PSC Final

  1. Theory
    a set of logically consistent statements that tell us why the things that we observe occur. A theory is sometimes referred to as a model or an explanation
  2. Tautology
    a statement that is true by definition.
  3. polyarchy
    a political regime with high levels of both contestation and inclusion.
  4. primordialist arguments
    treat culture as something that is objective and inherited - something that has been fixed since "primordial" times
  5. Social cleavage
    a concept used in voting analysis and is the division of voters into voting blocs. Cleavage separates the voters into advocates and adversaries on a certain issue.
  6. A codified constitution is
    one in which key constitutional provisions are provided for within a single written document.

    • There are three key principles of a codified constitution.
    • Authoritative - A constitution can be seen as a higher law than standard legislation. It sets out the rule by which the political institutions, including those who create the legislation
    • Entrenched - A codified constitution is referred to as entrenched, meaning it is incredibly difficult to amend or abolish.
    • Judiciable - As the constitution occupies a place in higher law, it allows other laws to be judged against it, as to whether or not they are constitutional or not. This function is performed by the judiciary.
  7. Duverger's law
    holds that plurality-rule elections (such as first past the post) structured within single-member districts tend to favor a two-party system, whereas "the double ballot majority system and proportional representation tend to favor multipartism".
  8. Institutional veto player
    Generated by a country's constitution.
  9. Hypothesis
    The starting point for any statistical analysis which makes some falsifiable claim about the world
  10. falsifiable
    potentially testable
  11. modernization theory
    predicts that democracy is more likely to emerge and survive as countries develop and become richer
  12. 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
  13. collective action/free rider problem
    refers to the fact that individual members of a group often have little incentive to contribute to the provision of a public good that will benefit all members of the group
  14. bottom-up democratic transition
    one in which the people rise unto overthrow an authoritarian regime in a popular revolution
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PSC Final