PSC exam

  1. Selectorate Theory
    A way of theorizing regime type.

    • Assumes:
    • -Political leaders want to gain and maintain office.
    • -Political competition is always present, even in authoritarian regimes.

    1. Strong economic performance is a good way to maintain power. Something that benefits everyone. 

    2. Buying off supporters is another alternative. Providing selective benefits to a small subset of people.
  2. selectorate theory
    characterizes all governments by their location in a two-dimensional institutional space; on dimension is the size of the selectorate, and the second dimension is the size of the winning coalition; according to this theory, political leaders must keep members of their winning coalition happy to stay in power
  3. winning coalition
    includes those people whose support is necessary for the leader to stay in power; always large in democracies and small in dictatorships
  4. Informateur
    examines politically feasible coalitions and nominates a formateur
  5. Legislative Responsibility
    Refers to a situation in which a legislative majority has the constitutional power- a vote of no confidence- to remove a government from office without cause
  6. A vote of no confidence
    Initiated by the legislature; if the government does not obtain a legislative majority in this vote, it must resign
  7. Cohabition
    A president from one political bloc and prime minister from another-occurs when the party of the president does not control a majority in the legislature and is not represented in the cabinet
  8. Legislative Coalition
    Voting bloc composed of legislators who support a piece of legislation
  9. Caretaker Government
    Occurs when an election is called or when an incumbent government either resigns or is defeated in a vote of no confidence. It rules the country for an interim period until a new government is formed
  10. Ministerial responsibilty
    the constitutional doctrine by which cabinet ministers must bear ultimate responsibility for what happens
  11. Investiture vote
    formal vote in the legislature to determine whether a proposed government can take office
  12. Gamson's Law
    Cabinet portfolios will be distributed among government parties in strict proportion to the number of seats that each party contributes to the governments legislative majority
  13. Connected Coalition
    member parties are located directly next to each other in the policy space
  14. delegation
    occurs when one person or group called the principal relies one another person or group
  15. principal-agent or delegation problem
    refers to the difficulties that arise when a principal delegates authority to an agent who potentially has different goals than the principal and cannot be perfectly monitored
  16. moral hazard
    occurs when the agent has the opportunity to take actions that are hidden from the principal
  17. District Magnitude
    the number of seats allocated to each district
  18. Alternative vote
    system of preferential voting
  19. Two Round System
    If no candidate wins an absolute majority, then a second election takes place, winner of second round is elected.
  20. formal
    legally imposed
  21. natural
    exists as a mathematical property of the E.S.
  22. closed party list
    candidates are ranked by the party, and voters are not able to express a preference for a particular candidate.
  23. open party list
    voters can indicate not just their preferred party but also their favored candidate within the party
  24. disadvantages of open party list
    diminished partisanship among voters and legislators
  25. advantages of open party list
    proportionally, higher identifiability because voters select candidates
  26. disadvantages of closed party list
    weak connection between constituents and representative, low identifiability
  27. advantages of closed party list
    easy to understand, promotes strong partisanship, a diversity of opinions will be represented
  28. strategic voting
    the practice of voting a way that does not reflect one's ideal preference, in order to prevent electoral outcomes one thinks are worse, such as voting for a second-best candidate one thinks can reasonably win
  29. mixed electoral system
    is an electoral system that combines a plurality/majoritarian voting system with an element of proportional representation (PR).[1][2][3] The plurality/majoritarian component is usually first-past-the-post voting (FPTP),[4] whereas the proportional component is most often based on party list PR.[5] A distinguishing characteristic of mixed systems is the fact that every voter can influence both the plurality/majoritarian and PR aspects of an election.[6] In a hybrid system, by contrast, different electoral formulas are used in different regions of a country.[
  30. hegemonic electoral regime
    • (a type of electoral authoritarian regime) 
    • one in which the leader's party routinely wins with overwhelming majorities
  31. Electoral Volatility
    "the net change within the electoral party system resulting from individual vote transfer
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