for political analysis
  • Ideology promotes a specific view of how the world should be
  • Ideology also often presupposes definite notions about what the world is
  • For example, radical Marxism seeks to eradicate inequality from a world where such inequalities are perpetrated by an exploitive class system.
  • The “Frame for Political Analysis” by Marxists is the class system.
ideology as framework for academic analysis
Ideology as framework for academic analysis
  • Identifies units of analysis and processes of importance.
    • Units of Analysis in Political Science
      • Individuals
      • Groups
      • Classes
    • Processes
      • Individual struggle against/within the state in relation to each other.
      • Group influence on the state and each other
      • Class role in society and struggle against each other.
atomism individuals microbehavior
Atomism (Individuals) - Microbehavior
  • Humans are rationally motivated: have preferences, take actions that maximize preferences
  • Public choice/rational choice: within public settings, individuals pursue goals rationally.

(Sound familiar?)

pluralism
Pluralism
  • Individuals form groups (interest groups, parties, communities)
  • Groups compete for power
  • Groups are defined by more than class but by various interests
class analysis
Class Analysis
  • Focus on hierarchies among classes
  • Classes differ on access to goods and power
  • Class struggle
  • Associated with Marxist theories
eclecticism
ECLECTICISM
  • Approach of the book and the class
  • Employs all sub disciplines and units of analysis
  • Each approach contributes to broader political science
theory as a frame for analysis
Theory as a frame for analysis
  • Feminist theory.
  • For example, “for radical feminists, the structure of social reality is provided by PATRIARCHY, the historical subjugation of women by men through socially constituted gender relations” (E&J)
  • Thus the “Frame for Political Analysis” in feminist analysis is the patriarchy.
what does this mean in practical terms feminist theory as a frame for analysis 1
What does this mean in practical terms?Feminist Theory as a frame for analysis 1
  • On units of analysis
    • ...the statism encouraged by considering the nation state the primary unit of analysis reinforces the public (male) - private (female dichotomy that predominates in traditional political inquiry.” p. 26 Chowdhury et. al.
    • Thus theorizing about the state or even the legal institutions of the state ignores the “female reality of subordination to men and male institutions” Charlton as quoted by Chowdhury p. 32
feminist theory 2
Feminist theory - 2
  • On regimes as units of analysis
    • “Each type of regime is sustained by ideologies and practices that have different views of women.”
    • [Classical Democratic Theory presupposes a separate female domestic sphere and denies structural inequality in participation.] Chowdhury et al p.27.
    • The problem with focusing on democracies is that “it magnifies the importance of the state, formal institutions, and social stability at the expense of investigating the political aspects of society, informal organizations, instability and change.” Chowdhury et.al. p 32
the ideological and analytical framework of this class
The “ideological” and analytical framework of this class
  • In terms of ideological value content we try to keep our analysis is neutral as possible. We aim to examine the empirical regularities.
  • Each individual student may add the “normative”/value judgment to the analysis.
  • In terms of framework of analysis our approach is Eclectic
  • We will consider questions of class, patriarchy and many others
1 psc100 enduring issues
1:PSC100- Enduring Issues
  • Professor Jóhanna Kristín Birnir
  • Department of Political Science
  • SUNY- Buffalo
2 last week
2:Last week
  • Ideas in political science
    • Political philosophy vs. ideology
    • Classical liberalism
    • Traditional Conservatism
    • Socialism
    • Reform Liberalism
    • Liberal Conservatism
    • Socialism
      • Communism and Social Democracy
    • Other ideologies
      • Feminism, environmentalism, nationalism
    • Ideology as framework for analysis.
3 this week
3:This week
  • Political Culture
  • Exam format an questions
  • Thursday first exam
4 note
4:NOTE
  • Last year a prankster put up notices canceling the exam.
  • The exam this Thursday will not be canceled. I have already written the exam and if I am unable to administer it my TA will.
  • Never believe notices that do not have an official department stamp!!!!!
5 ideology vs culture
5:Ideology vs Culture
  • Whereas ideologies are “ a more or less consistent set of beliefs about the nature of society … and about the proper role of the state….”(E&J) - What ought to be.
  • Political culture denotes the values that are broadly held by a group of people. What is.
6 political culture
6:Political Culture
  • Collective political consciousness of a polity
  • Shared set of beliefs, attitudes and values – collective not individual
  • Defines boundaries of accepted political activity
  • Shapes perceptions and beliefs of members
  • Fluid concept, learned beliefs –way we learn to think about political objects
7 beliefs
7:Beliefs
  • BELIEFS: cognitive ideas – knowledge of the political world
  • POLITICAL KNOWLEDGE: level of information we have about a given political subject
  • Low Political Knowledge:
  • Negative view: people are ignorant, can’t be trusted to participate intelligently
  • Positive view: people are rational, trust the system
8 attitudes
8:ATTITUDES
  • AFFECT: the emotional association accompanying beliefs or political knowledge
  • Disposition for or against political objects, events, information
  • TRUST: - level of support and confidence in government, state
  • EFFICACY : Positive affect from civic engagement (participation, information in politics) HIGH or LOW Confidence in the state/proceidures
9 values
9:VALUES
  • VALUES: normative ideas about the political world – what we believe “ought” to be
  • Shared values: commonly held values by most members of society.
    • Example: Commitment to majority rule or consensus
    • Emphasis on individualism
10 measuring political culture
10:Measuring Political Culture
  • origins in ‘national character studies’
      • e.g., the “reserved” British character
      • the ‘passionate’ Italian character
      • essentially stereotypes - hardly scientific!
11 how do we measure beliefs attitudes trust and efficacy
11:How do we measure, beliefs, attitudes, trust and efficacy?
  • academic opinion survey research
      • new precision in the description of underlying subjective dispositions
      • not just attitudes or policy preferences
  • POLLING: random sampling of citizenry to gauge the political culture
  • Observations on Polling:
    • Selection method should be random
    • Sample size must be representative – large enough
    • Understanding of the underlying distribution of attitudes, beliefs
    • Questions, ordering, wording and style matter
12 sample questions topics
12:Sample Questions/Topics
  • how frequently & how closely do you follow politics?
  • how much pride do you feel in political institutions?
  • do elections make a large difference in political life?
  • How important is it that ordinary people vote in elections?
  • do you feel like your actions can make a difference in politics? (‘political efficacy’)
  • do you think that the political system is operating well?
  • How often do you trust politicians (in Washington; in Albany; etc.) to do what is right?
13 examples of political cultural analysis
13:Examples of Political Cultural Analysis
  • Robert Putnam, “Bowling Alone”
      • Italy first; now the US
  • Ronald Inglehart, “Postmaterialism”–
      • Europe first; now the world!
  • Almond & Verba, The Civic Culture (1963)
      • US; UK; Germany; Italy; Mexico
14 robert putnam the civic community
14:Robert Putnam - “The Civic Community”
  • An influential political scientist teaching at Harvard
      • published his undergraduate paper on voting behavior in the APSR!!
      • Author of many books and articles
  • Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (1993)
  • http://muse.jhu.edu/demo/journal_of_democracy/v006/6.1putnam.html
15 putnam the civic community
15:Putnam “The Civic Community”
  • Active participation in public affairs
      • both political & social
  • entails equal rights & obligations for all
  • virtuous citizens are ‘helpful, respectful, and trustful towards one another’
  • norms & values embedded in & reinforced by distinctive social structures and practices
      • a vigorous associational life
16 putnam the civic community continued
16:Putnam - ‘The Civic Community” (continued)
  • collectively, these cultural resources sustain healthy economy and participatory, effective democratic politics
17 social capital
17:“Social Capital”
  • “By analogy with notions of physical capital and human capital--tools and training that enhance individual productivity--"social capital" refers to features of social organization such as networks,norms, and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit.”
  • Putnam, “Bowling Alone,” pg. 67
18 america s declining social capital stock 1
18:America’s Declining Social Capital Stock -1
  • Attendance at public meetings on town or school affairs
      • 1973 - 22%
      • 1993 - 13%
  • Trusting Government in Washington only ‘some of the time’ or ‘never’
      • 1966 - 30%
      • 1992 - 75%
19 america s declining social capital stock 2
19:America’s Declining Social Capital Stock - 2
  • Participation in PTA groups
      • 1964 - 12 million
      • 1982 - 5 million
      • 1994 - 7 million
  • Bowling alone
      • between 1980 & 1993, number of Americans bowling increased by 10%, but the number bowling in leagues decreased by 40%
20 why the erosion some speculations
20:Why the Erosion? Some Speculations
  • Movement of women into labor force
  • Geographic mobility
      • but America is less mobile today than in the ‘50s & 60s
  • Demographic changes
      • weaker families (more divorces; single parent families, etc.)
  • Technological transformation of leisure
21 ronald inglehart postmaterialism
21:Ronald Inglehart - Postmaterialism
  • Student at Univ of Michigan in late 1960s early 1970s
  • most radical segment of US society seemed to be the young generation
  • Marx wrong in expecting class to be the crucial line of division
      • class a ‘material’ division, based on economics
  • Inglehart argues that since 1945, ‘materialistic’ values have been replaced by ‘post-materialistic’ values
      • as a result, patterns of political behavior are changing
22 maslow s value hierarchy
22:Maslow’s Value Hierarchy

Self - actualization

Esteem

Belongingness

Safety

Physiological Needs

23 inglehart s thesis
23:Inglehart’s thesis
  • Two hypotheses:
      • scarcity hypothesis
        • value things that are in shortest supply
        • during economic times, or in political upheaval or crisis, ‘lower order’ needs prevail
        • in affluent and stable times, people free to pursue ‘higher order’ needs
      • primacy of early socialization
        • conditions during childhood/adolescence are primary and formative ---> they endure
        • “a ‘Dead Head’ sticker on a Cadillac” image
24 the politics of postmaterialism
24:The Politics of Postmaterialism
  • Expresses itself generationally
      • the post-WW II affluence, spread of universities, etc., all created a generation of ‘baby boom’ post-materialists
      • young distrust older generations --> materialists
  • post-materialists highly participatory, but did not trust conventional political mechanisms
      • tumultuous politics of protests, citizen engagement outside the ‘normal’ electoral and partisan channels
      • new social movements; new (radical) political parties
25 student protest or quiescence
25:Student Protest or Quiescence?
  • Radical ‘60s & 70s followed by the ‘me generation’
        • “Culture of Narcissism”
        • economic recession
  • What about ‘Generation X?’
        • according to UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute, 46% of college freshmen joined public protests two years ago(1999)
        • highest level since 1966, when tabulation began
          • college apparel protests, etc.
          • SUNY Albany a hotbed - Sodexho Marriott dining hall contract protest
30 how do we acquire political culture
30:How do we acquire political culture?
  • How are beliefs, attitudes and values learned?
  • How are we “socialized” into a political culture?
  • Mass culture is result of
    • Centralization (or urbanization) –physical proximity
    • Technology, advanced communications
    • Globalization of Market
    • Embedded over time (“new” states have to develop “nationalism”)
31 socialization
31:SOCIALIZATION
  • SOCIALIZATION: Process whereby individuals acquire the values and beliefs of their society or community.
  • Transfer of culture from one generation to the next
  • Way of “educating” citizens into shared political beliefs
32 agents of socialization
32:AGENTS of SOCIALIZATION
  • FAMILY: parents
    • Party identification, religion
  • SCHOOLS:
    • ELEMENTARY: values, citizenship
    • SECONDARY: knowledge, skills
    • HIGHER: critical thinking, analysis
  • COMMUNITY & PEERS:
33 agents of socialization
33:AGENTS of SOCIALIZATION
  • MEDIA
  • CHURCH/RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION
  • ONGOING SOCIALIZATION
    • Spouse
    • Co Workers
    • Travel, world-experience
34 mass media
34:MASS MEDIA
  • Source of political knowledge and imagery
  • Sets the Agenda
  • Shared experience
  • Monopoly on information, mainstream thought
    • Pack journalism
    • Ownership Issues – profit considerations, multiple media conglomeration
    • Objectivity?
    • “Dumbing Down” the news?
39 the exam
39:The exam
  • 50 multiple choice questions. Best answer.
  • Covering all materials in the syllabus - lectures and readings.
  • Use the online notes as your study guide.
enduring issues psc100
Enduring Issues -PSC100
  • Jóhanna Kristín Birnir
  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Political Science
first part of class
First part of class.
  • History of political science as a discipline.
    • Emphasis on research traditions
  • History of political philosophy and ideology
    • Emphasis on Liberalism in a comparative perspective
2 nd part of the class
2nd part of the class
  • Liberal democracies
    • The working parts
      • History of institutional development
      • Institutional alternatives
this week the emergence of liberal democracy
This week: The emergence of Liberal Democracy
  • History
  • Definition
  • Waves of democratization
  • Representation
  • Drawbacks of democracy
3 periods of european political history
3 Periods of European Political History
  • Classical Antiquity
  • Medieval Society
  • Liberal Modernity
classical antiquity
Classical Antiquity
  • Classic Civilizations: Ancient Greece and Rome
  • Philosophy, language, beliefs of these eras form foundations of Western Civilization
  • Politics dominated by either the local (city-state) or Global (empire)
classical antiquity231
Classical Antiquity
  • Local politics were participatory
  • Imperial politics were based on military might
  • Great deal of diversity in government of city-states
  • Instability of empires (testing of military might, conquests and invasions)
medieval or feudal society
Medieval or Feudal Society
  • Collapse of Roman Empire and nomadic wanders
  • Elements of highly structured Roman state come into contact with tribal societies
  • Tribes – united for power
  • Authority – exercised by local nobles
  • Power was personal, based on tradition
medieval or feudal society233
Medieval or Feudal Society
  • Leaders appealed to higher law/order to maintain leadership
  • Fusion of theology and authority
  • Weak, fragmented political power complemented by a universal Church (Catholic)
feudal societies
Feudal Societies
  • Collection of communities
  • Hierarchical arrangement - nobles and peasants, unequal resources
  • Hierarchy linked by mutual dependent (labor, allegiance in exchange for protection, security)
  • Kings, Vassals, serfs
dissolution of feudal society 3 developments
Dissolution of Feudal Society3 Developments
  • 1) The REFORMATION
  • 2) The ENLIGHTENMENT
  • 3) Rise of the MARKET ECONOMY
the reformation
The Reformation
  • Break down of Catholic Church
  • Martin Luther’s Rebellion 1517, rise of Protestantism
  • Eroded feudal system, increased individual freedom
  • Theological questions were basis of wars and revolution
the enlightenment the age of reason
The EnlightenmentThe Age of “Reason”
  • Emergence of scholasticism – away from theological explanations.
  • Embodied an emerging Scientific approach and empiricism
  • SKEPTICISM: willingness to question and challenge traditional thought.
  • Emphasis on RATIONAL thought
  • Spurring the industrial revolution.
the market economy think of changing incentives
The Market Economy (think of changing incentives)
  • Feudal markets were limited, self-contained within the system
  • Only nobles, merchants had resources to contribute to a centralized market
  • Food was grown for consumption rather than trade
  • Feudal ties had to be broken to allow market to flourish
the market economy
The Market Economy
  • Market exchange benefited from Enlightenment and decline of feudalism
  • Growth of market economy further eroded feudalism
  • Technology, transportation, manufacturing fueled the emerging market economy
  • Emergence of a “middle class”– softening of hierarchy
the liberal revolution the political result
The Liberal Revolution (The political result)
  • Transformation of medieval society to modernity
  • Emergence of an individualistic, fluid, pluralistic society
  • Erosion of rigid social barriers
  • Radical but largely gradual change
    • England’s Glorious Revolution – gradual
    • French Revolution (1789) – more violent, dramatic
    • U.S./Canada – no need for revolution
representative government
Representative GOVERNMENT
  • Replacing monarchies with parliaments
    • 1st parliaments emerge in Middle Ages
    • Reaction against the increasing power of kings as fragmented feudal societies were unified into nation states.
the liberal revolution
The Liberal Revolution
  • Page 181
    • “The political restructuring that accompanies a transformation from a traditional, agrarian, organic society to a rational, market-oriented, pluralistic society.”
    • Foundation for legal-rational models of authority (as opposed to arbitrary, unpredictable, personalized)
democracy greek origins
Democracy - Greek Origins
  • “Democracy” derives from the Greek words:
      • demos - people
      • kratia - rule or authority
liberal democracy
Liberal Democracy
  • Liberal Revolution led to Liberal forms of Government
  • Liberal = individual rights
    • Popular Sovereignty
    • Republicanism = elected representatives, equal rights of citizens
    • Depersonalization – formal institutions, governing for common good rather than personal gain
slide245
Liberal Forms of Government continued..
      • Constitutionalism: fixed rules, limits on government
      • Responsible Government: parliamentary systems
      • Mixed Government (separation of powers) executive vs. legislative
      • Individual Rights
democracy
Democracy
  • Conceptualized as a continuum of citizen involvement in rule:
  • one end of this continuum:
      • full citizen participation in all collective decisions
      • “participatory democracy”
      • some claim that this is undesirable and/or unrealistic
      • others claim that it represents an ideal to which we should be aspiring
schumpeterian democracy
Schumpeterian Democracy
  • Minimalist definition
      • what minimal conditions are necessary before we can claim that democracy exists
  • Schumpeter’s Capitalism, Socialism & Democracy (1950)
  • an economist who placed high value on competition to produce efficiency
      • e.g., competition among firms to keep prices low, productivity high, innovation, etc.
schumpeter s minimal conditions
Schumpeter’s Minimal Conditions
  • governance by political leaders whose authority is based on a limited mandate from a universal electorate that has some rights to participation and opposition.
      • based on the discussion in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (originally published in 1942)
schumpeter s definition
Schumpeter’s Definition
  • Democracy is:
      • “…that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote.”
samuel huntington s analysis of democratization
Samuel Huntington’s Analysis of Democratization
  • calls states ‘democratic’ if:
      • a) at least 1/2 of adult males are eligible to vote;
      • b) there is a responsible executive that must maintain majority support in an elected parliament or is chosen by periodic popular election.
  • A ‘minimalist’ definition (very inclusive)
  • Controversy over this
definitional disagreements
Definitional Disagreements
  • critique of Huntington by Larry Diamond suggests that only 76 of the 117 ‘formal’ democracies by Huntington’s definition could be classified as “free states”
democracy triumphant
Democracy Triumphant?
  • “…for the first time in all history, more people on this planet live under democracy than dictatorship.”
      • Bill Clinton, Inaugural Address, 1997
  • according to the UN, an estimated 3.1 billion (53.8%) live in democracies; 2.66 billion (46.2%) do not